Launch of the I AM KING Website.

What a fantastic project!   It was a bit of a whirlwind, but we made some new friends and are looking forward to the future!

Visit the site!

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TAG Records Launch Party – A Huge Success!

Lots of heavy hitting members of THE hip-hop elite came out to help celebrate the launch of TAG Records! Everyone from Nelly and Slim Thug to Nas and Bill Maher hit the party at the soon-to-open  Kress. Blog coverage has been huge, but here are a couple of videos and some pictures that help document the scene:

and from Rap-Up:

Pics from Wire Image here and here.

Keeping Up with the Moguls

Image Source: Corporate Takeover

There is a relatively new niche in the hip-hop blog world focused squarely on tracking the business moves of the hip-hop elite. Instead of covering new tracks or beefs among rappers, these blogs cover endorsement deals, business ventures, and hip-hop’s other forays into the corporate world. The emergence of this type of blog/site simply illustrates that while music is at the root of it all, the hip-hop lifestyle and culture transcends far more than the airwaves, myspace and youtube. Fans, aspiring entrepreneurs and executives are finding inspiration in more than just lyrics – tracking and even obsessing over the business moves of hip-hop moguls. And that should not come as a surprise… With Jay-Z, 50, Pharrell and JD all immersing themselves in highly lucrative and innovative corporate relationships, the stratospheric rise of the hip-hop mogul is often more interesting than most hip-hop music.

One of these sites in particular has clearly taken the lead in this new category: Corporate Takeover. As a long time reader, I was thrilled to be asked to offer up some thoughts on Jay-Z for what turned out to be an incredibly thorough, well-crafted piece that documents The Corporate Takeover of Jay-Z. Jason ‘Jay’ Mohawk and Corporate Takeover probably just ended up on Rupert Murdoch’s radar. Keep up the good work.

Living the Life, with Jermaine Dupri (David Caruso Cameo)

I love the current trend of artist talking to fans via YouTube – gritty, iMovie produced YouTube videos. Jermaine Dupri was certainly an early adopter of this new practice and has developed a steady fanbase of regular viewers. His YouTube channel certainly garners enough attention on its own, but throw in a Jay-Z or Mariah or Janet and of course the views grow exponentially. He has even used fans response via YouTube to help steer decisions around new artists, and as expected, to show off some gear.

As President of TAG Records, it is safe to assume we will see some TAG references throughout his Living the Life series. Here is JD at the recent photo shoot for TAG. Note the ACME cameo as well 🙂

Jermaine Dupri: Today, We Make History…

That’s what Jermaine Dupri said about the Tag Records label that was announced yesterday. It has been picked up in literally hundreds of publications and blogs, and here are a few links to what people are saying…


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And don’t forget about the hip-hop blog chatter:


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And of course, the Queen of All Media had to chime in:


Click to read.

Mr. International, Player with a Passport (aka International Coverage):


Click to read.

Check out more at http://www.tagrecords.com/

Lauren Conrad – Fashion’s Most Influential

More influential than Anna? Karl? Who could have ever predicted that Lauren Conrad would be more influential? Ahem…

Kanye and Travel

Should I be surprised that most people I talk to about Kanye’s new travel venture – aka a Kanye-branded entryway into Travelocity – think it is a bit of a stretch? Most of the people I talked to are at least Gold Status business travelers who rely on corporate travel agents to handle their travel plans, and I am doubtful Kanye is after that crowd anyways. I am a huge Kanye fan (David’s a Jay-Z guy), and I have long respected the way he handles his brand. Yeah, his arrogance turns some people off, but his words have always served to take him to new levels. Job well done in my opinion. I can forget about his foray into search engines… most people don’t even know about that Kanye brand extension. And although the idea of travel is totally in line with his jet setting global lifestyle, why put his well established brand at risk by aligning with an industry that has proven to disappoint like no other?

Update:  NYTIMES:   Flight Chaos Shows Passengers Have No Rights.

In my opinion, it should be an issue of control for Kanye. Any fan of Kanye knows he is a total control freak (in a good way). There is absolutely nothing Kanye can do to keep a flight from getting cancelled. Or a hotel from overbooking. For someone who is so notoriously hands-on, I am surprised that he would ‘co-sign‘ for the travel industry, an industry he has zero control of. Richard Branson knows a thing or two about branding and travel, and perhaps does it better than anyone. Check his commentary on brand experiences:

“A brand is more than a name or logo – it is a contract with every customer with whom you are dealing. And if people feel that the offering does not live up to what they expect from the brand, they will decide to stop buying.”

A Better Idea?
I love the fact that Kanye is encouraging his fans to get out and see the world. But why try to own the transaction? Why even be associated with the transaction? With all of his travels, why not create a Kanye-flavored travel guide, loaded with tips, reviews, shopping insights, video, blogs, etc. from Kanye and his crew? Kanye’s reviews, Don C’s shopping guide and Ibn’s guide to traveling in style, and tips for what to do in each city his on his tour. He can sell ads, sponsorships, integrations, and stay for free forever! Fans could contribute their own commentary. Kanye retains his control, expands his community, visitors are satisfied, and Kanye can rake in millions in revenue from brands vs. $30 per transaction from what will no doubt be just a few bookings through his site. There are better ways to monetize his lifestyle. Travel bookings are not the way.

Kanye, when you are ready to launch this venture, give us a call 🙂 We can definitely help.