Executive Oversight & Artist Assessment
On Twitter : @gmii3report

Over the last 30 plus years urban music/ hip-hop influence has driven popular culture in America. The ever changing landscape of the music industry has evolved from  major label driven business to an independent artist / label controlling his or her music, career and publishing.

After the urban market exploded in the late nineties/ early two thousand with labels such as No Limit, Death Row, So-So Def, Bad Boy, Roca-fella, Ruff Riders and Murder Inc sales of albums of come to a screeching halt. Why ? Were the successful labels run by Suge knight, Irv gotti, Jermaine Dupri, Sean Combs, Damon Dash, Master P not looking toward the future changes in the music industry. Was it the level of music they were producing, and the belief that it could never be stopped or silenced ?
 
All these topics and mystery questions about the industry will be explored in the Gray Matter A&R report.  Ten years later we can see the changes in the industry pertaining to developing talent, regional/national radio support, marketing dollars allotted to specific projects , touring and co-branding strategies.  Since the early eighties writer, producer, MC , Aubrey "Alex English" Gray understood the magnitude, social significance of the culture and music of which was not expected to last well into the twenty first century.  In the fashion of historical music executives Andre Harrell, Steve Stoute, Sean Combs and Steve Rifkind comes the Gray Matter Report, the A&R's guide inside today's urban/hip hop music industry.

 

 Music Industry Consulting Services (Producers, Artists, Record Labels)

The Gray Matter Report
(Industry-- Insight, Information & Intelligence) @Gmii3Report

The A&R's guide inside the Urban Music Industry

The Gray Matter Report, Artist Assessment and Consulting. Executive oversight, development / cultivation of artists who seek to be shopped to Indy and Major label situations. The PHP team is connected to various Emerging artist seminars & conferences to build collective brand and services base with artist/producers across the nation. 


1. CONSULTATIONS with artists about product and project direction (what works as apposed to what doesn't at market). Negative content versus positive music. The difference between radio & underground music. What lane are you trying to be in ? What makes you different than the next artist, why should listeners care about you ? 

2. IMAGE consultation relating to Artists music. Are you relating to your fan-base through your image. What is the image your trying to portray with your style and fashion ? How can you develop a good balance between fashion/ style as it relates to musical exploration and growth.

3. PRODUCTION & WRITING recommendations (underground/mainstream). What sound are you trying to create & convey with your music (lyrics and production) ? What production styles are your favorite (universal or regional). Can you create and expand your musical grasp writing new material, that discusses topics you've never touched on (emotion)?

Prospect Hill Productions has also co-produced events with some of R&B Soul's best artists; Frankie Beverly, El Debarge, Jon B, Bilal, H-Town, Valerie Penafort & Kenny Lattimore.

Gray Matter Report TV

 

@GMii3Report (Music Industry-- Insight, Intelligence and Information)
Music Industry news, Culture and Sports... From an analytical perspective.

Overview

GMR is a News Broadcast based show. This includes in-studio and on location interviews. Skype technology maximizes national and global correspondent communications with in-studio host. Guided by independent music executive,
Aubrey Gray, GMR delves into topics other shows
and media broadcasts will not talk about. We consider these topics the "Gray Areas" in the industry. Lead on camera by Jason O'Neil & female co-host, GMR travels to venues, studio sessions, music conferences, showcases and sporting events to deliver entertainment based content that is rare, impactful and insightful to viewers. 

What is Gray Matter Report TV Like ?

GMR is a mix of MTV's Rap-Fix (hosted by Sway), Jim Lampley's Fight Game(HBO) with an in depth news component similar to Bloomberg West. Gray Matter Report
prides itself on delivering unbiased opinion based on numbers, sales history and current viability at market. O'Neil and Gray's opinion only gets involved when the artist, producer or brand is one they thoroughly respect
, champion, and co-sign as GMR Certified. That list is very short in an over saturated industry, and historically based in cultural context. GMR's goal is to show the history of the culture in respect to the Forefathers of the Hip-hop movement( Dance, Dj's, Art, MCing, Knowledge(learning), Street Commerce). The only way we can grow and move forward in a positive manner, is to know our past and from whence
we came.

Background

The creators and contributors of GMR are not merely fans of Music and Sports culture. They are live participants. O'Neil and Gray share 15 plus years of
retail management experience at some of the highest grossing music outlets in America(Marin County). O'Neil has firm background in journalism and media.Jason's perspective, knowledge,
and work ethic has set him apart at news papers, P-1 radio positions. Gray's journey from producer, artist, music exec, film exec(show producer) has been an unconventional path, yet it's his dream he continues to pursue . GMR analysis is a reflection of that path and his experiences. Gray's
background in producing/writing music, managing events & artists, and critiquing talent give
. GMR analysis is a reflection of that path and his experiences. Gray's background in producing/writing music, managing events & artists critiquing talent gives the basis, understanding, and analysis for insights of every report. Successes, pitfalls and lessons of the industry are shared in the broadcast to shed light on unwritten laws and codes of the industry.

GrayMatterReport@yahoo.com


THE GRAY MATTER II3 REPORT ATLANTIC RECORDS ASSESSMENT JULY 2009

 

ATLANTIC RECORDS Artist Rosters: Hip-Hop and R&B

 

T

he basis of each label/artist A&R report is to give A&R's & music executives in the industry and beyond an understanding of the actual tangibility of an artist and or group entering or existing in the music industry today. These opinions will not be based solely on what I think is going to be successful or enjoy listening to, but what the consumers are buying and what the streets are talking about. This report will also be a barometer to the industry & streets in respect to timing of project/artists and how heavy competition inside the label drives artist to be dropped and or moved to other situations.

 

 The credibility of an artist in respect to how long the artist has been executing their craft on a major or underground level. Financial risk that pertains to an artist:

  • Case #1: an artist has invested in their business affairs (lawyers), marketing, even distribution of product.
  • Case #2: an artist that has no understanding or knowledge of the music industry previously.

 

Labels are looking for both artist/producers who have innate business savvy and know how to market their product (less risk & money conservation). Artist who do not know the business, will be taken advantage of and have no points of negotiation or discussion in contracts/business affairs.

 

Commissioned Report for Atlantic Records A&R/ Executives (Confidential)

 

ATLANTIC/ Hip-Hop Roster

 

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tlantic Records hip-hop roster is heavily based out of the south. In today’s ever-changing climate, the "dirty, dirty" is controlling much of the rap game in respect to sales and exposure. Aside from MAINO (Atlantic/Grand Hustle/Hustle Hard), who has generated immense national/regional street buzz with various mixtapes and singles "Hi Hater," "Hood Love," feat. Tre Songz, and "All The Above" feat T-Pain, is the sole NY hip-hop act on Atlantic. Previous acts: SIAGON (Amalgam Digital/Fort Knox), LIL' KIM (Universal Republic/Brookland) and Florida veteran TRICK DADDY (DunkRyders) have all left Atlantic for greener pastures. These losses were heavy but you might look at it as addition by subtraction, don’t forget MISSY ELLIOTT is still on Atlantic.  B.O.B (Atlantic/Grand Hustle/Rebel Rock) is an artist that reminds some of ANDRE 3000, with his eclectic rapid fire-rhyme style and ATLien approach. I believe that Atlantic will still put major money/support behind TI's projects after he gets over his legal mishaps, but as far as artists like: BIG KUNTRY KING, BG and YOUNG DRO, I don’t see them heavily supporting those releases. Grand Hustle's best bets are: TI, MAINO, B.O.B.

 


MISSY ELLIOTT (Atlantic/Goldmine) is a valued treasure in Atlantic's roster of artists who will stand the test of time. She has adapted thru the times and should garner heavy support from Atlantic when she decides to release new project. Artists from the south that are extremely hot include: GUCCI MANE (Atlantic/Warner/Asylum/So Icey). Why so many labels you ask? Gucci is hotter than ever and every one wants a piece. Gucci has a deal constructed to give the most support to album projects as he draws fans thru mixtape and live performances. All aforementioned labels will play a hand at some point when they feel Gucci will reach highest point to sell in the market. FLO RIDA (Atlantic/Poe Boy) has captivated consumers of all ethnic backgrounds with his dance fused classics & crossover appeal. Singles include: "Low," "Elevator," and "Right Round." Plies (Atlantic/Slip-N-Slide/ Big Gates), has pumped out "Shawty" feat. T-Pain and "Bust It Babey" remix feat. Ne-Yo and is poised to keep making good music that everyone can relate to. GUCCI MANE, FLO RIDA, and PLIES are the heavy weights on this label, in respect to rap at this moment. Let’s see if they can bear the responsibility of continuing a positive sales history. Artist such as PAULWALL(Atlantic/Asylum/Swisha-House), Webbi (Atlantic/Asylum/Trill ENT) and Juvenile (Atlantic/UPT) will all serve as the underground solid stable of artists that can still get major support if needed by Atlantic. PAUL WALL, WEBBI and JUEVENILE will all continue a moderate/good sales margin because they have built solid fan bases through out the south and beyond.

 

C

ONVERSELY, I don’t see major support or money going to these acts for marketing/promo. D4L (Warner/Elecktra/Atlantic) has a deal similarly positioned as GUCCI MANE but doesn’t have the track record of making consistently hot music. D4L's most notable members: SHAWTY LOW and FABO have experienced more success with their solo deals. Needless to say, Atlantic will not have a budget for D4L in the future; their best bet is independent. Aside from the South and NY, you have to go to Chicago, to find an active artist on Atlantic's roster. LUPE FIASCO (Atlantic/1st & 15th) had a great reception on KANYE WEST’s "Touch The Sky” which he followed up with his own smash single "Superstar!" If he doesn’t retire, LUPE FIASCO will be a fixture at Atlantic and garner good support for his projects.

 

ATLANTIC/ R&B Roster

 

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hen it comes to R&B, Atlantic has a good stable of artists and are focused on developing their emerging young male talent. Right away, MUSIQ SOULCHILD, JAHEIM (Atlantic/DivineMill), and TWEET (Atlantic/Goldmine), are the artists with the most sales history, but that’s from 5-8 years ago.  The current trend of the industry is that it’s a “Young Man’s Game.” That’s why you will see TRE SONGZ (Atlantic/Songbook), YOUNG STEFF (Atlantic/Richcraft), PRETTY RICKEY, and PLEASURE P (Atlantic/BlueStar), get much of the attention over at the Atlantic offices. These artists represent a new generation of R&B male vocalists who are aiming for the top spot. I believe TRE SONGZ will assume the position as the top young-male crooner in the game. What makes him different are the songs he selects to record and overall swagg when approaching the ladies. TRE SONGZ will be a hot commodity on Atlantic for many years to come.

 

 

E

ven though I would like to see Atlantic get behind artists such as KELIS and former NAS signed QUAN (Atlantic/Fort Knocks), I don’t see it happening; both artists have been on the down low because of personal and business issues. I hope to see some hot mixtapes and/or appearances on new projects by KELIS and QUAN. ESTELLE (Atlantic/Home School) got off to a good start with her "American Boy" single over seas and in the US. ESTELLE has been the most successful female R&B artist on Atlantic for a couple years; look for her next releases to be a foundation for herself and her label. Adversely, an artist in the opposite situation: DEMMI (Atlantic/Family Ties) is an artist who had a great single "Sound Track to My Life" but did not follow it up on her full-length debut album. DEMMI is a great talent but I don’t think she will get another shot on Atlantic because of the tight budget. DEMMI's best bet is Indy because of the fan base she has and continues to develop.

 

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