Rap veteran Nas recently penned an article on his take of the music industry and, specifically, the impact of social networking sites like Twitter on an artist’s life span.
In Nasty Nas’ Tech Crunch piece, the hip-hop mogul pointed out the importance of artists staying fine-tuned into their fans.
“More than ever, entertainment is about self-promotion — using the power of your fans through social media to market live shows and new business ventures and move a few records. The direct connection to the fans is not just freeing artists from the old corporate structure; it’s redefining the relationship between creator and audience. When piracy hit the entertainment industry, artists were distraught and began distrusting their own fan bases. In truth, it was a response borne from confusion rather than logic. The passion the fans had for what we were creating never went away; we just had to evolve to survive in the new digital world. A huge aspect of that evolution is offering a glimpse into your lifestyle — being more accessible. The power that Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram offer is immense. Being an artist today is not only about being creative in what you produce, but finding creative ways to show people what you’re doing. Artists everywhere took notice when Louis C.K. sold his stand-up special and show tickets without a network backing him on the promotion and distribution. That truly was innovation at its best. [sic]” (Tech Crunch)
He also pointed out the evolution of technoloy going beyond the lanes paved by e-commerce sites like Amazon and eBay.
“To me, that’s inspirational. That’s bringing things full circle and is the kind of independent triumph that will allow artists to create freely and reap the full benefit of their craft. It is this same type of innovation that has defined and revolutionized the landscape of Silicon Valley, especially within the confines of e-commerce. I truly believe we are at an incredible inflection point in the consumer retail experience: Just how Amazon and eBay opened the railways to a new universe of available products, and Groupon allowed for the discovery of local activities to become accessible and affordable, new resources are changing the entire game once again. We now live in a world where, instead of subscribing to a GQ or Vogue to read about what’s new, everyday people can substitute this reading for experiencing, and have goods delivered to them based on their likes and personality. It’s style-made-easy, and will change the way we shop forever. Companies like Five Four Club and Trunk Club are taking the difficulty out of discovery by making personal styling a painless and fun exercise in exploration, expertise, and a bit of surprise. [sic]” (Tech Crunch)
Earlier this summer, Nasir Jones talked about launching his 12 Society lifestyle website.
“To me the 12 Society thing is just people like myself and other people that are involved connecting with the people, giving them some insight on our lifestyle and making the people a part of it,” Nas told MTV News on Tuesday. For Nas, the 12 Society experience is an extension of his music. On 1996’s “Street Dreams,” the Nasty one rapped about his David Robinson Nike sneakers, Guess jeans and Clarks Wallabee moccasins; it was like a lyrical fashion tutorial. It’s a style that Nas still employs. On “The Don,” he name-drops high-end brands like Roberto Cavalli as well as his favorite rugged army-green jacket, which he rhymed about on his classic 1994 single “It Ain’t Hard to Tell.” “It comes from music, it comes from me talking about certain kicks and sneakers I might like,” he said. “With 12 Society you don’t have to just listen to me talk about a certain shirt, you’ll get that. You’ll get that delivered to you.” (MTV)
Last year, rap mogul Jay-Z launched his own Life + Times lifestyle website.
“I started working on it in its various incarnations over a year ago,” Hov revealed. “I’ve thought about it forever. You know how it works, seeing other sites and being either inspired or saying, ‘That’s sh*t. I would do it like …’ [How do we post content?] Well there is a basic metric for what we cover but, more importantly, I believe it’s how we cover it. The DNA is to basically let the subject speak for itself. We don’t want to tell you what to think. As far as how personal? I would say it has to pique my interest…I think it’s every human’s job to inspire others, to feed one another’s senses. Inspiration begets inspiration times infinity. Imagine if the person that was inspired to create the phonograph didn’t share it with the world.” (GOOP)
Check out a recent Nas interview below: