New Technology with Nostalgic Values EQUAL reasons why you need to watch…
Written by: Malik Pollard
Once upon a time there existed Television Shows such as “Yo MTV Raps” with Fab 5 Freddy and Dr. Dre, and “Da Basement” with the Mayor Chris Thomas and later with Big Tigger. As a young teenager (and young adult), I used to come home and turn on one if not both of these shows every day. Shows such as these introduced me and millions of other kids of my generation to music (especially hip hop) from areas of the country I have never visited or knew nothing about. However, through artists music and music videos, I was able to connect to sounds of the South like “Crunk” Music, to the “New Orleans Gumbo” as Master P. called the sound from Louisiana, to St. Louis’ sound introduced by Nelly and the St. Lunatics, to the “Chopped and Screwed” syrup from Houston, to the laid back and Funk tracks mixed in with Hard (Gangsta) lyrics coming out of the West Coast.
You see, radio was very conservative, and for an artist to break into the mainstream was very difficult. There wasn’t any YouTube or Social Media in those days. What was present, was two upstart networks whose demographic catered to Generation X, and a lot of untapped music that was being put to visuals. Crazy as it may sound, but Hip Hop Artists should credit Michael Jackson for creating the music video scene with his release of Thriller. That’s right I said it MICHAEL JACKSON. Everyone ran home to see that video on December 2, 1983 on MTV. That was the first time I had ever seen or heard of MTV. However, it was then that MTV became the resource for music videos and for decades, it was music videos that became the foundation for it to grow. Music videos partly by Artists that couldn’t get seen or noticed in any other way.
So as MTV is building, another thing was happening in the streets of New York City. Rap and Hip Hop was growing, and word was getting around. So by 1988, MTV introduced the country to Rap through “Yo MTV Raps” and ‘B-Boys’ all over the 5 Burroughs were getting on. But how did this happen: Well any artist looking for a deal will tell you that the way you get heard is through the Clubs and DJ’s. It’s simple: The DJ’s are in the clubs spinning records. He/She puts your music in rotation, and it the crowd is feeling your song, the DJ continues to play your music. So while ‘Yo MTV Raps’ was helping East Coast rap all points north, what about the rest of the country. Well you can think BET for that. Black Entertainment Television started as strictly ALL Music ALL The Time, and had shows from ‘Video Soul’ to ‘Da Basement’ to ‘BET Uncut’. Whatever BET didn’t have, The Box made up for by allowing people to see music videos of their favorite artists through a pay per view service. And this folks is how I became aware of music from all over the country from my living room.
“But What Happened?” This is a question that I asked Kevin Ray Co-Founder of VLive America. Somewhere after 1995 when MTV shifted to more Reality TV, and later BET was acquired by Viacom who also owns MTV, the focus changed. Slowly Music Video shows began to disappear and the music industry and how it promoted its’ artists also changed. No more Record Pool Meetings, No more Artist Meet and Greets, Press Junkets, reporting video playlists…ALL GONE; and so was the ability for artists to gain that instant nationwide fanbase. But wait a minute. One formula still remains, the Club! For the South, that club is the STRIP CLUB. I remember the first time I interviews Ying Yang Twins and they told me, “We became popular because our music played in all the Strip Clubs in Atlanta, and then in the South.” Enter in Damon ‘DC7Up’ Cobbs, a self-made black businessman who is top-ranked amongst the gentlemen’s entertainment industry (That’s a proper way of saying The Strip Club Industry). He has 10 of the hottest nightclubs skillfully placed amongst some of the hottest cities in the country and internationally. Damon is responsible for launching some of the hottest Hip Hop Artists you are listening to on your Pandora, Spotify, Google Music, iTunes, you name it today. He is one of the Reasons why ladies are having a “Hot Girl Summer” from Megan Thee Stallion and everyone “Yeah, Yeah” with DaBaby. These and other songs emerging artists can be heard in the Club while ladies dance nightly. Before some of you instantly turn into ‘Holier Than Thou’ devout citizens and go passing judgement. The Gentlemen’s Entertainment Industry no longer carries that stigma of seedy individuals sneaking from their wives to watch scantily clad women. Have you been to a Strip Club Lately? There is a large percent of women there. More business men than you realize, and dare I say that business deals are made in three places: The Golf Course, Cigar Lounges, and Strip Clubs; and with VLive America that business will include music, and promoting Independent Artists.
VLive America is launching a first-of-its-kind streaming network to promote the hottest music entertainment and is seeking content from the top independent artists and performers around the globe. This streaming network, dedicated primarily to millennials, will feature exclusive music videos, interviews, concerts, news, documentaries and more. The goal of the VLive America network is to provide independent record labels, artists and producers a new way to get their music heard and gain premium exposure. VLive America network is dedicated to the music entertainment community by helping the next wave of hot new artists push their music while teaching them the best ways to reach consumers and make a profit. I spoke with Nicholas Stokes, the genius behind the Technology as well as Damon Cobbs, and Kevin Ray the two founders of the Network about the goals of VLive America which includes using today’s technology and the Technology of the future to bring back the days of MTV, and BET where artists were able to have a platform to showcase their music, and take control of their business. The beauty of VLive America is that as of now, IT IS FREE TO THE CONSUMER. So you don’t have to worry about paying a monthly fee. The Streaming Network will launch with a VLive Documentary that will show the life inside the club and the influence it has in the Entertainment Industry. Next up will be an Exclusive Concert Series, and of course music videos. The best part about it, VLive America is looking for Independent Artists, content creators, and producers, and its ALL Genres of music. So Artists, get you some good quality music videos together (we do mean good quality) and get ready to submit. You could be doing your own concert just based off you video, and/or having your music playing in the hottest Strip Clubs across the globe. That is Lit!