Trapital

Trapital

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hip-hop business + strategy


Roy Wood Jr. on How 2020 Changed Comedy, His Comedy Central Partnership, and Why Alabama Means So Much to Him
Jul 7 • 39 min
Comedian, actor, writer, and producer Roy Wood Jr. came through to talk about how the pandemic and uprisings, all the “lost tapes” from 2020, how comics have shifted, why he partnered with Comedy Central, and why his home state of Alabama means so much to…
The Steve Jobs of Gap?
Jul 3 • 12 min
An audio version of the Trapital essay: Why Kanye West’s Gap Deal is a Risk to Yeezy. Yeezy’s new partnership with the struggling apparel company is a threat to the brand that Kanye West built. Host: Dan Runcie, @RuncieDan, trapital.co Link: Why Kanye…
Hovain Hylton and Busy Rivera on Cinematic Music Group’s Rise, and Turning the Brand into a Lifestyle
Jun 30 • 37 min
Cinematic Music’s President, Hovain Hylton and Head of Creative, Busy Rivera came through the Trapital Podcast to talk about leading the independent record label and management company, doing more with less than the major record labels, and managing the…
Build Your Table
Jun 14 • 11 min
Another solo episode in light of recent events, and an audio version of this week’s Trapital article, “Why Ownership Matters More in Hip-Hop.” The system hasn’t always had hip-hop’s best interest at heart, so its artists are more likely to take control.…
Hip-Hop’s Role in the Fight for Justice
Jun 5 • 13 min
This Trapital Podcast is a solo episode in light of this week’s events, the music industry’s actions in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, and this week’s Trapital article, “How Hip-Hop Pushed Companies to Fight for Racial Justice.” Listen: Apple Podcasts…
Trapital Mailbag #3: How Hip-Hop Makes Money in a Pandemic, Superproducers in the Streaming Era, What’s Next for Fortnite + Travis Scott, and more!
May 12 • 32 min
Round 3! Here are the most pressing questions from Trapitalists: Do smaller indie acts fare better during the pandemic? Is Tekashi 6ix9ine worthy of a marketing case study? What’s next for Travis Scott + Fortnite? And a whole lot more. Tune in! Host: Dan…
Tiffany Ballard on Music Business Law, Why Bad Deals Still Happen, How She Made Connections on Myspace, and Her Time on Reality TV
May 5 • 42 min
Entertainment lawyer Tiffany Ballard came on the Trapital Podcast to talk about how she rose in the music industry. She spoke about using Myspace to find opportunities and discover artists like Nicki Minaj. We also spoke about bad record deals and why…
Zack O’Malley Greenburg (2019)
Apr 28 • 35 min
Since Kanye West is now a billionaire, let’s revisit the podcast I recorded in September with Zack O’Malley Greenburg, Senior Editor of Media & Entertainment at Forbes. We talked about Forbes’ annual Hip-Hop Cash List, why artists like Cardi B and Meek…
Ibrahim “Ib” Hamad on Building Dreamville, Managing J. Cole, the Dollar & a Dream Tour, and Starting the Dreamville Fest
Apr 14 • 46 min
Dreamville President, co-founder, and J. Cole’s manager Ibrahim “Ib” Hamad came on the Trapital Podcast to talk about how him and J. Cole started Dreamville, and how it became what it is today. Ib also broke down what changed for Dreamville in 2014, the…
Shawn Prez on the Bad Boy Street Team, Grassroots Marketing in Hip-Hop, and Starting the Global Spin Awards
Apr 7 • 48 min
Music executive Shawn Prez came on the Trapital Podcast to talk about his days as Bad Boy’s VP of Marketing, what set Bad Boy’s Street Team apart, breaking hit records, the Ciroc Boyz, his work at Power Moves Inc., and why he decided to launch an award…
Hannibal Buress on How Netflix Changed Comedy, His Investing Strategy, and Why Isola Fest is One of His Favorite Career Moments
Mar 31 • 45 min
The hilarious comedian Hannibal Buress came on the Trapital Podcast to talk about how he’s adjusted to quarantine life, how he prioritizes his multiple business interests (touring, comedy specials, acting, investing), Netflix’s impact on comedy specials,…
Mike Weissman - President, SoundCloud (2019)
Mar 26 • 36 min
Mike Weissman, President of SoundCloud, came on the Trapital Podcast to talk about the streaming company’s business model, how it compares to a tech accelerator, SoundCloud’s growth in the Middle East, SoundCloud rap, and what sets the company apart from…
Akin Aliu - Music Touring Agent, CAA (2019)
Mar 17 • 40 min
CAA music touring agent Akin Aliu came on the pod to talk about the BET Awards, representing Ciara, Freddie Gibbs, and Becky G, the NCAA’s “Rich Paul Rule,” and why agents break out on their own. (Originally published October 21, 2019)
James Supreme - A&R at Universal Music Publishing Group (2019)
Mar 10 • 44 min
James Supreme, A&R at Universal Music Publishing Group, came on the pod to talk about his role in Lil’ Nas X’s second hit song “Panini”, the differences managing black rappers and white rappers, working with Beyonce’s Parkwood Entertainment team on The…
Trapital Mailbag #2! D-Smoke’s Potential, Lovers & Friends Fest, Jay Z the Wartime Leader, The Cost of Album Bundles, and Def Jam…oh Def Jam
Mar 3 • 30 min
This is Round 2! Here are the most pressing questions from Trapitalists: How successful will the Lovers & Friends Fest be? Was Jay Z’s tenure as Def Jam CEO a success? Should artists bundle albums with digital products to reduce costs? My thoughts on Mr.…
Lynzie Riebling on Gen Hip Hop, Quantifying the Power of the Hip-Hop Audience, and REVOLT’s Role in the Culture
Feb 24 • 44 min
REVOLT’s VP of Insights & Strategy Lynzie Riebling came through to talk about Revolt’s new study Gen Hip Hop, key findings from the study (did you know gen hip hop has a buying power of $438 billion?!), why this work matters, Revolt’s competition, and…
Karl Fowlkes on Music Business Law, Combat Jack’s Influence, and Why He Hopes There are Less Lawyers in 20 Years
Feb 18 • 46 min
The Fowlkes Firm founder and music business professor Karl Fowlkes talked about his experience as an entertainment lawyer, why he fights for producers rights, music publishing exams, trends in digital streaming, the late Combat Jack (Reggie Ossé), and his…
Jesse Kirshbaum on Nue Agency’s Brand Marketing, #CRWN Interview Series, and the Future of Award Shows
Feb 11 • 45 min
Nue Agency Founder and CEO Jesse Kirshbaum talked about his company’s transition from talent to brand partnerships. We also talked about his brand activation deals with Sour Patch Kids and Tidal, The Grammys, the Super Bowl Halftime Show, upcoming awards…
Tarik Brooks on Combs Enterprises, Diddy’s Investment Strategy, and Managing a Portfolio of Brands
Feb 4 • 45 min
Combs Enterprises COO Tarik Brooks came on the Trapital Podcast to talk his role managing the Combs Enterprises portfolio of brands, which includes Ciroc, Bad Boy Entertainment, Revolt, Sean John, AquaHydrate, and more. We talked about how to measure…
Steve Stoute on UnitedMasters, Partnership with Apple Music, Ownership in Hip-Hop, and Why Brands Value Indie Artists
Jan 27 • 31 min
UnitedMasters and Translation CEO Steve Stoute came through the Trapital Podcast to talk with Dan Runcie about ownership in hip-hop, why the music distribution company partnered with the NBA, Apple Music, and NBA 2K. We also talked about brands that use…
Fantasy Record Labels? We’re Skeptical. (a Trapital - Water & Music Collaboration with Cherie Hu)
Jan 21 • 46 min
Water & Music creator and music journalist Cherie Hu came on the Trapital Podcast to discuss why “fantasy football for music” hasn’t taken off. Her and I did a mutual newsletter takeover where we both researched the topic and wrote separate articles in…
Milana Lewis on Stem’s Artist-First Strategy, How it Evolves in the Streaming Era, How the Company Makes Tough Decisions
Dec 16, 2019 • 47 min
Stem CEO and co-founder Milana Lewis came on the Trapital Podcast to talk about Stem’s role as a music distributor, how it worked with Frank Ocean and Childish Gambino, business decisions that impacted the artist community, diversity in the music…
Trapital Mailbag Special: Grammy Awards Woes, Young Rappers Most Likely to Become Moguls, and Thoughts on a Rappers Union
Nov 26, 2019 • 31 min
I opened up the Trapital Members mailbag and answered some of the most-pressing questions from Trapital Members: Should the digital streaming providers invest in e-commerce? Are the Spotify Awards a step-in-the-right-direction to recognize global music or…
Why Netflix’s ‘Rhythm + Flow’ Was a Hit
Nov 19, 2019 • 40 min
Ace “Call Me Ace” Patterson came back on the pod to break down Netflix’s Rhythm + Flow. We talked about what worked, what didn’t, how the hip-hop competition show compares to American Idol and Making the Band, and what we expect from Netflix next season!
Mike Weissman on SoundCloud’s Creator Strategy, How it Compares to a Startup Accelerator, and What it Means to be a SoundCloud Rapper
Nov 11, 2019 • 36 min
Mike Weissman, President of SoundCloud, came on the pod to talk about the streaming company’s business model, how it compares to a tech accelerator, SoundCloud’s growth in the Middle East, SoundCloud rap, and what sets the company apart from its…
Shea Serrano on the Economics of Book Publishing, ‘Movies (and Other Things),’ and How DJ Screw Inspired his Promotional Tactics
Nov 4, 2019 • 49 min
Shea Serrano, New York Times bestselling author and staff writer at The Ringer, came on the pod to chat about his strategy for his latest book ‘Movies (and Other Things),’ the pros and cons of selling independently vs. through a publisher, and how the…
DJ Semtex on UK Hip-Hop’s Moment, Stormzy and Skepta Becoming Stars, Brexit’s Impact on the Culture, and Why Radio Still Matters
Oct 28, 2019 • 47 min
DJ Semtex, award-winning DJ, radio host, author, and podcast, came on the pod to talk about the moment UK is having in hip-hop, how Brexit has impacted the hip-hop landscape, why he still loves radio. He even asked me some questions too! Tune in.
Akin Aliu on Life as a CAA Agent, Representing Ciara, and the “Rich Paul Rule”
Oct 21, 2019 • 40 min
Akin Aliu, Music Touring Agent at the Creative Artists Agency, came on the pod to talk about the BET Awards, representing Ciara, Freddie Gibbs, and Becky G, the NCAA’s “Rich Paul Rule,” and why big-time agents break out on their own.
James Supreme on Being the A&R Behind Lil’ Nas X “Panini”, G-Eazy’s Management Team, and why Mental Health Matters in the Industry
Oct 10, 2019 • 44 min
James Supreme, A&R at Universal Music Publishing Group, came on the pod to talk about his role in Lil’ Nas X’s second hit song “Panini”, the differences managing black rappers and white rappers, working with Beyonce’s Parkwood Entertainment team on The…
Dame Ritter on Kanye West’s Sunday Services, Launching Music Entrepreneur Club, and How He Almost Signed Russ to a Deal
Oct 8, 2019 • 45 min
Dame Ritter, Founder and CEO of the Music Entrepreneur Club, came on the podcast to talk about the latest with Kanye West and his infamous Sunday Services. We also talked about Dame’s journey launching and running the Funk Volume record label, the…
Zack O’Malley Greenburg on the Forbes Hip-Hop Cash List, the Controversy it Causes, and What it Took to Declare that Jay Z is a Billionaire
Sep 26, 2019 • 35 min
Zack O’Malley Greenburg, Senior Editor of Media & Entertainment at Forbes, came through the Trapital Podcast to talk about the Forbes’ annual Hip-Hop Cash List. We talked about the artists like Cardi B and Meek Mill who question the results, the integrity…
50 Cent is a Habitual Line Stepper
Sep 12, 2019 • 42 min
Dan is joined by Ace Patterson (hip-hop artist ‘Call Me Ace,’ Consumer Marketing at Facebook). They break down how 50 Cent built a brand on shock value, why he raises hell on social media, whether he’s changed his style, and why he’ll never get canceled.
Moody Jones on marketing for Snoop Dogg, EMPIRE’s digital strategy, and why he wants to work with Childish Gambino
Aug 23, 2019 • 39 min
Moody Jones, Head of Digital at EMPIRE, came through the Trapital Podcast to chat about his experience marketing for artists like Iggy Azalea, Tyga, XXXTentacion, and Snoop Dogg. He also broke down why he wants to work with Childish Gambino, and dropped…
RapCaviar’s Big Advantage
Aug 9, 2019 • 9 min
Dan explains why Spotify’s RapCaviar playlist still has a competitive advantage over its competitors and why that won’t change anything soon. But that doesn’t mean the other digital streaming providers should give up! Each competing playlist can still…
Roc Nation’s Wild Year
Aug 1, 2019 • 9 min
Dan breaks down Roc Nation’s wild and eventful 2019—a bunch of execs got fired, there are new co-presidents for the record label, and a new joint venture record label with Meek Mill: Dream Chasers. There’s been A LOT going on, but the company needs to be…
The Hip-Hop Partnership Flywheel
Jul 23, 2019 • 9 min
Dan breaks down why distribution is so critical for today’s hip-hop artists and how it has created a partnership flywheel that benefits Jay Z, Rihanna, and countless others. Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | SoundCloud | YouTube | RSS Host: Dan Runcie,…
No Tour, No Problem for Cardi B
Jul 15, 2019 • 9 min
Dan breaks down why Cardi B has held out on a major tour, why she’s on the festival circuit instead, and whether her model is one that other rappers can follow.
Mathew Knowles on Beyoncé’s Streaming Strategy, Solange’s Marketing, and Dinner with Jay Z or $50,000
Jul 8, 2019 • 39 min
Mathew Knowles, founder and CEO of Music World Entertainment came through the Trapital podcast to talk shop on Beyoncé and her streaming strategy with Netflix and Tidal, Solange and BlackPlanet, and the burning internet question: Would you rather have…