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THENEWPRINT: #Update: It Takes A Village / Music Is My Weapon Project

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Progress is inspirational! The base construction of the medical facility we set out to build for the village of Djati is completed! Once the interior is completed in the coming weeks, the 2000 plus villagers will finally have access to a proper treatment facility. Along with the school we built last year, the clinic is one of the only two free standing brick structures for miles. How did this happen? Desire and Compassion to make a difference. It Takes A Village is simply a project put together and executed by everyday working class people from all over the world, coming together for a common goal. I’m so proud to be a part of something so pure and unconditional. Be a part of the movement and get involved with future projects by joining the email list at: Peace Is My Religion.

A full bio for Hasan Salaam, as well as info on the project & more, can be found by clicking HERE

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In a post on the RIAA website, Liz Kennedy (Director, Communications and Gold & Platinum Program, RIAA) explains the adjustments to the 30-Day Rule for Digital Sales:

Going forward, sales of albums in digital format will become eligible on the release date, while sales of albums in physical format will still become eligible for certification 30 days after the release date.

Not only do we believe it’s sensible and logical to align digital album rules with those we have maintained for digital singles since the program’s inception, we also consider today’s move in line with our larger efforts to modernize the G&P Program to reflect the new music marketplace.   

The reality is that how fans consume music is changing, the music business is changing as labels and artists partner with a breathtaking array of new technology services, and the industry’s premier award recognizing artists’ commercial achievement should similarly keep pace.  In short, we’re continuing to move the 55-year-old program forward and it’s a good day when music sales diversification and innovative strategies meet the RIAA’s time-tested, gold standard requisites for certification. - Full article here.

- Jay-Z’s impact on the industry is felt once again. #Platinum #NewRules 

According to Seth Godin, you don’t need to like new art, but it helps to understand it …

When (part of) your marketplace embraces a ‘new’ that makes no sense to you, it’s essential you understand the point of view that’s leading people to embrace this new idea. No, you don’t have to cheer it on, collect it, support it or pretend you think it’s the greatest breakthrough ever. But yes, you probably need to understand why other people were touched, inspired or found something worth talking about.

Can you explain to me why some people wait in line for that car or that new restaurant? Do you understand why this person is being talked about online or promoted at work? Does it make sense to you that this canvas sells for five times as much as that one?

Denigrating art you don’t understand doesn’t hurt the art—it reveals something about your willingness to learn. - More via Seth Godin

THENEWPRINT: Writer’s Block & (Not) Finding Inspiration

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Dont worry about finding inspiration. It comes eventually.

Inspiration precedes the desire to create, not the other way around.

If you’re arranging your life in such a way that you need to make a lot of fuss between feeling the itch and getting to work, youre putting the cart before the horse….You have to find a way of working that makes it dead easy to take full advantage of your inspired moments. They never hit at a convenient time, nor do they last long.

Conversely, neither should you fret too much about writers block, artists block or whatever. If youre looking at a blank piece of paper and nothing comes to you, then go do something else. Writers block is just a symptom of feeling like you have nothing to say, combined with the rather weird idea that you SHOULD feel the need to say something.

Why?

If you have something to say, then say it. If not, enjoy the silence while it lasts. The noise will return soon enough. In the meantime, youre better off going out into the big, wide world, having some adventures and refilling your well. Trying to create when you dont feel like it is like making conversation for the sake of making conversation. Its not really connecting, its just droning on…

- from Hugh Macleod. Pick up ‘Ignore Everybody’ and ‘Evil Plans’

THENEWPRINT: Industry Lesson From Gianna Michaels

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Is your content more interesting than porn? Probably not. We are competing with a lot more than other artists or writers when we try to gain attention for our work. Our smart phones offer videos, games, social media, etc - all of which keep us entertained or merely distracted. As we attempt to amplify our messages and make a living in an industry that is seeing pricing move closer and closer to free - I thought it’d be interesting to see what someone in the adult-film industry was doing to capture attention under similar restraints. According to an interview with Gianna Michaels, she had the following to say …

Well, this is the time, because here is the reality check — everyone is going to get free porn. If people are going to get porn everywhere, you’ve got to give them something special. You build a website; offer a more personal experience — give the consumer an extra something — something personalized; some incentive that gets them to follow you and care what happens to you. Some people will be able to do this, and some won’t — I guess we’ll just see in a few years who’s still standing. 

Are you building personal connections? Creating a tribe of followers? Offering something different? Direct-to-fan? Well, this is the time …

THENEWPRINT: Six Daily Habits For Artists

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1. Sit alone; sit quietly.

2. Learn something new without any apparent practical benefit.

3. Ask individuals for bold feedback; ignore what you hear from the crowd.

4. Spend time encouraging other artists.

5. Teach, with the intent of making change.

6. Ship something that you created. 

- via Icarus Deception.

THENEWPRINT: Pharoahe Monch On Growth & Progress In His Music

I think any person who considers themselves an artist is just constantly trying to paint that next best picture or masterpiece, ya know? … so it never stops. When I go back to listen to the Organized Konfusion stuff, it’s very detailed and intricate, flow-wise. When I move to the ‘Internal Affairs’ stuff, it’s more the content and the emotion and the darkness of that record. Then we move to ‘Desire’ and it’s the light, and sun, and the soulfulness of the record - so all of those things are different experiences and it’s why people gravitate to these different Pharoahe Monch’s. Even still, I’ll be doing a show and I can tell certain audiences are like, “Do the dark shit!” “Kill somebody!” Blood!” *laughs* ya know?

Damn, its like so much has transcended from one thing to another and now with this “War” project - sonically - it sounds like it’s somewhere between ‘Internal Affairs’ and ‘Desire’. Production-wise and content, the sound, its crazy; its fuckin me up! I’m just referring back to different styles & content that are in these songs and I think it’s gonna be real provacative - it’ll provoke conversation between people about the content and more so than that … conversation about which is the best of the three albums. That’s exciting for me, because I’m a hip-hop fan and I would love to be outside of myself having that same conversation!

- from an interview I did with Pharoahe Monch in May ‘09.

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