In music news, industry heavy weight Lyor Cohen is back with his own new record label called 300 which ironically is getting distributed by one of the companies that reported to him when he was the head of music at Warner Music Group, Atlantic Records! Lyor is starting 300 with his long time music colleagues Kevin Liles(ex-EVP Warner Music) And Todd Moscowitz(ex-Warner Bros president) but they’ve been colleagues since way before their days at Warner Music Group and they’ve done legendary things in the industry especially in HipHop.
You’ve probably seen the movie 300 and know that the name comes from the Greek history of the 300 Spartans that fought in a vicious battle against thousands of Persian soldiers in 480 BC and according to Lyors interview with Billboard:
“It was a battle that changed the way wars are fought,” says Cohen. “These guys found that if you were well synchronized, strategic, loyal with great planning and preparedness you could do much more with less and be highly effective.”
Cohen’s thinking is that having a smarter, nimbler, more efficiently run music company that uses fewer resources to do more for artists has become necessary in the 21st Century music business. The idea is to better align cost structure to the industry’s current needs, where many new artists are naturally entrepreneurial by marketing and building buzz themselves on platforms like YouTube, Twitter and Instagram.
What 300 is also trying to be is a “content” company rather than a record label and from the sounds of it they want to work more closely with artist, help them build on their online presence and create even bigger opportunities for artist. It sounds like 300 is looking to be an indie label on steroids 🙂
Now all that sounds good and I’m feeling the 300/Sparta approach but I’m curious to know if they’re gonna continue down the 360 road with artist? Lyor played a huge roll in that “360 Deal” agenda and any artist in their right mind shouldn’t event consider that type of deal imo. Also will they start signing good HipHop acts again? Once upon a time when Lyor,Todd and Kevin were at Def Jam, they not only had some of the biggest names in HipHop running things, they actually had really good HipHop acts running things! There’s a big void in HipHop mostly because the majors are letting radio and the so called “music video” networks control the game. Between Lyor, Todd and Kevin they can take some of these “Real” HipHop acts and get them in places they wouldn’t be able to reach on their own. I wanna see if 300 is willing to fight that battle. Are they gonna fight for real HipHop? That’s where their roots are, they came from HipHop. Lyor is actually a HipHop Legend as far as executives go, he had a very long rich history in HipHop and it’s part of the reason why he’s where he’s at today. Only time will tell if that’s gonna happen.
Now I got mad love for Todd, he’s a really good dude but He’s green lighted some of the worst Rap acts in the game during his time at Asylum and Warner, I get it….those wack acts brought in a lot of money but dayum! If he’s handling the HipHop side of things at 300 hopefully he’ll sign better, realer HipHop acts this time around. Kevin stays on his R&B grind and I’m pretty excited to see what kinds of acts he’s gonna bring to the table, I already know he’ll have Musiq The Soulchild in the mix :). And Lyor is the mad genius who’s always on the verge of doing big things, I’m sure everyone in the industry is interested to see what the future holds for 300 under the leadership of Lyor. I’m excited he’s back but I knew he wouldn’t be gone from the music biz for long! I wish them great success! Check out whole article on 300 on Billboard.com