Monday, January 09, 2012

Mos deaf

Blaze a stage or blaze a J? Tough choices for Mos Def

Auckland-based music promoter Dave Roper posted a link earlier this afternoon on Twitter, pointing to a story on  Mos Def's fraught Australian tour, and the huge problems around it for  Sam Speaight, the Australian promoter. Mos Def cancelled 4 out of 11 shows, leaving the Oz promoter with a net loss of around A$250,000. 

Roper said on Twitter: "Haven't listened to one Mos Def track since we promoted the Akl show. ..and that article on Mos Def and his management is actually quite tame in my opinion. Sam could have said a lot more if he wanted to... Most narcissistic of any artist toured in my 15+ years of promoting..." 

example: Mos Def's tour manager cancels a show that's already been rescheduled, then a few hours later, Speaight gets a message from Mos Def's managers, asking “Are there any other shows that we can play on this tour? Can you please investigative booking us some more shows? We would like to try and play some more shows.” .. no wonder he ended up in tears over this tour...

Speaight talks about dealing with other US hiphop artists...

"... There’s a total lack of management expertise anywhere in this end of the industry. This is the immediate reason that drives these outcomes. The people managing these artists couldn’t manage a bet in a casino, you know? Most of the time they’re friends. Very rarely are they reputable managers. A lot of music industry managers are friends, I guess. This isn’t uncommon in the entertainment business. But there’s a culture of doing business in a very haphazard and sloppy fashion that permeates the US hip-hop world. That shines through when you’ve got a manager who isn’t qualified, and also isn’t expected to do a good job. So they don’t.

"Of course that’s a broad brush stroke; I don’t want to paint every hip-hop manager with that. Conversely to my experience with Mos Def, I’ve done five Australian tours with De La Soul. Their manager is an absolute dream to work with. He’s an incredibly diligent, focused guy who does an amazing job of managing his clients to get results. Unfortunately he’s the exception as opposed to the rule..."

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