"You just gotta mine it"

April 12, 2014


Interviewer:
"Do you get inspired by artists now? ...A lot of new music to me, I know it makes me sound like an old head, but it just don't sound the same. It just don't feel the same."

Jay Z: "Nah, there's good music. You just gotta mine for it. I mean, before, I felt there was an abundance of it. But that's what happens with anything successful. 

[In the beginning] people were rapping because they loved to rap. And then it became this huge business, this multi-billion dollar business, so people that didn't even care to rap were like, 'I'm gonna figure out how to get some money in this.' So you had people who could rap a little bit, and saw it as a hustle. 

Then you had guys, CEO [types], rapping. And this is no disrespect to anyone... but like, B.I.G. told Puff, 'Yo, you should rap.' Puff wasn't a rapper. And he sold 7 million records. It might be more now, you know, with the catalog. But he sold 7 million records with No Way Out. He had never rapped before. 

When people see that, they emulate that. And now you have all kinds of CEOs rapping... it's flooded with guys who aren't rappers. So you just gotta mine it. You'll find good music still, it's just more difficult to find."

I've been catching up on 105.1 Breakfast Club interviews (Charlamagne and company.) 
I especially liked t
he latest sit-down they had this past fall with Jay Z. 

S
tarting at around 5:20 in the video embedded above, he says some good things
 about hip-hop, which could also apply in some ways to what's happened in tech in recent years, as the concept of startup "success" has gotten mainstream attention. 

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Lauren Santo Domingo on doing your own thing

April 1, 2014


"I strongly believe
that that the biggest mistake one can make in life is to listen too much to other people."

-- Lauren Santo Domingo, in a good Q&A with blogger Mark D. Sikes. 

LSD is someone with whom I intrinsically have very little in common (she was born wealthy in New England and has the Bergdorf blonde hair and style and savvy and je ne sais quoi that goes along with all of that, in addition to being a founder of a successful company.) I just dig that she is so unabashedly who she is. 

Let's hope that no matter how big her business gets, no image consultant ever makes her shut down her Instagram or Twitter accounts -- they give a wonderfully voyeuristic look into a rarefied lifestyle.
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Priorities in hiring

Feb. 25, 2014
"I love having talented people around me to help me... I'm not scared of talent. I'm scared of bitches, but I'm not scared of talent."

Lanvin designer Alber Elbaz had an Interview Magazine-style conversation with Dr. Sanjay Gupta in the March issue of Harper's Bazaar. I especially liked this part, where Elbaz talks about who he surrounds himself with at work.

I've blogged about Elbaz before -- the clothes he designs are pretty, and he always says interesting things.
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A perfect conduit

Jan. 28, 2014


“...he is the
perfect conduit: just sophisticated enough to talk to sophisticates, just hayseed enough to seem astounded by what they tell him.”

--Nora Ephron in a January 1967 profile of Johnny Carson published in the New York Post

Vanity Fair published a really good story on Johnny Carson's rise in this month's issue. I've always heard about the massive impact Carson had on American culture, but never quite got it myself until now. 

The article included part of the snappy Nora Ephron quote excerpted above, starting at "just sophisticated enough..." -- I found the beginning of it thanks to a search on Google Books. It explains the Iowa-born, Nebraska-bred Carson's appeal perfectly.

Here is another interesting stat, from another VF article published this month: At its peak, Johnny Carson's Tonight Show had an audience of more than 15 million viewers per night. At the moment, Leno's Tonight Show has around 3.7 million viewers.


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