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  • “TINC 2: the funeral service” - Fabolous

    In the Spring of 2010, multi-platinum artist Fabolous approached By Any Means to shoot visuals for his forthcoming mixtape, There Is No Competition 2: The Funeral Service (Hosted by DJ Drama). What began as a strictly visual campaign quickly ballooned into a full-on marketing blitz, at once cementing Fabolous as an elite artist, and establishing him as one of the pioneers of viral content.

    Challenge:
    Re-establish Fabolous’ identity and brand as an elite hip-hop artist with both underground credentials and mainstream appeal.

    Solution:
    An integrated marketing campaign designed to create synergy across all platforms of social media, an increased viral presence, and stunning visuals, drastically different from what was expected of both the artist and the genre itself.
     
    Tactics:

    • Conceptualized, produced, and directed four music videos:
      • Mr. RIP (Trailer)
      • Body Ya
      • I’m Raw
      • Tonite / Love Come Down
    • Created custom Twitter & Facebook backgrounds and images, to increase synergy throughout the project
    • Strategized and executed viral campaigns via social networking sites
    • Coordinated viral video release dates with taste-making blogs & websites
    • Provided creative consultation and brand management services, ensuring all materials related to the project were properly representative of the artists’ vision
    • Edited custom Best Buy and BET television spots for the ensuing re-release of the free mixtape as an official EP (see below)

    Results:

    • Over 500,000 downloads of the mixtape online
    • Over 2.5 million collective views for visuals off the mixtape
    • Permitted Def Jam to re-relase the mixtape as an EP, titled “There Is No Competition 2: The Grieving Music EP”, which featured videos for “You Be Killin’ Em” and “Lights Out”; also produced and directed by By Any Means
    • New EP Peaked at #9 Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums
    • The video for "You Be Killin' Em" went to #1 on both MTV and BET, a first for the artist
    • Peaked at #4 Billboard Top Rap Albums
  • “untitled” - nas

    A bonafide hero, Nas’ second album under the equally revered Def Jam label was both highly anticipated and controversial upon its announcement. Known for being the voice of the voiceless, Nas graduated from promising prodigy to cementing his legacy; and “Nigger”, as the album was originally called, was as much a call-to-arms as it was an album title (arriving just months after the Michael Richards fiasco).

    Challenge:
    Create album artwork at once symbolic of the album’s original title, and its more mainstream-accessible name (“Untitled”), while maintaining the integrity of the album’s central theme.

    Solution:
    An iconic photoshoot, in collaboration with celebrated photographer Danny Clench, and with art direction & design by BAM’s own TaVon Sampson, combined with vigorously researched historical imagery re-imagining the album’s theme, were used to maintain the original concept, while at the same time working under retailer-mandated guidelines.
     
    Tactics:

    • A creative call between Nas and renowned artist Ernie Barnes, spearheaded by BAM’s TaVon Sampson, provided the initial discussions into the creative direction
    • Album Cover idea was finalized on a Friday; Nas photographed on a Saturday; and the final cover artwork submitted by Monday
    • The inner album packaging, with historic, iconic, and often gut-wrenching images, meant to mirror the songs on the album, were chosen under careful artistic scrutiny by Nas, TaVon Sampson, and Def Jam’s legal department

    Results:

    • Named as one of the “Best Album Covers of 2008” by Rolling Stone magazine’s readers (Reader’s Rock List, 2008)
    • Named #5 Best Album Cover of 2008 by GigWise, as well as #4 Best Album Cover of the 2000s
    • Described as “shocking, thought-provoking, and un-settling” by editors of Ugo.com (a subsidiary of media conglomerate IGN),  signifying the success of balancing mainstream regulations with Nas’ artistic integrity


    http://www.rollingstone.com/music/pictures/readers-rock-list-best-album-covers-of-2008-20081208/2008-albums-of-the-year-nas-untitled-58206920

    http://ilovetorockout.webs.com/apps/photos/photo?photoid=139839084

    http://www.gigwise.com/photos/48261/26/the-best-album-covers-of-2008

    http://www.gigwise.com/photos/53079/47/the-50-best-album-covers-of-the-2000s

  • “TIL THE CASKET DROPS” - CLIPSE
    With their underground credibility and respect intact, the Clipse were coming off of universal praise for a slew of underground mixtapes, but still lacked the mainstream attention they so justly deserved. Elsewhere, By Any Means was ascending the music-marketing ladder and the two entities converged to change the face of hip-hop marketing forever with “Till The Casket Drops.”

    Challenge:
    Take underground sensation, the Clipse, and give them both mainstream visibility and success, while also shedding new light on an otherwise untapped project.

    Solution:
    Increase the Clipse’s visibility outside of the hip-hop realm; working alongside their manager Steven Victor, and industry veteran Ferris Bueller. Generate awareness for their new album while focusing on creating “The Clipse” as a brand. Release original content showcasing another side to Pusha T and Malice, which has never been seen before; giving their audience a closer look at the artistic depth that goes into the creation of each Clipse album or mixtape.
     
    Tactics:

    • Conceptualized a USB drive, shaped as a casket (in line with the album’s theme) to be sold as a ‘Deluxe Edition’ album, exclusively at Best Buy, Target, and the groups’ website for $20
    • Worked with Sony Records to increase the album’s budget by introducing one-of-a-kind, custom “baggies”, created in limited quantity, which featured:

      • Logos on their cover (mimicking authenticity of actual drug baggies)
      • Prayer cards (keeping with the “casket” theme), with album lyrics printed on them
      • Sample CDs
      • Stickers
    • Strategized and executed a custom photoshoot (filling a casket with fake money), which became synonymous with the album’s imaging
    • Provided hands-on creative consultation on videos for “Kind of Like A Big Deal”, featuring Kanye West, and “Popeyes”, featuring Cam’ron
    • Acted as liason and directed creative communications between Sony Records Marketing and the Clipse; securing input from producer Pharrell Williams

    Results:

    • Peaked at #16, Billboard U.S. Top Digital Albums
    • Peaked at #9, Billboard  Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums
    • Peaked at #3, Billboard  U.S. Top Rap Albums
    • Cover of Complex Magazine (Oct/Nov 2009)
    • Press write-ups in influential online music blogs Pitchfork, XXL, BILLBOARD and Many More
    • Custom baggies becoming a collector’s item among hip-hop connoisseurs
    • Solidified Pusha T as a viable solo artist
  • “PRAY IV REIGN” - JIM JONES

    Some may call it a coincidence or luck, others may call it fate, but we prefer to call it what it is — an ear hustling, hungry marketer jumping on his opportunity to work with Jim Jones and Dame Dash.

    Challenge:
    Position Jim Jones as a mainstream artist.

    Solution:
    Increase Jim Jones’ visibility beyond the rap community through collaboration with Jim’s Indy Publicist, Steven Victor, and Dame’s team, Splash Networks. Break Jim out of the “rapper” mold by establishing him as a vibrant personality with style and class.
     
    Tactics:

    • Provided creative direction to move Jim’s music into genres outside of hip hop:
      • Kid Cudi “Day N Nite” remix and viral video
      • MGMT “Electric Feel” remix picked-up and heavily rotated by key tastemakers
      • “Hip Hop Monologues” off Broadway play
    • Created compelling visuals showcasing a “Day In Life of Jim Jones”
    • Coordinated intimate album listening sessions and video viewings between Jim & key press outlets
    • Conceptualized and executed the “Swagg Bag” campaign for BET’s 106 & Park
    • Secured invitations to exclusive fashion events, such as Anna Wintour’s New York Fashion Week party
    • Acted as liaisons and directed creative communication between Sony Records Marketing and

    Results:

    • Solid first week sales to date
    • Peaked at #9 on Billboard TOP200
    • Peaked at #2 on Billboard TOP R&B/Hip Hop Albums
    • Peaked at #1 on Billboard TOP Rap albums
    • Cover of Complex Magazine Fashion Issue (Dec/Jan 08)
    • Heavy radio spins and video plays for the “Day N Nite” remix, elevating Jim’s career, as well as his collaborators’
    • New York Times & New York Magazine “Hop Hop Monologues” feature


    “Day N Nite” Remix (Directed by BBGUN & Produced by By Any Means)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pray_IV_Reign
  • “The Come Up Mixtape Vol. 1” - j. Cole

    When Grammy-nominated artist Jermaine “J.Cole” Cole walked through the doors of By Any Means back in 2005, he was still calling himself “Therapist” and the By Any Means offices were a basement apartment in Brooklyn. Not even these two up-and-coming brands could foresee the success that would come out of a few rhymes scribbled in Coles notebook and a borrowed lo-res camera operated by Aristotle.

    Challenge:
    Sign J.Cole, an unknown artist, to a major record deal (preferably Jay-Zs Roc Nation record label).

    Solution:
    Generate awareness and build buzz around J.Cole to ultimately establish him as a respected brand.
     
    Tactics:
    • A compiled, mixed, mastered, and released J.Coles first body of music, “The Come Up”
    • Conceptualized and shot four (4) viral music videos (Lights Please, Young Simba, Lost Ones, and Losing My Balance).
    • Coordinated & hosted a Listening Session with multiple media outlets, including publications, record labels, radio & college reps.
    • Spearheaded day-to-day promotions and communication, including press coverage, photo shoots, and live shows.
    • Strategized and executed viral campaigns via social networking sites.
    • Introduced and acted as a liasion between J.Cole and his current day creative team (BBGUN & Alex Haldi)
    • Provided brand management services, ensuring that all promotional materials, created in-house and by third parties, properly represented Cole and his brand.

    Results:
    First artist signed to Jay-Z’s label Roc Nation.

    • 7 million + downloads “The Come Up.”
    • Number one album debut on the US Billboard 200, Top R&B Albums & Top Rap Albums chart.
    • Best New Artist nominee at the 54th Grammy Awards to be held on February 12, 2012.
    • UMA Male Artist of the Year in 2010.
    • Beyond Race Magazine’s “50 Great Breakthrough Artists.”
    • XXL magazine 2010 “Top Ten Freshmen.”

    http://www.jcolemusic.com/us/bio