Midem 2008

I just returned from my trip to Cannes for the 2008 Midem. The trip started out stressful but ended well. The initial stress came from my plane having a twenty minute delay out of Schipol Airport due to engine problems (that's not a confidence builder when you're about to catch a flight) which caused me to miss my connecting flight out of Frankfurt, so I was stuck sitting in Frankfurt airport for 5 hours waiting for the next flight. By the time I reached Nice Airport and caught a shuttle to Cannes, I had been traveling for twelve hours with no rest and little food. The irony is that a direct flight from Schipol to Nice is only two hours on the city-hopper plane. I choose the connection flight to save money and ended up losing something far more valuable ...time. Like the old saying goes, you can gain and lose friendships, love interests and millions in wealth. Time is the only resource that once spent cannot be replenished, so it is truly the most valuable.

Anyhow once I got to my hotel and organized my schedule to fit the Midem, I had a fairly successful trip. On the business side I (think) I solidified two physical distribution deals both with UK companies (Plastic Head Music and Hip Hop Village) and one digital deal with new global powerhouse ZooMoozik. I received allot of business cards and useless information from companies that want us to license their artists and I found it annoying that they didn't read that VR doesn't license unsolicited material. In other words, if we didn't ask for your music... then we probably don't want it!

The festivities were off the chain this year, like with the last two Midem I attended they had a few big name acts. Last year it was Chuck D, George Clinton and a few others. This year it was the Sugar Hill Gang (Hip Hop pioneers) and LL Cool J. Did you just read that right ... yes ya did...LL performed two days ago to a sold out audience at hotel Martinez. It was so packed that the security started cutting people off from leaving with the threat that if you leave you can't return.

Being the suave cat I am, I got a VIP pass and taped the whole show with my DvCam. Its funny how I got the VIP pass, cause I wasn't supposed to have one (they're mostly reserved for industry big wigs) but someone from Universal music saw my performance at the club " Le Balroom" earlier that night and liked it enough to hook me up with one. Goes to show that rocking the mic has its benefits. LL ran through a 30 minute set of mostly female friendly singles. At one point he even asked ten girls from the audience to climb on stage and dance while he performed "Doing It Well." The only time the catz in the audience got amped was when he performed "Rock the Bells," followed by "Mama Said Knock You Out," which is one of my all time favorite LL joints. Overall it was a good show and everybody left with a smile on their face.

If you read my Midem blog from last year you know I did a track with this group called Planet Des Zins a French group from Nice, Sud De Sale. Their front man is a cat named Gak and his producer is called Dope aka "Tha Dealer." Gak released his new album recently "C├ęst 10$ Khoia," which translates into for 10$ dollars (Khoia is a Muslim word for money) and this show was part of the promotion.

Dope is a well known producer on the French and US hip-Hop scene he used to go by the moniker "Uptempo" and has produced tracks for The Dipset, Lord Tariq, Supa Sayan Crew and various other artists. Since I get the love, plus I'm featured on the album (track number nine) along with other US artists Cory Guns and Punch Line, he offered me to do a small fifteen minute showcase in the middle of his one hour set. I didn't perform for the full fifteen minutes because he also had his homies Mr. Agaz and Kaine Millionaire there but I did ROCK the crowd.

I put it down so well that the director from the Ministry of music in Luxembourg asked when I could come there and perform. Gak recently signed a deal with DJ Whoo-Kid (50 cent DJ) to help start G-Unit France, so homie is doing his thing. You can check myspace/newgakcity to hear some of the album or goto youtube and put in Gak to see Whoo-Kid giving him a shout out from Italy and speaking a little Haitian French.

The weather was pleasant the whole trip and as I've stated in numerous entries the view from Cannes is spectacular. Since I've already gave a vivid description in the two prior Midem entries I wont regurgitate the same flattering dialog. This year like last year the NRJ awards (the French Grammy's) were held the same time as Midem so allot of US and French stars were walking around taking in the sites and shopping. I can't stress enough how this city is really geared towards the wealthy.

If you look in any shop on the Rue de Antibes you won't find clothing, shoes, or accessories under a hundred Euro. The food is also quite costly, since this is a tourist driven area most people visiting in Cannes dine out so the local restaurants and even fast food places like McDonalds, Subway, etcetera kill you with extravagant prices. Ninety-nine percent of the people here are either wealthy retired folk or young Nuevo-Rich. There's no wonder why the hold the film festival and all the big award shows and conferences here.

Since I know a little about the city I go off the tourist trail to the side streets near the wharf for my shopping. The street is called "Rue de Menage" (I spelled that wrong) it has designer apparel for one third the price. I didn't do allot of partying this year accept for Wednesday cuz it was the Midem closing party and I wanted to relax before my departure. I did do allot of video recording and taped me performing "Its Vinum" all over Cannes.

I'm going to use some of this footage for the "Its Vinum" clip that's will be shot when I return to Holland. From what I understand there has never been a US artist to shoot a video in Cannes, so I will be the first. It's been a positive trip but a long one and I look forward to getting some rest.

Until next time, Be Well

Tha One an Only

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