Report: Myspace Gets Scared Off By The 'Undead'
March 11, 2009 at 5:15 AM (PT)
PETER LAURIA in THE NEW YORK POST writes that red-hot rap-rock band HOLLYWOOD UNDEAD could have been MYSPACE RECORDS' breakthrough act, but the record label arm of the social-networking website missed out after trying to censor the group's music. HOLLYWOOD UNDEAD's debut album, "Swan Song," has already sold more than 300,000 copies.
It was slated to be the first release under the MYSPACE RECORDS banner, but according to band members and other sources, MYSPACE RECORDS pressured the group -- whose members wear menacing masks and rap about a HOLLYWOOD stricken with poverty, crime, drugs and prostitution -- to alter its lyrics because they were seen as controversial.
"They basically came to us and said they weren't going to put out the record unless we chopped half of it off," said vocalist JOHNNY 3 TEARS. "They had highlighted lyrics that had to be changed and complete songs that had to go. We felt like the rug got pulled out from under us."
Part of the letdown rested with the fact that MYSPACE was pivotal in driving their success to that point. The band was an early adopter, posting a profile on the site in 2005. The band managed to generate so much interest that within nine weeks, songs posted on the profile had been streamed 1 million times.
Said MYSPACE in a statement, "We developed a commercial relationship with the band... and during the musical production process we felt that given the potential trajectory of the band that A&M/OCTONE [the band's current label] would be a better home given our business priorities at the time."
One source said NEWS CORP. officials, [NEWS CORP. owns MYSPACE] were the ones who "made a stink about the album." Though NEWS CORP. typically doesn't shy away from controversial content, sources said a number of external factors made releasing the album under the MYSPACE banner untenable. At the time MYSPACE asked for the changes in late 2006, the site was embroiled in a number of lawsuits and was accused of being a haven for sexual predators. In addition, rap lyrics had caught the attention of Congress, which was gearing up to hold hearings on their "exploitative" subject matter.
In the end, though, MYSPACE RECORDS' loss was A&M/OCTONE's gain. "We saw them as a diamond in the rough that we could really build," said A&M/OCTONE Pres. JAMES DIENER.