Lil Mama

Lil Mama & Meebo Rooms

Posted on June 29, 2007. Filed under: Lil Mama, Meebo, Meebo rooms, rich media chat rooms |

– via meebo’s flickr stream

Check out the Meebo blog to find out why Lil Mama’s awesome lipgloss is related to meebo’s latest feature.

IM website Meebo launched a partner-friendly version of meebo rooms, allowing rich media to be added to the virtual rooms members create to meet up, chat and view videos with their friends. New features include brand customization and flash skinning, ad tracking and traffic/data reporting. Music sites, labels and artists have been first to jump into the phenomenon; more than 75,000 meebo rooms have been created since the feature initially debuted May 15. – via Cynopsis

I’m sure the kids are loving this feature, but if you take a glance at the blog entry comments you’ll find that some adults aren’t to crazy about this iteration of meebo rooms:

  1. mwarden Says:
    June 29th, 2007 at 6:17 am And, yes, I do realize that meebo rooms is critical to your business plan, but that doesn’t mean you can’t provide a preference to turn them off. Stop cluttering my screen (and even worse, my buddy list! Why won’t the meebo rooms buddy stay removed?!)!
  2. mwarden Says:
    June 29th, 2007 at 6:16 am While I wouldn’t phrase it the same as Scott McDonald, I have to agree. I don’t care at all about meebo rooms and in fact I am waiting for you guys to add a feature to turn them off!!!

    Is this why you don’t support IRC even though gaim does?! Only thing worse than re-inventing the wheel is re-inventing a wheel no one needs.

If you check out Lil Mama’s MySpace page, you can see her meebo room. For the past few days it has consistently been filled with 80+ users. Pretty cool! Her team also has a whole assortment of additional interactive media and promos since the last time I dropped by, so it looks like I will have to make a Pt 2 to my post on Lil Mama & The Future of Artist Promotion.

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Lil Mama & The Future of Artist Promotion

Posted on June 4, 2007. Filed under: artist promotion, Lil Mama, meez, social media tie-ins |

Lil Mama calls herself “the voice of the young people”, and judging by her MySpace page she is definitely affluent in all the ways tweens/teens are using social networking tools to communicate.

I have been following Lil Mama’s career progression for a while now, mostly because there’s something intriguing about a young local artist who is relying on her talent rather than strictly sexual appeal to reach a global audience (and these days, would you settle for anything less than global?).*

* I feel the need to clarify this statement –  For an artist trying to achieve mainstream visibility (i.e, Lil Mama doing a remix of Avril Lavigne’s “Girlfriend” – that’s pretty mainstream), building a global fan base is achievable at a much faster rate, thanks in part to the plethora of free online social media offerings.

That said, reaching billions of fans should not necessarily be the first goal on every artist’s checklist. I am definitely not undermining the value of nurturing local/micro audiences. Many people consistently perform for small-medium sized audiences across the country, and are making a living doing what they love. This is respectable, admirable, and essential to nurturing the evolution of musical genres.*

So in terms of Lil Mama, she is currently the best example I can think of, in terms of artist management, where a team is fairly comprehensively harnessing existing social media tools to SUCCESSFULLY speak the language of a new artist’s audience/rapidly growing fanbase.

Lil Mama’s MySpace page is a useful primer in what social media sites kids really use and how to best use them to communicate with an audience. Lil Mama’s team has taken two ingenious steps that I have yet to document among other artists: (let me know if you see this elsewhere among mainstream artists)

* social media site tie-ins (being featured on each site)

* Using the MySpace blog function to promote these tie-ins and encourage fans through personalized video messages to set up their own accounts with the featured site

Lil Mama’s Social Networking Tools on her MySpace page


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Lil Mama, P.Star, & Miguelito: A study in how the Youngsta Card is played

Posted on April 11, 2007. Filed under: Lil Mama, Miguelito, My Musings, P.Star, young artists |

Jackson Five – ABC – Immature – Aaron Carter: All groups/artists who played the Youngsta Card and parlayed it into (for the most part) successful adult careers.

Currently on my radar are three up and comers: Lil Mama, P.Star, and Miguelito.

Lil’ Mama is a talented 17-year-old singer/rapper signed to Jive Records. She writes her own lyrics and seems to have her head on her shoulders. Her hit “Lip Gloss” is an example of teen targeted hip hop that is fun, age appropriate (wow!), upbeat, and clever.

If I had a young daughter (I don’t currently, thank you Jesus) I would not mind her listening to Lil’ Mama’s music. It’s not exactly a Baby Einstein DVD but you can’t force feed “intelligent” content on your kids 24/7. Lip Gloss is fun, dancible, and addictive. I’m not worried that my imaginary daughter would think that magical lip gloss would make her instantly cool – I would see it more as the power of imagination and healthy self esteem resulting in a hallway dance off. Fun!

What I like about Lil’ Mama is that she isn’t (yet) marketing herself as some over sexualized teenybopper for the sake of record sales. I believe she has a long career ahead of her and look forward to seeing what else she ends up doing.

A younger example of age appropriate, fun & cute young talent is P.Star.

This “young feminist phenomenon” has been rapping since she was seven. I actually saw her perform by accident when I randomly attended a freestyle competition in 2005. She was featured on MTV’s You Hear It First last year, and has penned songs about the struggles of Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks. Her first single, “Biggie Bounce,” is full of shout-outs to clubs, rides and cribs. “I Got It Made” is a throwback to the boastful party rhymes of old.

Here is a clip of a live performance from a year ago:

This extraordinarily talented little girl is all over the place. From TV spots, to modeling, to her music career - she's definitely the whole package. P.Star is another age appropriate talent who doesn't seem to be in a hurry to grow up before her time. It will be interesting to see how long she can hold on to her "feminist" persona (and zero-cuss word policy) and if the onset of puberty will mean booty short photo ops, or something more positive.

...Then there's 8 year old Miguelito.

Crowned Daddy Yankee's youngest protege, his album "Mas Grande que Tu" has been No. 16 on Billboard’s Top Latin Albums chart since January. He has made appearances on Sabado Gigante and the family- oriented "Que Brillen los Ninos y sus Madres," has a deal with Disney Travel (his own package), and was recently interviewed by Latina Magazine,
where he is presented as a cute/precocious young man talking about school, his interests, and his career aspirations.

Now check out his video for Montala:

Am I taking crazy pills, or is this kid rapping about things that for someone his age would put any female over the age of nine in jail, while grown women are grinding their crotches and asses in his face? What is going on here?

There is no denying that this second grader is talented. But the way he is being marketed both fascinates are gives me the heebie jeebies.

On one hand, he's a cute & tiny reggaeton artist with a talent well beyond his years. On the other, he's some sort of tiny pimp/player bragging about his prowess with the ladies & sex, flashing his bling and grinding up behind practically bare assed video hoes.

Perhaps its the fact that he's 8, that he has this dual angel/devil persona going on, or the fact that in interviews no one is bringing this up, but I predict that unless someone in his camp ditches this disturbing over sexualized angle pronto, this kid is going to grow up way to fast for his own good and possibly have major issues as an adult.

The closest recent comparison I can think of, of a young male artist successfully transitioning from baby star to adult star, is Bow Wow. His lyrics were braggadocios, and yes the video for Take Ya Home was kind of gross but at least the women weren't touching him.

Again, am I taking crazy pills? Making a mountain out of a molehill? No. I really think that forcing youngsters to grow up ahead of their time for the sake of "entertainment" is really sick. Miguelito is talented enough for his handlers to come up with more age appropriate content and spare him his little childhood. Yes, I'm sure 8 year olds have smacked grown women's asses before. But I bet for the most part their mother's corrected them, while this one gets bling for it.

I wouldn't put this kid on par with Michael Jackson, but seriously in my lifetime I do not want to see some tiny tot grow up with a bunch of issues because a lot of greedy adults exploited him by forcing him to behave a lot older just for the entertainment value.

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