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Universal Music Group Partners With HBCU Medical Schools To Invest In The Futures Of Current Students

Universal Music Group (UMG) has unveiled a new program to further open the pipeline of Black medical practitioners by way of historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

Shanique Yates

Sep 14, 2023

UMG Has Viral AI Song With Drake And The Weeknd Snatched From Streaming Services

Universal Music Group (UMG) is doubling down on its stance against artificial intelligence (AI) in music. As AfroTech previously told you, earlier this month, the leading music company reportedly asked streaming services to block AI from having access to copyrighted content.

Ngozi Nwanji

Apr 19, 2023

Universal Music Group Reportedly Requests Streaming Services To Block Access From AI Companies

Universal Music Group (UMG) may be taking action against the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the music industry.

Ngozi Nwanji

Apr 14, 2023

Dr. Dre To Sell Catalog Assets In A Deal Worth More Than $200M, Report Says

During Super Bowl LVI, rap legend Dr. Dre was tasked with putting on an awe-inspiring halftime show, and he accepted the challenge. Electrifying So-Fi Stadium, he brought on fellow musicians and artists Mary J. Blige, 50 Cent, Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg, and Eminem. via GIPHY For weeks, Dre had fans talking about the performance’s impact and what it meant for Black culture and the rap genre. Fast forward to weeks before Super Bowl LVII, Dr. Dre is not performing again, but he is still making headlines.

Josh Rodgers

Jan 12, 2023

With Rick James' Daughter As President, The Rick James Estate Is Proving The Late Singer's Influence Is Still Relevant 18 Years After His Passing

If you ever saw the Blassic (Black and classic) movie “Friday,” then you know when Smokey initially attempts to convince Craig to try cannabis, it is done with the 1978 Rick James classic “Mary Jane” in the background. Outside of this film, written and produced by Ice Cube, “Mary Jane” would become a cultural classic. While this one may be top of the list for many, the funk and R&B singer has many other classics that cemented him as one of the greats. Songs like “You & I,” “Fire And Desire,” and “Give It To Me Baby” can be found on many cookout or family reunion playlists. To prove that James’ music stands the test of time, his all-time most popular hit from the 80s, “Super Freak,” is being sampled by New York rapper Nicki Minaj. Minaj released her new single, “Super Freaky Girl,” Friday, Aug. 12. With a range of hits and an undeniable influence on culture, the world was saddened when Rick James passed away in 2004. However, it would not be until several years later that the estate...

Josh Rodgers

Aug 12, 2022

Universal Music Group Sued By Chi Modu's Estate For Posting A Photo Of Tupac

Universal Music Group is currently in a legal battle after posting a photo of Tupac. Billboard reports that the estate of the legendary Hip-Hop photographer Chi Modu is suing the music company for using one of his photos of the late rapper on its website without proper credit.

Ngozi Nwanji

Jun 28, 2022

It Wasn't Until 'Watch The Throne' That Hit-Boy Realized His Deal Was Predatory — 'It Took Years For Me To Even Know'

When you’re an established producer like Hit-Boy, one might think that with new levels of success comes more commas on the check. However, in the music industry, that seems to be an anomaly. Hit-Boy, born Chauncey Alexander Hollis Jr., is the perfect name for the producer responsible for hits that have moved the culture for years. From credits on Jay-Z and Ye’s “Watch the Throne” to producing tracks with Justin Timberlake, albums with Nas, Big Sean, and the list goes on, he has had his fair share of what life in the industry looks like. But, things aren’t always as they appear. “I’m 33 now and have multiple Grammys, produced a lot of your favorite artists’ biggest songs on top of turning in over 450-plus records since I first signed and @upmg still doesn’t have it in them to simply be fair,” said Hit-Boy in a previous post on Instagram dating back to 2020. “If they’re doing this to me with all I’ve accomplished through hard work, I can only imagine the kids who don’t have big...

Shanique Yates

May 11, 2022

Universal Music Group Sued For Alleged Underpaid Streaming Royalties Over Sample On Kanye West's 'Power'

Kanye West has been off the grid for a minute, but now one of his popular records has stirred up a new legal battle. Variety reports that a lawsuit has been filed against Universal Music Group for the rapper’s song “Power,” the debut single off his album “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy,” sampling King Crimson’s “21st Century Schizoid Man.”

Ngozi Nwanji

Apr 28, 2022

AI Startup Backed By Quincy Jones Gets Acquired 'To Continue Changing The Way We Consume Music'

A music mogul like Quincy Jones backing an “emotional” artificial technology (AI) music startup sounds like a match made in heaven. The startup — Musimap — is on a mission to develop effective music roadmaps for its users through AI. The automated engine leverages automated engines and metadata enhancement to generate a playlist that has a familiar music palette to correspond with the personality profile. When Jones made the decision to tap into Musimap last year, he operated as a special advisor disclosing a personalized listing of his top-performing singles in order for the company to curate a precise profile. The profile was generated in “a fraction of a second” with results matching songs across common themes including love, playfulness, sensibility and happiness. The search engine also revealed Soul Jazz, Pop, Disco and Jazz were the top contenders for the key genre, Music Business World previously reported. Since Musimaps’s acquisition of Jones’ catalog in May, the AI company...

Samantha Dorisca

Oct 11, 2021

Universal and Music Streaming Service Boomplay Strike Deal to Expand Licensing to 47 Countries Across Africa

Universal Music Group has struck an expanded deal with African music streaming service Boomplay to extend licensing of UMG’s global music catalog to upwards of 47 countries across Africa, Music Business Worldwide reports. These new markets include key territories in countries such as South Africa, Ethiopia, Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon and Senegal. News of the expanded deal arrives just after rival Spotify recently expanded across Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, and Zimbabwe. According to a press release, the outlined agreement details an “ongoing commitment to support and grow Africa’s domestic music ecosystems, while also creating new opportunities for Pan-African talent to reach new audiences domestically, regionally and around the world.” Under the new agreement, UMG’s African labels — including Def Jam Africa, Motown Gospel Africa, AI Records, and Afroforce1 — will all be supported. Additionally, the deal will also distribute artists and labels via Electromode and Ingrooves Music...

Njera Perkins

Mar 17, 2021

Universal Music Group Announces Strategic Leadership Plans to Bolster Presence in Africa

Universal Music Group (UMG) — the global leader in music entertainment — has announced some new additions to its African senior management structure to continue expanding its presence and strengthen its local music ecosystem. According to an announcement , the worldwide music company has appointed music executives Sipho Dlamini, Elouise Kelly, and Chinedu Okeke to senior-level positions within Universal Music South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa, and Universal Music Nigeria. “I am thrilled to announce these strategic appointments, as we look to further develop our domestic infrastructure and label rosters within Africa,” said UMG EVP of Market Development, Adam Granite in a press statement. “Most integral to achieving our long-term ambitions, is to build a strong leadership team on the ground, with deep foundations in each country to help grow a dynamic ecosystem for all to benefit in the future.” The announcement shares that Dlamini has been promoted to CEO, Universal Music South...

Njera Perkins

Jan 4, 2021

Universal Music Group Launches Def Jam Africa to Support African Hip-Hop Talent

Universal Music Group, the largest music company in the world, is taking a huge international step forward with their newly launched music label, Def Jam Africa. Yesterday, the music label giant announced Def Jam Africa as a new division based in Johannesburg, South Africa, and Lagos, Nigeria, that will focus on “hip-hop, Afrobeats and trap talent in Africa,” according to a press release. Arriving just a year-and-a-half after the launch of Def Jam South East Asia, the new pan-African label division will be “following the blueprint” of Def Jam Recordings. The music industry has paid more attention to African artists in recent years and has taken an aggressive approach to investing in the continent — both to market streaming services and sign talent. As they expand their offices across Africa, Universal Music Group is now looking to change how they shape their brand identities. “In the U.S., [Universal Music has]...

Njera Perkins

May 27, 2020