May 12, 2006, - 11:09 am

American Sleaze: “Virgin” Records Says Strip Clubs New CD Launchpad

By Debbie Schlussel
Sleaze alert. Yet another sign of the speedy American decline.
Want to be on the FM radio playlist? Then get out your metal pole.
Apparently to make it in the music industry, these days, your tunes have to have their start in a strip club. So says Jermaine Dupri, President of Urban Music for, of all companies, “Virgin” Records (he’s also Mr. Janet Jackson).
Dupri says that since it’s harder to crack the radio playlists and dance clubs only play mixes of already popular songs, he and other record execs have turned to strip clubs where DJs can play full tracks. Reports Billboard:

“Word-of-mouth is still one of the biggest promotion factors out there,” Universal Motown VP of rap promotion Troy Marshall adds. “That has helped turn strip clubs into big business.” . . .

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The strip club circuit also is a great place to see and be seen for those in the hip-hop business. Virgin’s Dupri, who declares that “strip club airplay is (more influential) than radio airplay in Atlanta,” has signed artists as a result of his strip club forays. These include rappers Mannish Man and T. Waters.
“Strip clubs are definitely a good place to meet people, learn things and see what’s happening in other people’s worlds. I’m probably the only label president there every other week,” Dupri says with a laugh.
Record executives love the easy access to quick feedback provided by strip clubs. “You can often gauge how hot your record is by the number of times strippers request the song during a given night,” says one major-label promotion executive who requested anonymity.

Strip clubs, the new pop music underground. How nice.

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