No doubt hip-hop artists and aspiring artists of any genre will find interest in Protect Ya Neck! [A Music Industry Survival Guide]. To be published in late March, the Christian Farrad authored non-fiction book promises to reveal "tips to survive (and thrive) in the cut-throat world of entertainment."
A New York City-based business manager specializing in music and entertainment, Farrad's background includes being GM of Miami independent rap label Slip N Slide Records. While by no means the first tome to tackle the topic of the snake-filled music industry (Fredric Dannen's 1990 book Hit Men remains one of the best in that genre), it does put a contemporary (as in digital age) and hip-hop generation themed spin on its subject matter. This it does via the scenarios cited in its many what-not-to-do tales of the music industry like why Eminem had to sue his record label for miscalculating digital sales of his music or Lil Wayne filing a $51 Million lawsuit against his label over unpaid royalties. Beyonce firing her manager for stealing money from her tour and Rihanna suing her accountant for mismanaging her money are among the other cautionary tales examined in the book that promises to teach, among other things, "defensive strategies to protect ya neck!"
Books like Farrad's offer invaluable tools to navigate the pitfalls of the tricky music business. And there are many, from the importance of management to the ins-and-outs of publishing, and the unforeseen challenges of long term music distribution in the digital age. Unfortunately, it seems, most young artists starting out in their careers (i.e., those who need to read books like this the most) likely will not read them, at least not until after the fact. Typically they'll be too preoccupied with jumping headfirst into their music careers to stop, read, study, and take a sober look at the big picture of what lies ahead. This week I reached out to author Farrad to ask him about this and other topics related to his forthcoming publication.