How Does the Music Business Compare To Film And TV?

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Best-selling author Zack O’Malley Greenburg and I took a break for a new Dad-girl duties to talk about the latest headlines in the music industry — namely Irv Gotti selling a 50-percent ownership stake in Murder Inc.’s past music recordings. He got $100 million from Iconoclast for the deal, plus another $200-million credit line to fund future media endeavors Irv has planned. 


After the sale, Irv did an interview with Billboard and quipped that monetary-wise, the music industry is the “lowest form” in entertainment compared to film and television. Zack and I debated that during our episode comparing top-line revenues for each entertainment vertical, plus how Irv’s deal compares to other splashy catalog sales in the past two years. 


We also dived into a guest post on Zack’s Substack about how “moods” has become the new classification for music, not genres anymore. Discovery algorithms deployed by streaming services have pushed listeners toward moods — and away from regionalism (e.g. Houston-style “chopped and screwed”) and loyalty to particular record labels. It’s also another tell-tale sign that Gen Z is more fluid, less rigid than prior generations with their labels. 


Below are all the music-industry topics Zack and I covered throughout the episode, plus a special segment on becoming Dad’s in the past two months:


[0:55] Baby Duties For Zack & Dan

[4:11] Irv Gotti Calls Music Industry “Lowest Form” In Entertainment 

[6:09] Zack Still Gets Royalties for “Lorenzo’s Oil”

[7:52] Top-Line Revenues: Music vs. Movie Industry

[8:59] New Artist Perspective Skewing Perception Of Music Business

[11:04] Did Irv Gotti’s Deal Get Made Before Market Correction? 

[13:08] Irv’s Deal Was For Masters, Not Publishing

[13:50] Crowning Jewel of Murder Inc’s Catalog

[18:23] Why Mood Is The New Musical Genre

[19:26] Gen Z Uses Labels Less Than Prior Generations

[25:53] Post Malone The Genre-Agnostic Artist

[27:10] Did Streaming End Regionalism In Music? 

[29:53] Fan Attachment To Record Labels Has Disappeared

[32:30] Stories From Two New Girl Dads

[38:21] First Music Show For The New Babies?


Tiffany Ng’s article on music being categorized by moods, not genre: https://zogblog.substack.com/p/why-mood-is-the-new-musical-genre


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Host: Dan Runcie, @RuncieDan, trapital.co


Guests: Zack O’Malley Greenburg, @zogblog




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[00:00:00] Zack O’Malley Greenburg: Our generation, in general, is pretty hung up on labels. You know, everything from music to sexuality, to whatever, you know, it’s like things have to be classified and, you know, there’s kind of an obsession over putting things in buckets. Whereas I think Gen Z has a lot more about fluidity and sort of like, you know, questioning why we need these labels at all to begin with, or at least, like, maybe we should just loosen up a little bit about them, which I think makes a ton of sense, you know? 

[00:00:34] Dan Runcie: Hey, welcome to The Trapital podcast. I’m your host and the founder of Trapital, Dan Runcie. This podcast is your place to gain insights from executives in music, media, entertainment, and more, who are taking hip-hop culture to the next level.


[00:00:55] Dan Runcie: This episode is the first one I’d done in a little bit, took a quick break from recording. My wife and I welcomed our first child into the world last month, so took some time, focused on family, and finally, ready to get back into the swing of things. And there’s no better person to do it with than my friend, Zack O’Malley Greenburg, who recently is coming back from paternity to leave himself. Him and his wife just had a kid in May, and the past couple of months, Zack and I have been talking about our journeys, both leading up to this moment and after. So, and given what we cover in both music and entertainment, it was a good time to catch up on a few recent headlines. First, we talked about Irv Gotti and the $300 million deal he did for selling his Murder Inc. Catalog, doing a deal with Iconoclast for further stuff in media, TV, and film. And this statement that Irv Gotti made about music being the lowest-monetized form of entertainment. Zack and I had some thoughts, so we broke that down. We also talked about one of the articles that was a guest post in Zack’s ZOGBLOG that he had published that was about moods in music and how moods and music are definitely taking over genres, especially in streaming, and how that may shape the future of how music’s released and monetized. We’re getting away from these genre legacy terms like country, rap, and pop and moving more so into chill vibes, or other things that are named by hyperspecific Spotify playlists. And Zack and I saves a little bit of time at the end for Girl Dad Life, where we chatted about some of our mutual experiences and some funny moments that we’ve experienced so far with having kids and what’s that’s been like with newborns specifically, so hope you enjoy this episode. Here’s my chat with Zack. 

[00:02:42] Dan Runcie: All right. We’re back with another episode. And I’m joined by my guy who is also probably with limited sleep, fresh off of paternity leave himself, Zack, how are you holding up these days, man?

[00:02:54] Zack O’Malley Greenburg: Not too bad. I think we got eight hours last night out of Riley, little Riley. So life is definitely getting a little bit more normal but it’s, it’s all good. sleep or no sleep. It’s just a blast. 

[00:03:06] Dan Runcie: Ah, love to hear it. I’ll hopefully be at that eight-hour stretch soon, a couple of weeks behind you with a newborn, but we’ll save some time at the end to catch up on Girl Dad Life. 

[00:03:16] Zack O’Malley Greenburg: All right.

[00:03:17] Dan Runcie: Let’s start things at the top though. We got some big topics we want to dive into, but this first one that caught my eye, and it sounds like it caught your eye, too. This quote is from Irv Gotti, who just did this huge deal. Of course, Irv Gotti, CEO, one of the founders of Murder Inc. He was able to do a $300 million deal recently with Iconoclast, where he was able to sell his share, his 50% share of Murder Inc.’s masters for $100 million. And plus he also got a $200 million line of credit. That’s going to be specifically used for future TV and film projects that are likely going to be based off of some of the Murder Inc. IP or other things. But in an interview that he did talking about this deal with Billboard, he said this quote, and I’ve been thinking a lot about it.

[00:04:11] Dan Runcie: He said, “Entertainment industry is music, TV, and film,” right? “The music business is the lowest form, and I just bagged a hundred million dollars for some shit I did 20 years ago.” And the interviewer then follows up and it’s like, you know, can you say more? And he says, “It’s just the facts. More money is made in TV and with movies than music. It’s a non-disputable fact. We love the music industry and I love the music industry. There’s money to be made. But [it’s dwarfed by] the money made from TV and film. If I have 100 episodes of television and I own it, they’ll probably put a worth on it at $300 or $400 million. With $300 or $400 million, I could sell it at a 10 to 20 multiple. That’s three to six billion. This is why Tyler Perry is a billionaire. That’s why I sold my masters and did this deal with Iconoclast.” So I pause and, although I get what he’s saying and I think there is some interesting discussion there, I think there’s a lot of nuances there. And I’m not quite sure if I’m completely on board with him on this. That said, I think Irv Gotti is great. I always loved what Murder Inc. did, but I think that this particular statement is a bit more nuanced, especially with what we’ve seen happening in music the past few years. 

[00:05:29] Zack O’Malley Greenburg: Yeah, I absolutely agree with that. I mean, you know, and I think he got into some fuzzy math there at the end. I mean, I don’t know, you know, to multiply what by 10? And we’re talking how many billion dollars? Like, when Disney pay a billion for the entire Star Wars library, so, I know that was a great deal for them and it’s worth a lot more now. I think the math might be a little bit off, but I would kind of flip it and say, you know, sure. You know, there are movies that gross billions of dollars or, you know, hundreds of millions or into the billions, low billions. But like, there aren’t albums that do that. Okay, but, you know, in terms of libraries, I mean, we just saw Bruce Springsteen get half a billion dollars for his.

[00:06:09] Zack O’Malley Greenburg: I mean, we’re seeing, you know, masters in publishing go for hundreds of millions of dollars. The fact that Irv Gotti got a hundred million dollars for half of the Murder Inc. catalog. I mean, that’s a wild number. No, not to sort of sleep on the Murder Inc. catalog, but, you know, it’s not Bruce Springsteen. So, you know, I think that actually, the fact that he was able to get a hundred million dollars shows that the music industry is actually alive and well, right, in terms of the valuations. So yeah, I’m not, I’m not sure how much I, I, I agree with that, especially when you look at, you know, like for example, I was in a movie when I was a kid. The movie’s called Lorenzo’s Oil and I played Lorenzo. It’s a, a big role, and I still get checks for 60 bucks, you know, every few months. And that’s nice. And I’m sure that Nick Nolte and Susan Sarandon who were in it get much bigger checks, but, you know, they can’t really go and, like, sell that catalog. You know, you don’t have masters as an actor. I suppose you could go and sell the royalty streams or companies let you do that now, but it’s not the same in terms of intellectual property. There’s not like an equivalent to, you know, songwriting you know, like the sort of, the same kind of IP that, you know, at least, if you are an actor or an artist, or, you know, you would have access into your, to your masters in a way that you wouldn’t as an actor unless maybe you’re Tom Cruise and you negotiate some crazy backend deal. So, I think the grass is a little bit greener on the music side than Irv is, is giving credit for. 

[00:07:42] Dan Runcie: Yeah. I think the difference that you’re highlighting is that it’s not so much the top-line number. It’s more so just how the business model under that number is distributed between who owns the underlying content and who doesn’t. And I think if you’re Irv and you’re trying to compare this from this perspective of, if you’re in music and you’re trying to do a deal with Universal, whether you’re an artist or you were an indie label at the time, trying to do a distribution deal or some type of joint venture. I forget exactly what Murder Inc. had at the time. But comparing that isn’t the same to comparing what Tyler Perry is doing because even what Tyler Perry’s doing, he is very much a unicorn in that right. There’s not that many actors that are owning the underlying IP of the work that they’re doing. Tyler Perry is the writer, the director, the producer for all of these things. That’s why he is getting those things. And that is a very unique use case because in most cases, those are all different people in television. And I think, to be honest, TV is likely getting even murkier now because so much of the money that was going into these projects was based on this concept that these video streaming services could just have infinite growth and just keep growing and growing.

[00:08:59] Dan Runcie: And now we’re kind of reaching this point where people are like, okay, Netflix had 220 billion people paying $10, $15, almost $20 a month. Maybe that was as high as it could potentially go. I mean, I think there’s plenties to break down there, but if those dollars aren’t going to be as high as they may have been in that perspective, then we’re going to see the shift. I did look at some top-line numbers, which are, I think, a good way to kind of balance things out. The music industry almost made $30 billion last year. I think it was around $28 billion last year for recorded music overall. So that does not include concerts or any of those things. I know that Irv isn’t referring to that, but then if you look at the box office, I mean, that’s more money than the global box office made, granted last year was a pandemic year so I know it’s a bit tough to compare these things. And there’s a lot more other things there, but it’s not so much that this industry itself doesn’t make as much money ’cause, yeah, you mentioned Bruce just got half a billion for all of his stuff. He owns this stuff and you know, that, you know, Born in the U.S.A. is going to be playing for decades, at least with, you know, as long as your Baby Boomers, and Gen X, and I guess even Millennials that are big Springsteen fans continue to listen. But I think that’s different than how Irv might be looking at it. The thing is though it’s not just Irv. I think that has its perspective. I think a lot of other folks have that perspective too, but I think it stems from when you are at the lowest rung of being the talent in the particular industry, I think music at that stage is likely a bit less advantageous than it may be for, you know, an actor per se. And maybe that’s a bit of the difference where if you’re a musician that’s just signing on for a deal, it’s going to take a lot longer for you to maybe recoup that money than an actor would, you know, signing on for an equivalent level size of something. But that’s definitely very different than putting that as a global claim about the broader industry. 

[00:11:04] Zack O’Malley Greenburg: That’s true, but I, I would still argue that if you are an artist getting into the game as a, as a musician, the default would be that you would probably have shared ownership of your masters. If you were an actor getting into the acting game, the default is like you get an okay chunk of money for one movie, you know. It doesn’t come with IP in the way that it would. And so it’s not until later in your career that you can start to say, Hey, I want to be a director. I want to be a producer. Until you start to get, or, you know, or maybe you’re kind of DIY from the beginning and, and you’re doing it, all of it yourself, but that’s, that’s so unusual. You know, I don’t know. I mean, I, I think the other thing too, is that like, and maybe this is part of what Irv was alluding to, I mean, that a hundred million dollars that he got, that to me seemed like a number that was more along the lines of the stuff we were seeing, you know, six months to a year ago before interest rates doubled. And we kind of stopped hearing about these big deals. So I wonder if that deal, and I kind of asked around a little bit and I couldn’t get a, a firm answer, but I would suspect that that deal, you know, was agreed upon you know, like last fall or something before the economic environment changed and, you know, and it just didn’t close until now ’cause these, these deals can take six months to a year to close and, and that’s why, you know, you’ve got such a good multiple. But like these days, you know, when the interest rate is, like, gone from 3% to 6% or whatever, I guess it depends on the kind of deals you’re doing, but, you know, that’s a huge difference. And it sort of like makes buying music assets a lot less interesting because you know, when just, like normal financial instruments, you know, and not to get, like, too nerdy about it, but, you know, in the bond market are generating something closer to what a music catalog would do. I think, like, these big financial institutions are going to be more inclined to kind of like lean on their expertise rather than trying to, to do these exotic things or, you know, get involved with, with music catalogs and intellectual property and that sort of thing. 

[00:13:08] Dan Runcie: Yeah. I could see that. I think the other piece of this, too, that may get lost in some of the details, especially, is that this isn’t a publishing catalog deal. This is masters, at least partial ownership there, or not partial ownership, but at least the revenue generating from at least half of what Irv had, and at least in streaming, your recorded revenue from the master side is at least three to four times higher than what the publishers are getting. Of course, there have been some, there’s some recent changes where the publisher royalty has increased. I think increased from 10 and a half percent to 15.1% recently. So that’ll help, but still, that piece of it does in many ways, so even, let’s say you were to compare this number for the Murder Inc.’s masters to let’s say what Justin Timberlake got for his catalog deal. You can’t necessarily compare that because Timberlake’s was for the piece of the music sound recordings that were less valuable, relatively speaking, at least currently than this. So I do think sometimes, like, those things do get lost in it, but it would be interesting to see, yeah, what would that be like now if those deals were starting to shine a closer look if those conversations were happening? I think it would be interesting and also a bit unique because this deal is with Iconoclast. This isn’t one of the standard players that we’ve seen that are handing out, you know, the nine-figure checks to these companies. Who knows what the conversations could have been like with Hipgnosis or Round Hill or some of the others. I feel like he may have alluded to that to some extent in the interview, but it was hard to get a sense specifically.

[00:14:52] Zack O’Malley Greenburg: Yeah. And you also wonder, I mean, how much, if it was about, you know, being able to say, oh, now we have a catalog that, like, there is some Jay-Z in there. There’s some DMX in there. I think there’s some J.Lo in there. You know, in addition to like a lot of Ja Rule and Ashanti, and you know, but that’s kind of like a trophy to have that. You know, I don’t know that it’s quite so often that you know, anything by Jay-Z comes up. I think it was, there’s a piece of Can I Live on there, which, which is pretty cool, so, you know, that that might have added, you know, a certain premium to it. 

[00:15:23] Dan Runcie: Yeah. I was going to ask you that. What do you think is the crowning jewel of this catalog? I mean, every one of these catalog sales, it has the typical 80- 20 or the power law thing, where there is a few big songs that are really generating everything. I mean, you mentioned J.Lo. I mean, I’m Real has to be one of the biggest Murder Inc. songs they had, or maybe Always On Time with, you know, Ja Rule and Ashanti. Are there any others that stick out?

[00:15:48] Zack O’Malley Greenburg: I mean, the Jay-Z one for sure. Which DMX song was it? It was a pretty big one. I think it’s What’s My Name? 

[00:15:54] Dan Runcie: Oh, What’s My Name. Oh, that, that was on X’s catalog. That was Ruff Ryders and Def Jam. 

[00:15:58] Zack O’Malley Greenburg: Oh, that was. Okay. 

[00:15:59] Dan Runcie: But Jay-Z, they, they were on It’s Murda though, right? It’s Murda from Ja Rule’s Venni Vetti Vecci that had Jay and DMX. 

[00:16:07] Zack O’Malley Greenburg: That’s right. Okay.

[00:16:08] Dan Runcie: Yeah. Is that right?

[00:16:09] Zack O’Malley Greenburg: It was, it was some, it was like somewhere in the discography. I was looking at it though. Oh, well, I’ll track it down someday. We’ll have to talk about it the next time. But there was, there was a big DMX single that somehow ended up on there that caught my eye. But, you know, like a lot of the Ja Rule stuff, I think. I think maybe Livin’ It Up was on there. 

[00:16:26] Dan Runcie: Oh, yeah, that was big.

[00:16:27] Zack O’Malley Greenburg: That’s a huge one.

[00:16:29] Dan Runcie: Yeah, like Down 4 U, like Down Ass Bitch, like, you had a few of those that were in it. I think Ashanti had some big ones, too, like Foolish. Foolish was huge. 

[00:16:38] Zack O’Malley Greenburg: Yeah. Oh, yeah, here. Okay, it says What’s My Name. It said that he produced What’s My Name. So that’s why, even though it wasn’t…

[00:16:45] Dan Runcie: Oh, interesting.

[00:16:47] Zack O’Malley Greenburg: Yeah. What’s Luv? That’s a huge one. 

[00:16:50] Dan Runcie: Oh, that’s a big one. Yep. With Fat Joe and Ashanti, yep. 

[00:16:53] Zack O’Malley Greenburg: Yeah. Yeah. Can I Live, Holla Holla, you know, so there’s, there’s some really good stuff on there. And I think you’re right. It’s probably, there’s a couple, you know, without us having a, a look at the statements, it’s hard to know, but it, it wouldn’t surprise me if one of those songs is just like a sleeper hit that just continues to, I mean, we know it’s a big hit, but it, it could be, like, way more lucrative than we ever imagined. Or one of those could have been in a movie, you know, more, more than the others or something like that. So, you know, I think a lot of these songs are going to be, actually, that’s what one of the lawyers I reached out to about this said. He was like, you know, there’s a lot of stuff in there that is very interesting from the sync perspective. You know, to the sort of like Millennial, Xennial crowd that grew up on that that would love to see it in movies, and TV, and video games, so yeah, that could be part of it, too.

[00:17:38] Dan Runcie: Big on sync. Also, big on the likelihood of being turned into some viral TikTok trend. I don’t know if that is a quantifiable metric they’re using, but I would, I think it is. I just think of so many, the TikTok things that blow up and that era of early 2000s, late 90s hip-hop has done really well in a lot of ways. And sometimes it’s so random, but I do think that that Murder Inc. sound captures so much of that. It’s only before long that someone finds some, like, weird thing that happened in one of the music videos, and then that then becomes viral, and then it becomes like a whole TikTok viral campaign. 

[00:18:16] Zack O’Malley Greenburg: Yep. Yep. Although don’t know how, how much they’ll be getting paid from TikTok, but that’s a whole other, that’s a whole other story.

[00:18:23] Dan Runcie: We’ll have to save that one for our next, for the next chat. We got to see how that whole situation firms up. But so the next topic that we want to talk about is a fascinating piece that was a guest post that was written by someone that you had worked with, Tiffany, and she wrote a really interesting essay on why mood is the new musical genre. And when you picked me on this, I read it, and it stuck out because I was like, you know what? It’s a hundred percent right. If you look at Spotify and you look at how all these streaming services have shifted, how music is being consumed and listened to. Yeah, it isn’t rock, pop country, hip-hop. It’s a lo-fi chill vibes. It’s, you know, backyard barbecue hang. It’s all of these super niche things that reflect a lot more of where music listening is going. And I could only imagine there’s so many broader implications that it can have, but I’d love to hear what you think about it. 

[00:19:26] Zack O’Malley Greenburg: Yeah, absolutely. So I’ve been out on paternity leave and, you know, not really writing, but Tiffany who’s a really great writer and, and was doing some research for me while she was a senior at, at my alma mater, at Yale. And, and she and I were actually, we worked on the same, basically, arts and culture desk on the school newspaper, you know, whatever it was, 15 years apart. So she, while I was out, she wrote this great long piece kind of talking about how, you know, from her generation’s perspective, this idea that, yeah, that you would classify things by genre or really identify yourself as like a hip-hop fan or a rock fan or whatever, is all kind of moot. It’s like an old people thing. And that her generation is more about moods and, and like you say, it’s backyard barbecue or whatever it is. And people don’t, you know, really care about genres so much anymore, you know, amongst the sort of Gen Z crowd, and she, you know, really kind of dug into some, I think, great examples of it and talked about Spotify classifications and how they put together, Audio Auras that give you your kind of, like, yearend picture of your listening tastes. And I think it’s a really great point. And I think that, you know, our generation, in general, is pretty hung up on labels. You know, everything from music to sexuality, to whatever, you know, it’s like things are, have to be classified and, you know, there’s kind of an obsession over putting things in buckets. Whereas I think Gen Z is, is a lot more about fluidity and sort of like, you know, questioning why we need these labels at all to begin with, or at least like, maybe we should just loosen up a little bit about them, which I think makes a ton of sense, you know? I mean, I remember when Halsey put out that song, New Americana, and she talked about being raised on Biggie and Nirvana. And I was like, yeah, that’s me. Like, I get that. But that always felt weird when people were like, well, what kind of music are you into? And I was like hip-hop, and grunge rock, and like some other stuff. That was always sort of weird, but I think it’s good to see the next generation kind of embrace that more and that’s what the article kind of dug into.

[00:21:22] Dan Runcie: The label and generation identification is a huge thing. Do you remember growing up when the labels of how we were and folks were in middle school and high school was such a thing that people went down the road, it was like, oh, you’re a skater? Oh, then you listen to Linkin Park. Then you listen to this and you dress, and you wear like JNCO jeans, like with the chain hanging from the back of your pocket to the front or whatever. You’re a prep? Okay, you shop at Abercrombie & Fitch. You’re probably wearing Adidas Superstars and you probably, I don’t know, clothes from, like Structure or like Express, and stuff like that. Like, there were all these buckets, too, and then it extended as well. If you listen to hip. You probably wore Timberlands. You probably had Nike Air Force 1s, Ecko, or whatever the popular clothes were at times. Like, all of these things and this generation and timeframe is just like, no, that’s not the case. And I think this mood thing factors in a lot of that. I think we’re almost seeing this to some extent with things we’ve kind of just seen, like regionality as well. 

[00:22:29] Dan Runcie: Like, I’ve heard a lot of people talk about how from, you know, certain generations it’s like, oh, like, well, people in Seattle, they dress like this. Like, you could go to Seattle, walk or like, you know, the Pacific Northwest and everyone’s wearing flannel like it’s a Nirvana music video or whatever. Or if you go down south, like I would visit my cousins in Florida growing up and they would be listening to Ying Yang Twins and all these other songs that were popular at the time. And we just weren’t listening to that stuff nearly as much growing up in the Northeast. And it hit that vibe. And I think now, too, because of the internet, so much of that generationality piece just, or not the generationality, the geographical identity is also dissipated, too, where people in Seattle can, you know, feel no different, especially from a youth perspective, could feel no different than someone growing up in Miami or Fort Lauderdale or whatever it is. So I’m curious to see how is that going to shape? Even the legacy labels that we do have on things. I think that the Grammys is, you know, clearly an institution that has prided itself on the number of options that it’s given particular artists to have and celebrate their particular genre of music based on these legacy labels. I think it takes a lot of time for those things to change, but will we see that? Could you eventually see things where I think pop radio in a lot of ways? And radio, in general, is still one of the things that’s still holding onto this generational, you know, label divides much to a fault because I think there’s still certain types of artists that are precluded from being heard on Z100 or being heard on your mainstream stations, so, I think that it may still take time to get there, but I’m curious to see what did that look like 20 years, 20 years from now? Will we still see the same restrictions on radio and in award ceremonies? ‘Cause I think those are the two areas that feel harder to disrupt than the broader culture that already has been disrupted by it.

[00:24:32] Zack O’Malley Greenburg: Yeah. And one of the other things that Tiffany wrote about in this article which you, oh, you can read it, just it’s zogblog.com, and you can go through the newsletter. It’s the latest post. I’ll be back writing in a week or two, I think. But anyway, it’s up there on zogblog.com and she said, she pointed out the IGOR one for best rap album, even though it’s not really a rap album. Like, it’s already happening, right, like, in categories at the Grammy’s. So, right, like how, how soon until we start to change that or, or even have sort of like, broader, you know, kinds of labels. Like, what if it’s like, you know, best chill album, you know? Best barbecue album? I don’t know. So I’d love to see how that, how that kind of turns out. But, man, I remember, you know, in the nineties, when you would sort of put on your AOL profile what kind of music you listen to. A lot of people sort of also define themselves in opposition to certain genres. They’re like, I listen to anything but country and rap, you know? That, I remember a lot of people that, anything but rap, anything but country. That was sort of their battle cry. And you know, I just don’t see too much of that anymore. And I think that’s a great thing, you know, like, why should you have to limit your taste? It’s like, you know, you don’t want to be a traitor to, to your emo, whatever, by, by listening to hip-hop. But now we have like emo hip-hop. It’s great. I think it’s cool that we have, you know, all these kinds of like mixings and subgenres.

[00:25:53] Dan Runcie: Yeah, if anything, I think I’ll see the angst more for particular artists themselves and not necessarily the broader genre, right? Like, I know there’s people that, you know, they just don’t like Post Malone for a number of reasons. And it’s like, I get it, but you can’t put Post Malone in a musical category to be like, oh, I don’t like this type of music ’cause I guarantee you, whatever, you know, genre of music, you want to put him in, there’s going to be an artist that sounds like him, may not look like him, may not have a fan base that, you know, vibes the way that his does, but you’re probably going to like something of that, you know, type of thing, right?

[00:26:30] Zack O’Malley Greenburg: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I mean, I’ve gotten into so many arguments about how to classify Post Malone. Some people say he is hip-hop, which I don’t really, I wouldn’t classify him as hip-hop. Is he pop? I guess. I guess that’s what you’d call it, but, you know, I wouldn’t really say that he’s rock.

[00:26:45] Dan Runcie: I would call him pop, yeah.

[00:26:47] Zack O’Malley Greenburg: Pop yeah. Pop or sad frat party or something, you know? I mean, mood. I think mood is a great way with him, too. 

[00:26:54] Dan Runcie: Yeah, I mean, is there any other broader implication that you can think of with how moods will just continue to shift over time and how moods may play a bigger role in music, either how it’s consumed or how it’s monetized? 

[00:27:10] Zack O’Malley Greenburg: You know, I mean, I think really what’s on my mind about that right now is I go back to what you were saying about regionalism. And, you know, I wonder if sort of this movement away from labels of genre, more toward labels of mood has to do with the fact that you know, there’s sort of like, you know, national moods almost that you can attach to music in a way that you couldn’t when things were sort of regional. And, you know, there was that whole moment where radio, sort of like the consolidation of radio, that kind of switch over to like the clear channel model. And you, you had sort of like the same, you know, whatever it was, KISS-FM or something like that, and you had these big playlists that were just kind of on rotation, the same playlists like all over the country, and you kind of lost a little bit of that local flavor. But actually, you know, as people were lamenting that the whole thing shifted over to streaming. And there’s no regional streaming, right? And so I think it sort of follows that mood would sort of like become a new means of classification because once you eliminate the regional aspect to it you know, I don’t know, it’s, it’s sort of like it maybe unnecessary movement to happen over time. And I think, you know, There’s some cons to losing the regionalism and, you know, you get some unique sounds and certainly within hip-hop, it was really cool to see like Houston versus Bay Area, you know, like very specific microclimate-type sounds that you could get that, that, you know, within kind of bubble up and percolate into different like more mainstream hip-hop sounds. But you know, then again, I think it’s cool to just other genres meld into other genres and have that be kind of the mixing that happens too. So, you know, pros and cons, but I think, I think there are a lot of pros to the mood thing over the genre label thing.

[00:29:00] Dan Runcie: So before long, we’re going to have to pour some out for the dirty south hip-hop playlist. Got so much play over time.  And maybe this regionalism trend or trend away from regionalism is just the way things are going. This is a sports analogy, more so, and there’s other reasons behind it. But I look at what’s happening in college sports right now with these major teams joining the Big Ten, joining the you know, or the Big East no longer really being a thing, and how so much of that is just a sign of where things are right now. And so much of what people really appreciated about what these conferences could tell you about a particular place in the country, that’s not necessarily going to be the case if, you know, Texas and its whole culture is coming and joining, you know, joining the ECC, right? It’s just very different. 

[00:29:53] Dan Runcie: And I think to bring this conversation full circle, too, it’s like, I’ve heard through the grapevines about record labels that had wanted to start their own metaverse experiences and being like, okay, this is the record label’s metaverse experience. And then someone wisely told them, Hey, no one cares about your record label. Like, that’s not the draw here. Like, I mean, in the folks that are inside the industry, of course, you can share the accolades and stuff like that. But the fans care about the artists. They’re not going to be drawn. Like, the days are done of people being like, oh yeah, no Def Jam, like, in the heyday, I’m there. Like, that’s just not how it works anymore. 

[00:30:29] Zack O’Malley Greenburg: Yeah. You know, I mean, if you’re really in the business, you know, which labels have which ethos. But, you know, it, it really has blurred together more and more. And yeah, I think in the old days, you know, people would be like, oh, I’m an Atlantic records fan. You know, because when they pulled out that vinyl, you know, they saw that logo, and they knew that there was a certain type of artist and that Atlantic Records were a curator of the type of music that they liked. And maybe it wasn’t the same genre always, but there was, you know, they knew that it would be good. But if you’re a casual listener, there’s not really even an opportunity to easily know what label anybody is on. So why would you care? And I think, especially since you know, I mean, I think there was a heyday in the nineties of hip-hop artists shouting out the record labels that they were on or that they owned and that was sort of, you know, important. Definitely, like Ruff Ryders had a very different ethos from Bad Boy. And, you know, you might classify yourself, you know, more in one bucket or another and identify with that. But I think so much of that has just dissipated in the streaming era, ’cause yeah, you’re not looking at a physical thing. So you know, who knows, who cares what labels anybody on, and why the hell would you really want to go to an individual label metaverse thing? I’m glad somebody told them that they shouldn’t be doing that anymore. 

[00:31:43] Dan Runcie: Definitely. No, definitely. All right. Well, we saved some time at the end for the section that’s near and dear to both of us, as, you know, if you followed either my writing or Zack’s writing recently, you know, that we both had kids very recently. So Zack had his daughter in May. I had mine in June, and it’s been great to just, you know, connect and bond and hear more about how things were for both of us leading up to this point and now after. So I figured now that we’re on the other side of it with relatively newborn and young children, we could have a little section here called Girl Dad Life, where we each share one interesting or funny experience that’s happened for both of us trying to navigate fatherhood here. So Zack, I’ll let you start. What’s your experience been like? And what’s yours?

[00:32:30] Zack O’Malley Greenburg: Yeah. You know, less than a, like a specific story, it’s really more about an overall vibe mood, if you will. Man, I know it sounds corny, but the moment you become a parent, this compartment opens up inside of you and it’s just filled with a new capacity to love that you didn’t know was in there. And it just is like overwhelming and beautiful and is, is the best thing that’s ever happened to me. And I think that one of the things, you know, like I think the best advice I would give is, is that there’s no, like, right way to do it. And people have been having babies for a very long time without all the gear and whatever, and we’ve survived, as the human race. But I think the thing that, that always surprises and delights me is that you know, Riley, despite being eight weeks old, I mean, from the very beginning, has been a little human who, who knows what she wants. And it’s like pretty straightforward. If she’s crying, you know, she needs to go to sleep. She needs food or she needs a diaper change. And if she doesn’t like that, it’s time to put on, like, any number of different songs or albums that she likes. And she’s, talk about a musical omnivore. Oh, my God. She loves, like, Shirley Bassey, Big Spender. She loves Biggie, Mo Money Mo Problems. You know, she’s really like, no genre constraints when you’re an infant. And I think it’s just really cool to see that, you know, she could be crying and then that beat comes on and she starts smiling, you know?

[00:34:00] Zack O’Malley Greenburg: I would also say like, I, I read this book called Bringing Up Bébé, and it’s all about the French method of child-rearing. And they’re really big into this idea of, like, the baby is a human with thoughts and preferences the minute they come out of the womb and sort of just like paying attention, you know, and, and also giving them a second to try to figure whatever it is out. Like, if your baby starts to cry, you know, don’t necessarily just, like, drop everything, rush in and, you know, give your baby a second to try to figure it out. And sometimes they won’t. And then you go and tend to them, but, like, if you don’t give them a chance to figure it out as babies, then they’ll never be able to sort of figure it out on their own as adults. So I thought that was a really cool insight. How about you? 

[00:34:43] Dan Runcie: Yeah. It’s funny. You recommended that book to me, a couple of other friends did too. And I read it and yeah, it was a really an interesting read and it was a good reminder of, like, yeah, people have been doing this for plenty of years, and just because your baby doesn’t have the newest, fanciest insert whatever, stroller, bassinet this and that, like, the fact that you’re thinking about this to this extent means that you’ll probably be fine and the baby will be fine. But a few funny stories that we have that I could share, so one of them when we were in the labor delivery phase, one of the folks that was in the room with us, she was a volunteer doula that was helping with a few things. She had asked me, she was like, oh, did you want me to take pictures? Because she could see I was trying to, like, multitask. My wife had wanted me to take some pictures and I was like, yeah, sure. So then not only did she take pictures, she took a video of everything, from like the moment of, you know, when my wife started pushing to everything after. And then I remember like when, you know, my wife was still recovering, I watched it, and I was like, oh wow, I did not realize she captured everything. And then my wife was just like, I do not want to see that. And then I think she heard me watch it. And then she was like, okay, I have to see that. She was like, was that me? Like? I was like, yes, yes, that was you. But it’s okay. You know, completely normal, unexpected. So that’s, what’s there. But, yeah, I mean, I couldn’t agree with you more on, you know, everything from the love, life-changing perspective, you know, something we had wanted, and, you know, it’s been so good from that perspective and just pick it up on cues and stuff. There are definitely a few funny moments that we’ll always crack ourselves up as ’cause you have to, right? It’s like, I mean, you know, we both know what it’s like with the whole sleep deprived, everything and, and all that. But you do start to notice the baby’s patterns and stuff. And like how they’ll react to, you know, when you’re either about to feed or when you’re about to give a bottle or any of those things and just the instant reaction, so. It’s something else. But, you know, it’s been good. I mean, we’re recording today. Today’s actually one month since she was born. 

[00:36:38] Zack O’Malley Greenburg: Oh, my gosh. 

[00:36:39] Dan Runcie: Yeah. Time has is flown by, time has flown by. And this is, like, the first podcast I had done since then. Everything else up to this point had been pre-recorded stuff we planned, so slowly getting back into the swing of things. I think I’ll most likely be back in like a full-time perspective, maybe sometime later this month, but I think, you know, just going slowly week by week there. It feels good to have the work stuff to mix in with everything, but like, life-changing in the best way.

[00:37:03] Zack O’Malley Greenburg: Yeah, well so you’re coming up on five weeks and actually one of my favorite moments so far happened at five weeks. My wife and I went out with Riley  and we went out for dinner at a sidewalk cafe in New York. And, you know, Riley’s, like, sleeping, we’re having a great time and chatting and eating. And you know, after maybe like an hour, she starts crying, and so I take her out and I’m kind of rocking her, and she’s crying. And there are these ladies sitting next to us  and I was like, oh, I’m so sorry.  And they’re both like, no, really don’t worry, we have babies at home. And my wife goes, do you have any advice for us? And the one lady goes, how old’s your baby? And Danielle says five weeks. And she goes, honey, you don’t need any advice. You’re at a restaurant with the five week old.  Like, God bless you.  And that was exactly, exactly what we needed to hear. And I think it’s also like a great indication of, you know, your old life isn’t over. You could still do stuff. You just have to plan it a little more carefully and be flexible. And  I was shocked like if you had told me a couple months ago that I’d be doing that at five weeks, I wouldn’t have believed you. But it’s been really cool to just have the summer to chill out and spend time with Riley, and it’s so cool to be having like the same timing as you would kind of like  go through the milestones, so. 

[00:38:18] Dan Runcie: Definitely. When do you think you’ll bring Riley to a music festival or some type of event like that where she’s wearing the headphones and you and Danielle enjoying yourselves?

[00:38:29] Zack O’Malley Greenburg: We already got her headphones.

[00:38:31] Dan Runcie: Ear muffs, I should say. I said headphones.

[00:38:33] Zack O’Malley Greenburg: Yeah, yeah, yeah, exactly, right, right. Ear muffs. Well, we put them on, we did a trial run on the 4th of July. And initially, she smiled a lot and I think she thought they were pretty cool. And then she was like, get this shit off of me. So I don’t know. We actually were thinking of venturing into Central Park to SummerStage. A couple of weeks ago, I think Trombone Shorty was there. And then our plan just got blown up with like the various feeding schedules and things like that. So I don’t know. I think we’re ready to try. I think it just has to be a SummerStage thing, and it has to be like not too hot or too cold, and go for it. But I think the first time we’re just not going to buy tickets. We’re just going to stand outside, and see how it goes, you know, for like a half an hour. And then if that’s okay, then maybe we’ll work our way up. But yeah, I mean, so great to be in a, in a place where live music is just, you know, a short walk away. She hates being in the car, so it’s a good thing we’re in New York. 

[00:39:29] Dan Runcie: Perfect. No, that’s great. 

[00:39:32] Zack O’Malley Greenburg: When’s your first concert plan? 

[00:39:34] Dan Runcie: It’s funny because last year Outside Lands here in San Francisco was in October. So in my mind, I was like, oh yeah, we could do it in October. But then I forgot that it was a pandemic year and Outside Lands is in August. So that’s like two weeks from now. It’s, like, the first weekend in August that Outside Lands is, and a concert might be a little much in, you know, two weeks if you’re listening to this one week from recording. But I’m hoping that, you know, some early fall, hopefully, we could do something. 

[00:40:00] Zack O’Malley Greenburg: Yeah. Fingers crossed for both of us. 

[00:40:03] Dan Runcie: Definitely, definitely. Well, Zack, this is a pleasure. Appreciate you coming on. We’ll make sure that we link to Tiffany’s post in the show notes and, yeah, so next time, we’ll hit you up and then, you know, we can definitely save some stuff for our next Girl Dad Life quarter, and I’m sure there’ll be plenty of stuff happening in the industry. Everyone’s on vacation right now, relaxing, but soon enough things will be ramping back up. 

[00:40:26] Zack O’Malley Greenburg: Amen. Well, thanks for having me on Dan as always, and best of luck on fatherhood on your end, too. 

[00:40:31] Dan Runcie: Likewise. Thanks, man. 

[00:40:32] Zack O’Malley Greenburg: All right.

[00:40:34] Dan Runcie: If you enjoyed this podcast, go ahead and share it with a friend. Copy the link, text it to a friend, post it in your group chat, post it in your Slack groups, wherever you and your people talk, spread the word. That’s how Trapital continues to grow and continues to reach the right people. And while you’re at it, if you use Apple podcast, go ahead, rate the podcast. Give it a high rating and leave a review. Tell people why you liked the podcast. That helps more people discover the show. Thank you in advance. Talk to you next week.


Dan Runcie

Dan Runcie

Founder of Trapital

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