Gotcha! – OZONE MAGAZINE’s JULIA BEVERLY ACCUSED OF SCAMMING RAP ARTISTS

| November 14, 2009 | 0 Comments

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Ozone Magazine’s controversial publisher Julia Beverly has found herself in the news again and this time it has little to do with her magazine. We had learned several months ago through Julia Beverly that she also operate a “booking agency” in addition to running her magazine which seemed like it might have been a conflict at first but then I thought to myself..the economy is bad right now and the magazine print game aint doing too well so I guess a gal is gotta eat right?

 Apparently JB was attempting to “broker” a deal supposedly on behalf of imprisoned rapper Lil Boosie. Here’s where it gets sketchy..a potential “customer contacts JB about acquiring a track from Lil Boosie for the sum of $7,500.00 When the artist inquired about the song being cleared through the label JB all but insured him that would not be an issue unless it “blew up”. The individual then wanted to know what would be required to actually insure the music would be cleared and supposedly she quoted him another price of $15,000.00 which would cover the cost for clearing the song. How is she able to guarantee clearance of a song from a major label artist is beyond me? Check out the email exchanges between JB and her potential victim client below.

The music industry is known to be a cutthroat business where shady characters are always attempting to cash in on the dreams of aspiring artists. There have been stories of artist exploitation that date back almost as far as the business itself. From bad contracts to fake show promoters, the industry is full of scams. Given the current climate of the business, it is no surprise that maintaining integrity is low on the priority list for some in the music industry and many are resorting to some pretty deceitful tactics in order to make a buck.

My colleague George forwarded me a copy of an email exchange that took place between him and Julia Beverly, who heads Ozone Magazine, a popular hip-hop publication that primarily focuses on artists from the South and West Coast. George was responding to a Twitter post Beverly had made stating that she was acting as the middle-man for any artist looking to feature a verse from Louisiana rapper Lil Boosie on one of their records.

This news struck me as odd because I know Lil Boosie to be an artist on the roster of Asylum Records, as I worked promotion for one of his albums a few years back when I interned at the label. The rapper was recently sentenced to a 2 year prison term for a drug possession charge, so I figured the label may be liquidating his material in order to cash in before he begins his term.

As I read the initial email exchange, I was astounded by the scandalous nature of the transaction Beverly was attempting to broker.

From: George

Date: Sun, 1 Nov 2009 19:18:19 -0500

To: <jb@agencytwelve.com>

Subject: Boosie verse

Hello, 

I saw on Julia Beverley’s twitter that Boosie has verses for sale. I’d like to know what the prices are. 

Thank you
George

This was her response:

On Sun, Nov 1, 2009 at 9:28 PM, <jb@agencytwelve.com> wrote:

He’s looking for around $7k+ cash. This week only. He has several prerecorded verses already done. Price does not include label clearance. 

This would actually appear to be a pretty good deal for an upcoming artist, given that Lil Boosie has a pretty descent sales record and a loyal following throughout Louisiana and some other Southern markets. The real problem is that she overtly revealed that this price does not include label clearance, meaning she was attempting to sell verses that could be used on a track, but ran the risk of being shut down at any time by the label if they were to catch wind of the existence of these records.

The exchange continued:

From: George

Sent: Tuesday, November 03, 2009 3:08 PM

To: Julia Beverly

Subject: Re: Boosie verse

I have the cash ready to go. What’s going to be involved in getting label clearance? I plan on pushing the track to radio. 

From: “Julia Beverly”

Date: Tue, 3 Nov 2009 15:41:11 -0500

To: George

Subject: RE: Boosie verse

You would probably have to pay the label another $5-7k to get it cleared. Honestly, the clearance isn’t generally a major issue unless the song blows up and/or you get a deal with a major label.. so if that happens, it’ll be a good problem to have. 

At this point, I became curious as to what exactly was going on here. I could not believe that someone of Beverly’s standing in the industry was attempting to dupe someone with such little remorse. I began to throw some suggestions to my colleague and attempt to clarify the clearance issue, as I thought this was being treated somewhat lightly.

From: George

Date: Tue, 3 Nov 2009 22:10:27 -0500

To: Julia Beverly<jb@agencytwelve.com>

Subject: Re: Boosie verse

Cool i’m worried about the label clearance and i’m going to try and find a link to [Asylum Records Executive] to see what he says it’s gonna cost me.  

On Tue, Nov 3, 2009 at 10:11 PM, <jb@agencytwelve.com> wrote:

It would go thru trill not [Asylum Records Executive]. With label clearance its gonna be like $15k.  

From: George

Sent: Tuesday, November 03, 2009 10:24 PM

To: jb@agencytwelve.com

Subject: Re: Boosie verse

Would i need to wire you the 15K and you will handle the clearance and can i expect some love from Ozone when the record drops? 

From: Julia Beverly <jb@agencytwelve.com>
Date: Tue, Nov 3, 2009 at 10:27 PM
Subject: RE: Boosie verse
To: George

Yes, we would send you an invoice and take care of getting the paperwork signed. It can sometimes take several weeks to get the paperwork but we can get the verse done right away. This is going through my booking agency, Agency Twelve, so technically it doesn’t have anything to do with Ozone, but we could probably at least post the record on the Ozonemag.com site when it’s done. 

This was definitely an interesting turn of events. What started off as a $7K deal with no label clearance involved had become an easy deal to broker for $15K that would include the proper paperwork to make the record legal. How did that happen so quickly? I told him to get some clarification.

From: George

Sent: Tuesday, November 03, 2009 10:43 PM

To: Julia Beverly
Subject: Re: Boosie verse

I’m a little confused. Do i pay you once the paperwork is completed? Otherwise how can I be certain I have a legal clearance? 

From: Julia Beverly <jb@agencytwelve.com>
Date: Tue, Nov 3, 2009 at 11:21 PM
Subject: RE: Boosie verse
To: George

We will have a contract/invoice in place to make sure that your funds are safe. I am waiting for the label to confirm the price with clearance. 

Wait a minute. An hour ago she was ready to take $15K and was assuring a full clearance. Now she was waiting for the label to confirm the price? I would hope most would walk away from the deal long before this, but clearly this was too interesting to not continue pushing. I actually believed she had to know that George was not serious at this point, as it took almost an entire day before she responded with the “confirmation” he was waiting for.

On Wed, Nov 4, 2009 at 7:38 PM, Julia Beverly <jb@agencytwelve.com> wrote:

Please do NOT forward this link, here are the verses that are available for $7-8k. Just spoke to the label and they said that clearance would NOT be an option at this point. 

The message included a link with the 8 verses she was trying to sell available to download. All were tagged with a voiceover shouting “Bad Ass Entertainment” over top, which is a common precaution used mostly for records delivered to DJs that labels do not want leaked.

What confused me about this message was the fact that she was boldly stating that the label would not clear the record under any circumstances. Knowing this information and having addressed George’s previous concerns, you would think the deal would be dead at this point. My guess is that she believed by dangling the verses in front of George, he would forget his previous inhibitions about making this deal and decide to move forward under her original guidance by not worrying about clearing the record with the label.

George continued to play ball with her, but made sure to reiterate his concerns about making this a legal record. I told him to express his desire to make this happen and to even give some information on his own budget, as I knew this would give her an idea of what he was working with.

From: George

Sent: Wednesday, November 04, 2009 8:50 PM

To: Julia Beverly

Subject: Re: Boosie verse

I really love two of the verses actually love them but i’m putting 30K into radio promotion but i’m worried that my record will get shut down. So if the label can’t clear it i’m going to have to find another artist. 

From: Julia Beverly <jb@agencytwelve.com>
Date: Thu, Nov 5, 2009 at 12:27 AM
Subject: RE: Boosie verse
To: George

They’re going to get me a definite price on the clearance tomorrow. What’s the most you’re willing to pay total, including label clearance? And which two verses did you like.. 

In case you’re having trouble following this. We started with a verse that was going to cost $7K with no label clearance. Then she was able to provide a full clearance for $15K. But then after speaking with the label, no clearance was going to be available under any circumstances. Now, after mentioning that he had $30K for radio promotion, the option to get this record cleared was back on the table, but Beverly was intent on finding out how much she could shake him down for.

I figured there was no need to take this any further and advised George to shut it down. Needless to say, Beverly was not happy about the idea that he did not believe this to be a smart business move.

From: George

Date: Thu, 5 Nov 2009 09:49:54 -0500

To: Julia Beverly

Subject: Re: Boosie verse

You already told me that the label wasn’t going to clear it and this seems to be an illegitimate transaction. Now you’re asking me how much i’m willing to pay. I’m going to step away from this and go with another artist. Thank you 

She quickly followed up. Twice.

From: jb@agencytwelve.com

Date: Thu, 5 Nov 2009 16:19:15 +0000

To: George

Subject: Re: Boosie verse

Lol.. I do this all the time and even sent you the audio. I asked you to call me if it makes you more comfortable and I never heard from you. You don’t seem to understand how clearances work, but okay. 

From: jb@agencytwelve.com

Date: Thu, 5 Nov 2009 16:29:56 +0000

To: George

Subject: Re: Boosie verse

As far as the label, I’m only relaying what they’re telling me. You should research who you’re speaking to before you start throwing around words like “illegitimate” and basically accusing me of trying to scam you. Kind of disrespectful. 

This is where the conversation ended. It’s funny that Beverly took offense to the idea that this transaction appeared to be a little fishy after flip-flopping on the clearance issue numerous times during the exchange. Additionally, she never asked him to call to discuss the deal and even if she had; how would that make this deal any more legitimate? The scary part is she claims to “do this all the time.”

Most people in the hip-hop industry who have ever worked with an independent artist know that promoting that artist properly is a high-stakes business. In order to gain radio airplay without major label backing requires independent artists to seek out and pay people that specialize in getting records on the radio. This will generally require an initial investment of at least $20K in order to see results. In this case, George has indicated he may be willing to drop $37K on a single record and with no remorse Beverly claims he won’t face any problems unless the song “blows up.”

Even more troublesome is the fact that she has no certainty of the actual cost to clear the record with the label and danced around the issue of clearance in an attempt to milk as much money from George as he was able to spend. The truth of the matter is she can’t quote a price because she’s setting up a deal with no boundaries. If George were to attempt to clear the record with the label prior to pushing it to radio, he’s at the mercy of the label and the chance would exist that they could flat out deny the clearance altogether causing him to waste $7K for the verse. His other option would be to take Beverly’s advice and go ahead with radio promotion without a clearance, at which point the label is free to step in at any time and demand an exorbitant fee for a clearance or threaten to send cease & desist letters to any radio station playing the record. Either way, George loses a lot more money than he intended to spend.

This is what has become of a once prosperous industry. Beverly has used her magazine to establish trust with aspiring artists only to turn around and abuse her position of power for her own personal gain. By offering these fly-by-night verses without clearances, she is selling false hope to the aspiring artists that loyally support her magazine each month. Rather than focusing on ways to improve the editorial content of her magazine, Beverly has decided to sink to the level of a two-bit scam artist under the impression that any allegations of shady business practices one could make will quickly be squashed through her control of her publication.

In this case, Beverly is not the only one to blame, as she is clearly in collusion with Lil Boosie in this endeavor. It’s impossible to tell who all stands to benefit from these crooked deals, but it is certainly not the aspiring artist who is just looking for an opportunity to further their career.

When discussing what transpired with Beverly with another colleague who works in the music industry he brought up the point; what if Boosie really needs that money? My response to him was that Boosie needs to have a bake sale. There is no excuse that makes it acceptable to prey off of the innocent people that support you and are just looking for the same opportunity you were given. Once you sign a record deal, you are bound by the clauses of that deal, and if you’re not confident you’re going to be able to support yourself through the earnings you make by signing that contract, then don’t sign it.

This is just one example of the many pitfalls an independent artist may encounter when trying to improve their career. It should serve as a warning that artists must be careful who they are doing business with, especially during these turbulent times in the industry, as it is clear that even those with established reputations in the industry are not above pouncing on an opportunity to take an artist’s hard-earned cash. It is always a wise decision to align yourself with knowledgeable people who can instruct you on the best moves to improve your career. A good manager or entertainment attorney will help protect you from falling victim to these types of scams and are definitely worth the cost especially when they can help you avoid wasting money by engaging in illegitimate business deals.

It is sad to see someone like Beverly, who I once respected for her ability to keep Ozone Magazine thriving during turbulent times for both the music industry and print publications, engaging in this sort of unscrupulous behavior. I still remain confident that better days are ahead for the music industry, but tough times is no excuse for abandoning integrity.

The music industry is known to be a cutthroat business where shady characters are always attempting to cash in on the dreams of aspiring artists. There have been stories of artist exploitation that date back almost as far as the business itself. From bad contracts to fake show promoters, the industry is full of scams. Given the current climate of the business, it is no surprise that maintaining integrity is low on the priority list for some in the music industry and many are resorting to some pretty deceitful tactics in order to make a buck.

My colleague George forwarded me a copy of an email exchange that took place between him and Julia Beverly, who heads Ozone Magazine, a popular hip-hop publication that primarily focuses on artists from the South and West Coast. George was responding to a Twitter post Beverly had made stating that she was acting as the middle-man for any artist looking to feature a verse from Louisiana rapper Lil Boosie on one of their records.

This news struck me as odd because I know Lil Boosie to be an artist on the roster of Asylum Records, as I worked promotion for one of his albums a few years back when I interned at the label. The rapper was recently sentenced to a 2 year prison term for a drug possession charge, so I figured the label may be liquidating his material in order to cash in before he begins his term.

As I read the initial email exchange, I was astounded by the scandalous nature of the transaction Beverly was attempting to broker.

From: George

Date: Sun, 1 Nov 2009 19:18:19 -0500

To: <jb@agencytwelve.com>

Subject: Boosie verse

Hello, 

I saw on Julia Beverley’s twitter that Boosie has verses for sale. I’d like to know what the prices are. 

Thank you
George

This was her response:

On Sun, Nov 1, 2009 at 9:28 PM, <jb@agencytwelve.com> wrote:

He’s looking for around $7k+ cash. This week only. He has several prerecorded verses already done. Price does not include label clearance. 

This would actually appear to be a pretty good deal for an upcoming artist, given that Lil Boosie has a pretty descent sales record and a loyal following throughout Louisiana and some other Southern markets. The real problem is that she overtly revealed that this price does not include label clearance, meaning she was attempting to sell verses that could be used on a track, but ran the risk of being shut down at any time by the label if they were to catch wind of the existence of these records.

The exchange continued:

From: George

Sent: Tuesday, November 03, 2009 3:08 PM

To: Julia Beverly

Subject: Re: Boosie verse

I have the cash ready to go. What’s going to be involved in getting label clearance? I plan on pushing the track to radio.

From: “Julia Beverly”

Date: Tue, 3 Nov 2009 15:41:11 -0500

To: George

Subject: RE: Boosie verse

You would probably have to pay the label another $5-7k to get it cleared. Honestly, the clearance isn’t generally a major issue unless the song blows up and/or you get a deal with a major label.. so if that happens, it’ll be a good problem to have.

At this point, I became curious as to what exactly was going on here. I could not believe that someone of Beverly’s standing in the industry was attempting to dupe someone with such little remorse. I began to throw some suggestions to my colleague and attempt to clarify the clearance issue, as I thought this was being treated somewhat lightly.

From: George

Date: Tue, 3 Nov 2009 22:10:27 -0500

To: Julia Beverly<jb@agencytwelve.com>

Subject: Re: Boosie verse

Cool i’m worried about the label clearance and i’m going to try and find a link to [Asylum Records Executive] to see what he says it’s gonna cost me.

On Tue, Nov 3, 2009 at 10:11 PM, <jb@agencytwelve.com> wrote:

It would go thru trill not [Asylum Records Executive]. With label clearance its gonna be like $15k.

From: George

Sent: Tuesday, November 03, 2009 10:24 PM

To: jb@agencytwelve.com

Subject: Re: Boosie verse

Would i need to wire you the 15K and you will handle the clearance and can i expect some love from Ozone when the record drops?

From: Julia Beverly <jb@agencytwelve.com>
Date: Tue, Nov 3, 2009 at 10:27 PM
Subject: RE: Boosie verse
To: George

Yes, we would send you an invoice and take care of getting the paperwork signed. It can sometimes take several weeks to get the paperwork but we can get the verse done right away. This is going through my booking agency, Agency Twelve, so technically it doesn’t have anything to do with Ozone, but we could probably at least post the record on the Ozonemag.com site when it’s done.

This was definitely an interesting turn of events. What started off as a $7K deal with no label clearance involved had become an easy deal to broker for $15K that would include the proper paperwork to make the record legal. How did that happen so quickly? I told him to get some clarification.

From: George

Sent: Tuesday, November 03, 2009 10:43 PM

To: Julia Beverly
Subject: Re: Boosie verse

I’m a little confused. Do i pay you once the paperwork is completed? Otherwise how can I be certain I have a legal clearance?

From: Julia Beverly <jb@agencytwelve.com>
Date: Tue, Nov 3, 2009 at 11:21 PM
Subject: RE: Boosie verse
To: George

We will have a contract/invoice in place to make sure that your funds are safe. I am waiting for the label to confirm the price with clearance.

Wait a minute. An hour ago she was ready to take $15K and was assuring a full clearance. Now she was waiting for the label to confirm the price? I would hope most would walk away from the deal long before this, but clearly this was too interesting to not continue pushing. I actually believed she had to know that George was not serious at this point, as it took almost an entire day before she responded with the “confirmation” he was waiting for.

On Wed, Nov 4, 2009 at 7:38 PM, Julia Beverly <jb@agencytwelve.com> wrote:

Please do NOT forward this link, here are the verses that are available for $7-8k. Just spoke to the label and they said that clearance would NOT be an option at this point.

The message included a link with the 8 verses she was trying to sell available to download. All were tagged with a voiceover shouting “Bad Ass Entertainment” over top, which is a common precaution used mostly for records delivered to DJs that labels do not want leaked.

What confused me about this message was the fact that she was boldly stating that the label would not clear the record under any circumstances. Knowing this information and having addressed George’s previous concerns, you would think the deal would be dead at this point. My guess is that she believed by dangling the verses in front of George, he would forget his previous inhibitions about making this deal and decide to move forward under her original guidance by not worrying about clearing the record with the label.

George continued to play ball with her, but made sure to reiterate his concerns about making this a legal record. I told him to express his desire to make this happen and to even give some information on his own budget, as I knew this would give her an idea of what he was working with.

From: George

Sent: Wednesday, November 04, 2009 8:50 PM

To: Julia Beverly

Subject: Re: Boosie verse

I really love two of the verses actually love them but i’m putting 30K into radio promotion but i’m worried that my record will get shut down. So if the label can’t clear it i’m going to have to find another artist.

From: Julia Beverly <jb@agencytwelve.com>
Date: Thu, Nov 5, 2009 at 12:27 AM
Subject: RE: Boosie verse
To: George

They’re going to get me a definite price on the clearance tomorrow. What’s the most you’re willing to pay total, including label clearance? And which two verses did you like..

In case you’re having trouble following this. We started with a verse that was going to cost $7K with no label clearance. Then she was able to provide a full clearance for $15K. But then after speaking with the label, no clearance was going to be available under any circumstances. Now, after mentioning that he had $30K for radio promotion, the option to get this record cleared was back on the table, but Beverly was intent on finding out how much she could shake him down for.

I figured there was no need to take this any further and advised George to shut it down. Needless to say, Beverly was not happy about the idea that he did not believe this to be a smart business move.

From: George

Date: Thu, 5 Nov 2009 09:49:54 -0500

To: Julia Beverly

Subject: Re: Boosie verse

You already told me that the label wasn’t going to clear it and this seems to be an illegitimate transaction. Now you’re asking me how much i’m willing to pay. I’m going to step away from this and go with another artist. Thank you

She quickly followed up. Twice.

From: jb@agencytwelve.com

Date: Thu, 5 Nov 2009 16:19:15 +0000

To: George

Subject: Re: Boosie verse

Lol.. I do this all the time and even sent you the audio. I asked you to call me if it makes you more comfortable and I never heard from you. You don’t seem to understand how clearances work, but okay.

From: jb@agencytwelve.com

Date: Thu, 5 Nov 2009 16:29:56 +0000

To: George

Subject: Re: Boosie verse

As far as the label, I’m only relaying what they’re telling me. You should research who you’re speaking to before you start throwing around words like “illegitimate” and basically accusing me of trying to scam you. Kind of disrespectful.

This is where the conversation ended. It’s funny that Beverly took offense to the idea that this transaction appeared to be a little fishy after flip-flopping on the clearance issue numerous times during the exchange. Additionally, she never asked him to call to discuss the deal and even if she had; how would that make this deal any more legitimate? The scary part is she claims to “do this all the time.”

Most people in the hip-hop industry who have ever worked with an independent artist know that promoting that artist properly is a high-stakes business. In order to gain radio airplay without major label backing requires independent artists to seek out and pay people that specialize in getting records on the radio. This will generally require an initial investment of at least $20K in order to see results. In this case, George has indicated he may be willing to drop $37K on a single record and with no remorse Beverly claims he won’t face any problems unless the song “blows up.”

Even more troublesome is the fact that she has no certainty of the actual cost to clear the record with the label and danced around the issue of clearance in an attempt to milk as much money from George as he was able to spend. The truth of the matter is she can’t quote a price because she’s setting up a deal with no boundaries. If George were to attempt to clear the record with the label prior to pushing it to radio, he’s at the mercy of the label and the chance would exist that they could flat out deny the clearance altogether causing him to waste $7K for the verse. His other option would be to take Beverly’s advice and go ahead with radio promotion without a clearance, at which point the label is free to step in at any time and demand an exorbitant fee for a clearance or threaten to send cease & desist letters to any radio station playing the record. Either way, George loses a lot more money than he intended to spend.

This is what has become of a once prosperous industry. Beverly has used her magazine to establish trust with aspiring artists only to turn around and abuse her position of power for her own personal gain. By offering these fly-by-night verses without clearances, she is selling false hope to the aspiring artists that loyally support her magazine each month. Rather than focusing on ways to improve the editorial content of her magazine, Beverly has decided to sink to the level of a two-bit scam artist under the impression that any allegations of shady business practices one could make will quickly be squashed through her control of her publication.

In this case, Beverly is not the only one to blame, as she is clearly in collusion with Lil Boosie in this endeavor. It’s impossible to tell who all stands to benefit from these crooked deals, but it is certainly not the aspiring artist who is just looking for an opportunity to further their career.

When discussing what transpired with Beverly with another colleague who works in the music industry he brought up the point; what if Boosie really needs that money? My response to him was that Boosie needs to have a bake sale. There is no excuse that makes it acceptable to prey off of the innocent people that support you and are just looking for the same opportunity you were given. Once you sign a record deal, you are bound by the clauses of that deal, and if you’re not confident you’re going to be able to support yourself through the earnings you make by signing that contract, then don’t sign it.

This is just one example of the many pitfalls an independent artist may encounter when trying to improve their career. It should serve as a warning that artists must be careful who they are doing business with, especially during these turbulent times in the industry, as it is clear that even those with established reputations in the industry are not above pouncing on an opportunity to take an artist’s hard-earned cash. It is always a wise decision to align yourself with knowledgeable people who can instruct you on the best moves to improve your career. A good manager or entertainment attorney will help protect you from falling victim to these types of scams and are definitely worth the cost especially when they can help you avoid wasting money by engaging in illegitimate business deals.

It is sad to see someone like Beverly, who I once respected for her ability to keep Ozone Magazine thriving during turbulent times for both the music industry and print publications, engaging in this sort of unscrupulous behavior. I still remain confident that better days are ahead for the music industry, but tough times is no excuse for abandoning integrity.

HERE IS WHAT OTHERS HD TO SAY ABOUT THE MATTER:

Source: Explosive World

Editor’s note:

Please note: This is a gossip story and the views of the author are not neccessarily the views of the publication and as such should only be viewed for entertainment purposes. You the reader have the right to conduct your own independent investigation into the validiy and weight of the information contained herein.

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