TODAY'S TOP STORY: Magazine publisher Condé Nast has sued Drake and 21 Savage over the promotional campaign for their new collaborative album 'Her Loss' which has centred on a fake edition of the media firm's most prominent publication Vogue... [READ MORE]

TOP STORIES Condé Nast sues over Drake and 21 Savage fake Vogue cover
LEGAL Kanye West sued over Donda sample
LIVE BUSINESS Attitude Is Everything encourages festivals to improve disabled access in 2023
MEDIA NME invites new artists to submit themselves for new Get Featured initiative
RELEASES Steve Mason announces new album Brothers & Sisters
The Raincoats' Gina Birch announces debut solo album

ONE LINERS Gorillaz, Peter Gabriel, Deus, more
AND FINALLY... Judge Judy says Justin Bieber is "scared to death" of her
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Condé Nast sues over Drake and 21 Savage fake Vogue cover
Magazine publisher Condé Nast has sued Drake and 21 Savage over the promotional campaign for their new collaborative album 'Her Loss' which has centred on a fake edition of the media firm's most prominent publication Vogue.

As part of a promo push that involved a number of other faked brand partnerships and media appearances, Drake and 21 Savage ran a poster and social media campaign featuring a mocked up Vogue cover, and also seemingly distributed some copies of the fashion magazine tweaked so that it contained the fake cover and some other references to the record within.

In its lawsuit, Condé Nast says: "This action arises out of a widespread promotional campaign recently launched by world famous musical artists Drake and 21 Savage, built entirely on the use of the Vogue marks and the premise that Drake and 21 Savage would be featured on the cover of Vogue's next issue as a means of promoting defendants' newly released album 'Her Loss'".

"All of this is false", it adds. "And none of it has been authorised by Condé Nast. In furtherance of their deceptive campaign, defendants have gone so far as to create a counterfeit issue of Vogue magazine, distributing copies in North America's largest metropolitan areas, plastering posters of the counterfeit cover along streets and buildings throughout these cities, and disseminating images of the unauthorised counterfeit magazine to the more than 135 million social media users".

"Not surprisingly in light of the deliberately deceptive intent", the legal filing goes on, "rather than offer any indication that defendants' supposed cover was of a counterfeit magazine, defendants' social media posts on both Instagram and Twitter instead are accompanied by the following explicitly false statements: 'Me and my brother on newsstands tomorrow!! Thanks @voguemagazine and Anna Wintour for the love and support on this historic moment'".

"Vogue magazine and its Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour have had no involvement in 'Her Loss' or its promotion, and have not endorsed it in any way", it confirms.

The lawsuit then points to various media reports and social media posts taken in by the spoof, and seemingly under the impression that Vogue was featuring Drake and 21 Savage in its next issue. Most of those posts actually seemed quite excited by the prospect of the musicians appearing in the fashion mag, though Condé Nast is not interested in exciting any music fans.

"That defendants would knowingly violate Condé Nast's rights in this manner", the publisher continues, "underscores the tremendous value that a cover feature in Vogue magazine carries, here, to amplify sales of an album that was to be released days after defendants commenced their deceptive campaign. This of course was defendants' aim".

Since 31 Oct, the lawsuit confirms, Condé Nast has been busy sending cease and desist letters to Drake, 21 Savage and the communications agency leading on the campaign, Hiltzik Strategies, but so far those notices have had no impact.

"Defendants' flippant disregard for Condé Nast's rights have left it with no choice but to commence this action and seek the immediate injunctive relief requested herein", it concludes, "together with any and all available monetary remedies to deter the type of flagrant infringements and false advertising in which defendants have engaged".

The media firm is suing for trademark infringement, unfair competition and false advertising, among other things.


Kanye West sued over Donda sample
Kanye West has been sued over an allegedly uncleared sample on 'Life Of The Party', a track that featured on the deluxe edition of his 'Donda' album.

A company called Phase One Network says that 'Life Of The Party' features a sample from a Boogie Down Productions track that it controls, that being 'South Bronx' from the KRS-One-led outfit's 1987 album 'Criminal Minded'.

This particular 'Donda' track has already been on quite the adventure. Although it was previewed at those pre-release listening parties that West staged for the album in summer 2021, it didn't appear on the original track listing when 'Donda' was finally released at the end of August that year.

It transpired that it had been cut from the record at the request of guest artist Andre 3000. The verse he'd contributed was quite sweary, but then West decided he wanted a swear free album, and Andre 3000 didn't feel his verse would work with the swearing edited out.

The track also featured a Drake-dissing verse by West, he and Drake being in the middle of a particularly tedious feud at the time. Drake then got hold of a copy and played it on his 'Sound 42’ Sirius XM radio show.

And once the song was out there, it was decided to make the track officially available via West's Stem Player device in October 2021 and then on the deluxe edition of 'Donda' the following month. And then it was released as a single. Fun times.

But what about this fucking sample? Well, according to the lawsuit filed by Phase One Network, West's team made an approach about licensing the 'South Bronx' sample in July 2021, but no agreement was reached before the release of 'Donda' and the arrival of 'Life Of The Party' on the Stem Player. Licensing talks were then officially abandoned shortly after the release of the deluxe edition of 'Donda'.

The lawsuit targets West and his Good Music label, the maker of the Stem Player and Universal Music, which was still releasing West's recordings at the time.

Says the lawsuit: "By illegally incorporating 'South Bronx' into the infringing track and authorising the distribution of the infringing track through the Stem Player and its associated website, all defendants have allowed for the widespread distribution of the infringing track and have direct financial interest in the same".

West, of course, is far too busy these days spouting dangerous bullshit to be commenting on something as mundane as uncleared sample lawsuit. However, the maker of the Stem Player, the UK-based Kano Computing Limited, has issued a statement regarding the litigation.

A spokesperson told Rolling Stone: "The Kano and Stem team were assured by Kanye and Yeezy that they would provide music with 'all intellectual property rights, licences and consents'. This was important to us, because Stem is built from the ground up to be a more fair and immersive medium than the current music business".

"On Stem, creators own and control their own work, pricing, rights, and distribution in full", they added. "We just heard about this claim and we are investigating it now".

Attitude Is Everything encourages festivals to improve disabled access in 2023
Attitude Is Everything has announced a new campaign called #FestivalsWithoutBarriers in partnership with the Association Of Independent Festivals, the Association Of Festival Organisers and the British Arts Festival Association.

The link up will see the three festival trade bodies encourage their members to improve accessibility at their events. The campaign has issued three calls to action:

First, plan to provide quality access information to disabled audiences at the point of tickets going on sale by implementing Attitude Is Everything's Access Starts Online guidance.

Secondly, integrate questions about access requirements into the artist booking process.

And thirdly, implement practical changes to make festival workplaces and festival volunteering accessible to disabled people.

"I see this new partnership between Attitude Is Everything, AIF, AFO and BAFA as a powerful force in transforming the industry", says AIE founder Suzanne Bull. "The experiences of disabled people over the 2022 festival season appear to have been quite mixed, especially when it comes to availability of pre-event information, booking accessible tickets and the level of access onsite".

"Working together", she adds, "we will drive through the change necessary to improve access for disabled audiences, artists, employees and volunteers. As a disabled person, I'm looking forward to a stress-free festival season in 2023!"

Paul Reed, outgoing CEO of the Association Of Independent Festivals, states: "We're very pleased to expand our long term partnership with Attitude Is Everything on this initiative".

"It has been seven years since we launched Access Starts Online together", he goes on, "and this expands the remit to artists, changes in the workplace and vital training opportunities for AIF members. Accessibility at festivals is truly a cross-sector issue and it's hugely positive to see our friends at AFO and BAFA also get onboard. Let's work together to ensure that 2023 is the most accessible year for UK festivals yet".

Steve Heap, General Secretary of the Association Of Festival Organisers, says: "The Association Of Festival Organisers has been working alongside Attitude Is Everything for some years now in a drive to improve accessibility both in the audience and on stage for deaf and disabled people".

"The AFO is now very pleased indeed to be sitting with such a powerful and positive organisation that intends to help guide members and increase access and participation in 2023", he continues.

"With 14.6 million people in the UK being disabled there is a vast potential audience that may not be attending festivals for fear of inaccessibility. Here at AFO we are now discovering more and more disabled performers who could form part of our programme and helping our AFO members make their festivals more accessible. We look forward to supporting and working with Attitude is Everything for some years to come".

Meanwhile, Fiona Goh, Director of British Arts Festivals Association, comments: "British Arts Festivals Association is delighted to be working alongside its sister organisations, AFO and AIF, in helping to make 2023 the most accessible year yet for UK festivals".

"Our partnership with Attitude Is Everything will help guide our members to increase access and participation by disabled audiences, artists and staff, beginning at the point of sale and running right through festival delivery", she adds. "There's never been a more important time to ensure that festivals are accessible to all, and we look forward to seeing a more diverse and inclusive audience in our festivals next year".

As well as the aforementioned Access Starts Online guidance and another existing resource, the Accessible Employment Guide, festivals can also utilise a new AIE guide on inclusive artist booking and a forthcoming guide to accessible volunteering.


NME invites new artists to submit themselves for new Get Featured initiative
NME has announced a new initiative - competition perhaps - to give emerging artists and bands a whole load of promotion all over its website, which it's calling - to save any confusion - Get Featured.

The whole thing is a partnership with BandLab - the social music creation platform also owned by NME parent company Caldecott Music Group - and is part of the BandLab Opportunities scheme. To be considered, artists of any genre must upload and submit music via the now also BandLab-owned ReverbNation.

Talking about Get Featured and the wider BandLab Opportunities programme, NME and BandLab say in a statement: "This is an ongoing opportunity that will see NME spotlight a total of four creators throughout 2023. [It] will also encourage artists to submit their music directly for festival bookings, film and TV sync opportunities, and brand deals".

Winners will be selected by the NME Radar editorial team. Each selected artist will then get: a photoshoot for their NME feature (with global usage rights in ten of the photos also provided to the artist); one track featured on the NME's New Bangers playlist for a month; and a BandLab-sponsored profile put on the front page of the NME website for 24 hours; plus some good old social media stuff.

To be considered, go and sign up here before 31 Dec.


CMU Insights Upcoming Sessions
CMU's Chris Cooke will be popping up at a number of music industry events this month...

Chris will be back at the brilliant Ultimate Seminar, the latest London edition of which is taking place on Saturday 19 Nov. Once again those early on in their music careers will have the opportunity to hear and learn from - and network with - a wide range of music industry professionals, with Chris moderating a panel as part of the programme once again.

More info on the Ultimate Seminar here

On 23 and 24 Nov, Chris will be at the Linecheck conference in Milan, presenting CMU speed briefings and moderating insightful discussions on the latest trends in music rights and the live sector. Look out for more information on those sessions very soon!

More info on Linecheck here

On 28 Nov, Chris will deliver a briefing as part of the Demystifying Digital event being staged in London by the UK's Music Publishers Association. As part of a day exploring the ins and outs of the streaming sector and digital licensing, Chris will kick things off with an overview of the history of digital music.

More info on Demystifying Digital here

Steve Mason announces new album Brothers & Sisters
Steve Mason has announced that he will release his new album, 'Brothers & Sisters', next year. Alongside the announcement, he's also released new single 'No More', featuring Javed Bashir.

"To me, this record is a massive 'fuck you' to Brexit", says Mason of the album. "And a giant 'fuck you' to anyone that is terrified of immigration, because there is nothing that immigration has brought to this country that isn't to be applauded. Can you imagine what this place would be like without [immigration]? I mean what would it be like? Cornish pasties and morris dancing?"

Of the single, he adds: "This track is about imperialism and, in a subtle way, relative to some of my other work, references Australia, partition and Africa through a combination of lyrics and music. I like to imagine the spirits of these cultures and people haunting the families who profited and were involved in their destruction down through the generations. Never giving them real peace".

"I can never square in my mind the idea of going to a new country with such horror in mind and struggle to believe that those who carry out such deeds are in fact human", he goes on. "Sitting in incredible splendour with everything around you, dripping in the blood of incredible and ancient civilisations".

"This subject has been gone over in depth by many highly intelligent people over the years and is of course nothing new", he concludes, "but given the message behind this 'fuck Brexit/pro immigration' album I felt a little history and context was needed".

'Brother & Sisters' is set for release on 3 Mar. Mason also sets off on tour later this month and has announced new dates in April and May. Here's the full list of dates:

30 Nov: Guildford, The Boileroom
1 Dec: Tunbridge Wells, The Forum
2 Dec: Southampton, Heartbreakers
3 Dec: Leicester, Firebug
7 Dec: Bedford, Esquires
8 Dec: Ramsgate Music Hall
9 Dec: Bath, Moles
10 Dec: Birmingham, Castle & Falcon
14 Dec: Edinburgh, The Caves
15 Dec: York, The Crescent
16 Dec: Hull, Social
17 Dec: Hebden Bridge, The Trades Club
20 Apr: Birkenhead, Future Yard
21 Apr: Sheffield, Academy 2
22 Apr: Oxford, Academy 2
27 Apr: Leeds, Brudenell Social Club
28 Apr: Sunderland, Pop Recs
29 Apr: Glasgow, King Tut's
3 May: Manchester, Gorilla
4 May: London, Electric Ballroom
5 May: Nottingham, Rescue Rooms
6 May: Brighton, Concorde 2


The Raincoats' Gina Birch announces debut solo album
Gina Birch of The Raincoats has announced that she will release her debut solo album, 'I Play My Bass Loud', through Jack White's Third Man Records early next year.

"The album distills my years of musical, political and artistic life with these genre-breaking songs", says Birch. "It's a personal diary using sounds and lyrics, full of fun, rage and storytelling".

On the album's title, she says: "There's the whole thing about women playing their music and wanting to be heard, wanting acknowledgment or the space to do it. The bass is sometimes assigned as a lesser instrument, and yet because of reggae and the creativity of a lot of women players, it has always been a creative and phenomenal instrument".

"I always thought, if I open my big bay window upstairs [in my house] and play my bass, I'm not some groovy young rapper", she goes on. "I'm this old white woman playing my bass guitar out of my window. I just want to stick my head out and yell down the street: 'Hell, I'm here and I'm playing my bass loud!'"

The first single from the album is 'Wish I Was You', which features Thurston Moore on guitar. Listen here.

Birch will also be touring the UK and Ireland in March, and has a one-off show booked at the Third Man Records shop in London this Friday. Here are all the dates:

11 Nov: London, The Blue Basement @ Third Man Records
21 Mar: Brighton, The Hope and Ruin
22 Mar: London, Oslo
24 Mar: Glasgow, The Hug and Pint
25 Mar: Dublin, Whelan's
27 Mar: Leeds, Brudenell Social Club



Gorillaz have released new single 'Baby Queen', which you may already have heard if you've been playing the FIFA 2023 video game - the song appearing on the soundtrack. The inspiration for the song, says Damon Albarn, was "a dream about this princess [that I had] very recently. She'd grown up and we spent time in my dream together, her as a woman". So now you know.

Deus will release new album 'How To Replace It' on 17 Feb - their first LP since 2012's 'Following Sea'. "Things always take longer than you think", says frontman Tom Barman of the long gap. Here's new single 'Must Have Been New'.

Skindred have announced that they will release new album 'Smile' next summer, and have also released new single 'Gimme That Boom'. "It's the ultimate ragga-rocking, dancehall-shaking, dutty-winding, head-banging, horn-waving creation", says frontman Benji Webb. "Yes party people the Dreds dem back!"

M(h)aol have released new single 'Asking For It', ahead of the release of their debut album 'Attachment Styles' on Friday.

Enola has released new single 'Metal Body'.

Lambrini Girls have released new single 'Help Me I'm Gay'.



Peter Gabriel has announced that he will play his first UK and Ireland shows since 2014 next June, including a show at the O2 Arena in London on 19 Jun. He also says that he's "surrounded by a whole lot of new songs".

Check out our weekly Spotify playlist of new music featured in the CMU Daily - updated every Friday.


Judge Judy says Justin Bieber is "scared to death" of her
Judge Judy has said that Justin Bieber is "scared to death" of her. And if you're wondering when Justin Bieber was on the Judge Judy TV show - joining John Lydon in the rank of musicians to appear in her court - it's worse than that. They used to be neighbours.

"He's scared to death of me", she tells Access Hollywood. And this all arose from that "period of time before he grew up - when he was foolish and doing foolish things".

You'll remember, of course, that period of time - around 2014 - when Bieber was fully into his troublemaker era. The centrepiece of that phase was when Bieber was arrested for throwing eggs at a neighbour's house. While that neighbour wasn't Judge Judy, and she did not formally judge him in court, she did make a public ruling via the media.

"Being a celebrity is a gift", she told CBS at the time. "You can either treat it reverently, or you can make a fool out of yourself, and he's doing a very good job of making a fool out of himself. And I think it's sad. Nobody's going to remember that he was a marginal singer, but they're going to remember a young kid, who had a chance to have it all, and who is blowing it by acting like a fool".

Judy seemingly doesn't recall saying any of that now. I guess it must all become a bit of a blur when you're passing judgement on people day-in day-out.

Either way, in this new interview she says: "I must have said something about it, and then, I understood that he was paying the front door people to let them know when I was there, coming and going, so he wouldn't have to bump into me".

Presumably Bieber was paying his security guards anyway, but maybe they got a bonus for spotting Judge Judy. Of course, Bieber did eventually clean up his act, meaning he should now be remembered not as an egg thrower but - as the judge so eloquently put it - a "marginal singer".


ANDY MALT | Editor
Andy heads up the team, overseeing the CMU Daily, website and Setlist podcast, managing social channels, reporting on artist and business stories, and writing the CMU Approved column.
[email protected] (except press releases, see below)
CHRIS COOKE | Co-Founder & MD
Chris provides music business coverage, writing key business news and CMU Trends. He also leads the CMU Insights consultancy unit and the CMU:DIY future talent programme, as well as heading up CMU publisher 3CM UnLimited.
[email protected] (except press releases, see below)
SAM TAYLOR | Commercial Manager
Sam oversees the commercial side of the CMU media, leading on sales and sponsorship, and also heads up business development at CMU Insights and CMU:DIY.
[email protected] or call 020 7099 9060
CARO MOSES | Co-Publisher
Caro helps oversee the CMU media as a Director of 3CM UnLimited, as well as heading up the company's other two titles ThisWeek London and ThreeWeeks Edinburgh, and supporting other parts of the business.
[email protected]
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