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Bling-Bling Ring Tones, In the Barrio

July 13, 2005

Speaking of bling-bling, here is some, er, wireless/cell phone news--


BlingTones, the (first?) wireless record label and mobile destination for hip-hop, has merged ring tones for the ghetto with those for the barrio. The company today announces Barrio Mobile, a sister brand serving the urban Latin community.


Recognizing the popularity of reggaeton and the growth of the Latin market, BarrioMobile will provide cell phone users with exclusive ring tones in popular Latin genres ranging from reggaeton and hip-hop Latino to dance and rock en Español.


Building on the initial success of BlingTones, BarrioMobile is also a record label, signing artists and producers to create exclusive and original, 30-second songs and full-length tracks for cell phones. BarrioMobile is also out to develop talent and has signed what it views as up-and-coming artists.


BlingTones, a division of Lagardere Active North America (LANA), launched in September of 2004 as a wireless record label and says it has sold more than five million downloads in that time.


According to LANA CEO Julien Mitelberg: “Hispanic Americans spend on average 25 percent more on mobile entertainment. With the success of Latin music genres like reggaeton, Barrio — which is focused on the young, urban hipster — is well positioned to become the favorite cell phone destination for this fast-growing, trend-setting consumer.”


(FYI, dear readers: Hip-hoppers and hipsters are actually two completely different social cliques.)


The roster of artists and producers includes: Southern rapper Lil Jon (exclusive ring tones, ring-backs and wallpaper); the excellent Q-Tip; Denaun Porter (Eminem’s producer); Rockwilder (hip-hop mad scientist Missy Elliot, Brooklyn rapper Jay-Z and wannabe-actor DMX); Salaam Remi (self-appointed “King of New York” Nas); Hi-Tek (stoner Snoop Dog and this blogger’s boys Talib Kweli and Mos Def); All-Star (late legend Luther Vandross); Doug E. Fresh; Dre and Vidal (sex object Usher and sex delinquent R. Kelly, as well as R&B/rapper Mary J. Blige); and Scram Jones (head-case Mariah Carey), among others.


In addition to musical content, BarrioMobile will offer Latin-themed wallpaper, games and 3G products such as streaming radio and television. Barrio Mobile and BlingTones are carried by cell phone operators such as Sprint, Cingular, Nextel and Boost Mobile. Downloads vary in price from $1.99-$2.99, depending on the carrier and type of content.


For a recent article in the New York Times about downloadable hip-hop and rap ring tones.


For a past blog posting about other downloadable ring tones available to Latin American cell phone users. 




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