Grammys: Eminem, Diddy, Ice Cube Among Legendary Hip-Hop Line-Up Playing Friday's Beats Music Launch Party

11:00 PM PST 01/24/2014 by Shirley Halperin, Billboard Staff
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Eminem

Slim Shady will rub shoulders with artists such as Geto Boys and Method Man and execs including Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre.

Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter have learned that Slim Shady himself will be performing at Friday's Beats Music launch party along with a constellation of hip-hop luminaries that includes, Ice Cube, Sean "Diddy Combs, Geto Boys, Method Man and Red Man, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, members of the Pharcyde, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Teddy Riley & Blackstreet, Busta Rhymes, Ma$e, Souls of Mischief and DJ Irie.

The Beats Music streaming service only came out this past Sunday (Jan. 20), but its launch party during Grammy week with a hip-hop line-up that could be run-of-show for an arena or even stadium tour shows just how invested the brand is in making a powerful statement right out of the gate. 

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The Santa Monica company spun out of headphones maker Beats Electronics after it snagged a $60 million investment from Warner Music Group head Len Blavatnik's holding company Access Industries last March. It is spending heavily to promote its service, placing television ads that ran during last week's NFL playoff game between the Seattle Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers and is scheduled to run a commercial during the Super Bowl on Feb. 2 at a cost of $4 million for each 30-second slot.

Friday's party at LA's Belasco Theater, which has a capacity of 2,500, is being hosted by Beats top executives: Jimmy Iovine, Dr. Dre, Ian Rogers, Luke Wood as well as Access' Marc Rowan and Blavatnik. It's also being co-sponsored by Target and AT&T, the exclusive carrier of Beats which is currently offering AT&T customers a 7-day free trial of the service. Afterwards, the service will cost $9.99 a month. 

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Beats' promotional relationship with Eminem goes back to at least last August when the company and the hip-hop superstar partnered on a commercial that aired during MTV Video Music Awards announcing his latest album The Marshall Mathers LP 2.

Eminem's manager Paul Rosenberg, explained the relationship in an interview with Billboard. "The partnership with Beats is the relationship with Em, Dre and Jimmy from the beginning of time," he said. "That’s really where that comes from. When we were discussing who the potential partners were going to be for this record, it was the first time that Beats was able to come in and say “'Hey, we’re the right partner for you, because there’s obvious natural synergy, and by the way, we’re a really big company now and we can do this.'”

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