NPG Music Club
Date launched: January 14, 2001
Before declaring his disdain for music on the internet, Prince was among the first to use the medium to bring himself directly to listeners, sending exclusive music and videos to fans for the low price of $7.77 a month. In July of 2006, however, the site mysteriously shut down. It's unclear why; some speculate it had to do with a trademark dispute with science textbook manufacturers Nature Publishing Group (a different NPG), but Prince's lawyer said that was not the case.50 Cent
Date launched: October 24, 2006
After reinventing the mixtape circuit and scoring big with Vitamin Water, 50 Cent decided to give social networking a try with ThisIs50.com, which turned out to be quite controversial. Beyond hosting the latest G-Unit mixtapes, it became the epicenter for 50's beefs, namely his squabble with Rick Ross, wherein he mocked Ross for serving as a corrections officer and took one of his kid's mothers shopping. (The "Pimpin Curly" sketch comedy stuff was funny too.) While it offered message boards, downloads and standard internet community features, things got weird when the folks behind the site engaged in a very public feud with rival site WorldStarHipHop.