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Five Bizarre Social Networking Sites From Musicians

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Thu, May 10, 2012 at 4:00 AM

click to enlarge npgmusicclubgrab.jpg
Remember about a decade ago when every rapper had to have his own clothing line? And then remember about four years ago when every rapper had to have his own social networking site? Surprisingly, it turns out that artists from all across the musical spectrum have been impersonating Mark Zuckerberg for years, to varying degrees of success. Here are the five most bizarre examples.

Prince

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.

click to enlarge ThisIs50.com
  • ThisIs50.com
50 Cent

ThisIs50.com

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.

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