In a recent exclusive interview with Rock The Bells, Queens MC Ja Rule discussed his ICONN Live app and ICONN Media, the live streaming entertainment marketplace that he founded.
"It's a live streaming platform with an app and a network coming to the Apple TV store, Android TV and all Tivo's," he explained. "I saw a need for what I've currently built during the pandemic. I was looking at a lotta artists and we were doing virtual concerts and DJs were spinning virtually. I saw D-Nice doing his DJ shit and it gave people fulfillment and that good energy that we needed at that moment. The topic became 'How can we tip D-Nice?' — but we couldn't do that through Instagram, so he put his CashApp up there. But we gotta go through a third party for that. If there was a way to do that instantly he would have made a lotta fucking money right there!"
Ja Rule says that he was compelled to build this platform for content creators because he felt that this would be the next wave.
"I felt like this would be the next thing, even after COVID," he explained. "How the content creators create and own their own content I knew that would be it, then lo and behold Web 3 is now the new thing that everybody is on because it's all about owning your own content and content creators monetizing that. That's what my platform was built for and that's really what it's all about."
After creating the app, Rule wanted to get into creating original content, so he created a concert series called Vibes.
"With Vibes I take iconic artists and they perform their classic albums instead of performing only the hits like we do in our concerts," he said. "They tell the stories behind the music, like what they were going through when they made the album, cool stories behind the songs and all that. All the artists wear a suit, so it's like a sexy grown-up night of Hip-Hop with dinner, drinks, and a live band. I've done them all at Sony Hall in New York City, and they've all been sold out so far. The concerts stream on the platform and subscriptions to Iconn media are available also."
The next Vibes is November 21 with Rakim.
I wanted people to see the artists that I grew up loving and being influenced by. I wanted to showcase them first.
- Ja Rule
An artist with the popularity of Ja Rule could have easily opted for acts from later and more profitable era, but he chose to start with classic artists for good reason.
"What I feel is the problem with our Hip Hop is that we overlook those artists," he said. "Big Daddy Kane, Rakim and KRS-ONE are the reasons that I even picked up a microphone. They are the reason that a lot of these artists are who they are today. If not for Kane, Rakim, Wu-Tang, Ghostface, Raekwon, and LL COOL J you wouldn't even be talking to Ja Rule on Rock The Bells. We have to respect and stand on that, and I wanted people to see the artists that I grew up loving and being influenced by. I wanted to showcase them first. I'd love to get KRS to do Criminal Minded. The list doesn't stop — Run-DMC and I have to get LL to do a Vibes!"
Ja Rule is currently working on new music to be released through Iconic Sound, the music arm of his company. He's signing new artists and producers as well.
"Music lives in me and I will do it until the day that I die in some capacity," he explained. "I'm about to dive in and work on a super secretive project with a lot of surprises and dope artists and producers. That's something that I've never really done. I've always worked with the producers in my team and my camp and Irv and his production team."
Iconn Live can be found in the Apple App Store and online at Iconn.live