Lil Wayne released his new album, Tha Carter IV, on Monday at midnight. It’s been more than three years since his last official, full-length album, the triple-platinum-selling, Grammy-winning Tha Carter III. During the drought Lil Wayne had various legal issues and served eight months in prison. But his fan base has continued to grow, thanks to his digital strategy. Part of that is providing his fans with a steady stream of leaked songs and guest verses on other musicians’ songs, but the other part comes from his Facebook fan manager — 21-year-old Mazy Kazerooni.
In some ways, Kazerooni is your typical tech startup prodigy. He left high school at age 17 to work for a live video streaming platform called UStream.
“UStream gave me a very interesting perspective,” Kazerooni says. “When you see how many viewers somebody can get on a live video stream, you can really understand how connected they are to their fans, how many they have, how much they love them. It’s a lot harder to get 10,000 people to watch you at the same time then it is to get 10,000 views on a YouTube video.”
Kazerooni initially set out to lure big name rappers like Lil Wayne into using the site to reach their fans. But then it turned into a side hustle—working as Lil Wayne’s digital consultant, helping to grow the rapper’s presence on social media platforms beyond UStream.
“He had a million fans sitting on his page, and no one had access to it,” explains Kazerooni. “No one even really knew what Facebook was, on his team. I had to argue with them for like a month to give me the information I needed to get the access.”
Kazerooni multiplied the number of fans on the page to 30 million in a little over a year. He pumped up the rapper’s live broadcasts on UStream’s Twitter feed. He’d slip into their chat rooms and offer tech support when they hit a glitch. Now, there’s a lot of attention being paid to what’s happening online.
Joanna Dorfman is the site editor at UStream, the startup that gave Kazerooni his first job. Kazerooni built buzz for the site by pursuing all kinds of celebrities, from bloggers to musicians, as some of its first users.
“I heard ‘entrepreneurial spirit’ being thrown around a lot, as a phrase, but I didn’t really see an illustration of what that meant until I met Mazy. He has it,” says Dorfman.
You might not expect rappers to swoon over someone like Kazerooni, a baby-faced Persian American from Orange County who didn’t grow up listening to rap. But in videos posted to their UStream channels, popular rappers like Wiz Khalifa and Lil Bow Wow sing Kazerooni’s praises.
“I appreciate you, Mazy. You’re like the UStream Jesus, man, you really is. You just come out of nowhere and aaahhh…you’re just going to help every celebrity on that UStream,” Bow Wow says.
Bow Wow displays his skills versus Kobe Bryant at Kobe’s Basketball Camp. Props to Jermaine Dupree for the footage. I see you Living the life, Bwoy! Bwoy! Brat needs to be doing movies my friend, its time for her transition. Hey, she can start with a couple of Law & Order episodes, get her feet wet.
Posted by: Deano
After rumors of fatherhood circled the ‘net, Bow Wow penned an open letter to his fans today (July 6), admitting that he indeed has a daughter, by the name of Shai Moss. Posted on his site, Bow Wow Today, the 24 yr. old Young Money rapper writes on why he chose to keep the birth of his daughter private and his thoughts on suicide.
“Let me start off by saying i love my fans. With out yall i wudda been left the game. For the past 3 years i been batteling life. Even thought about taking my own. I felt like as a kid i did everything and saw everything too fast which spoiled my adult years. I felt as if i had no purpose to live(Thinking selfishly) until god gave me the illest gift of my life. No lambo, no blk card nuffn ammounts to my lil girl. I waited so long to tell yall the truth because i was nervous on how yall would look at me. Yall know everyone makes a big deal out of everything i do. I wanted to be 1st n let yall know the real. My lil girl is getting BIG fast. i love every minute of it. She inspires me to go harder.Even made me treat my mother better, its like it made me into a man over night. Never been a fan of posting pix of my daughter. Reason is because i want my boo boo to have everything i didnt. Want her to be able to cheerlead with her lil friends with out some asshole sticking his camera all in my lil girl face. I know how fame is. I missed out on so much that i now know how important it is to cherish and have those things in your life. Yes! I change diapers. Aint as bad as i thought hahaha. I want her to live with me so bad. Jus us 2. Thats my dream man but fellas yall know how it go. Baby gotta stay with they momma and all dat bull. I hate that! So i have to fly 5 hrs away to see her. I find myself going into my i phone book jus lookn at pix of her. Sometimes i tear up cuz i just cant believe it brotha be emotional. All in all im good. This is my 1st. I know all my fans gone support me and ride for her like yall been doin my whole career. To the ones that say “Im heart broken how can he do that to us” well i do have a life thats not all about movies or making albums. Im 24 now. I cant wait 4eva. Im happy and if your a fan then ud be happy too cuz yall gone be with me every step of the way. The bs that comes with having a baby momma is expected. So i neva trip. Jus gotta suck it up keep chin high and try not let her get the best of my feelings by playin them stupid games. Ima stay positive and keep maintaining long as i got yall i cant lose. I love yall. And shai shai daddy love u too! Wizzle!!!! [sic]“
Bow Wow plans to reveal more of his personal life in his documentary, “Who is Shad Moss,” directed by Rico Da Crook. Check out the first of three trailers: