Mass Appeal (media)

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Mass Appeal
Limited liability company
Industry Mass media
Founded 1996; 22 years ago (1996)
Headquarters New York City, New York, United States
Subsidiaries Mass Appeal magazine
Mass Appeal Records

Mass Appeal is an American media and content company based in New York City. The company was founded in 1996 as a graffiti fanzine and since has grown to encompass a magazine, website, film, television, music label and creative agency.[1]


Mass Appeal published the first issue of Mass Appeal magazine in 1996. Initially, it covered a wide variety of pop culture topics such as graffiti culture, hip hop music, video games, cars and movies. It often provided coverage of young artists and performers that contributed to, and shaped, contemporary hip-hop culture. The magazine included columnists such as R.A. the Rugged Man, Matt Goias, Mister Cartoon, Estevan Oriol and Reas.

Mass Appeal launched a spin-off called Missbehave in 2006 and suspended publication in 2008.[2] In 2013 Mass Appeal relaunched and resumed print with Earl Sweatshirt and Blake Anderson on the cover of Issue 52.[3]

On April 10, 2013, Mass Appeal was revived when a group of investors, including American rapper Nas, decided to relaunch and expand the Mass Appeal brand. The deal included creative firm Decon and White Owl Capital Partners, an early stage investment firm with business interests in technology, media and energy located in North America, Europe and China.[1][4][5]

In June 2018, Mass Appeal signed a music distribution deal with Universal Music Group, which includes the rights to Nas's 11th studio album, as well as future releases by DJ Shadow, J Dilla and Run the Jewels.[6]



Mass Appeal Records is an American independent record label founded in 2014 by Mass Appeal. It is an urban alternative focused label with a roster of almost a dozen artists. The first project released on the label was Run The Jewels 2. The album received global critical acclaim and earned #1 spot at Pitchfork.[7] The label has since gone on to release music from artists including Nas, Run the Jewels, Fashawn, Bishop Nehru, Boldy James, J Dilla, Dave East, Mannie Fresh and DJ Shadow.[8][9][10][11][12]

Film & TV[edit]

In 2013, Mass Appeal entered in a production partnership with CNN Films to produce a documentary, entitled Fresh Dressed, about hip-hop and fashion.[13] The documentary was accepted to the prestigious Sundance Film Festival where it was sold to Samuel Goldwyn Films and StyleHaul.[14]

Mass Appeal is producing digital video series including WATCHxWITNESS,[15] its premiere photographic documentary series; Rhythm Roulette,[16] an innovative look into spontaneous beat making and producer culture which has featured artists such as Mac Miller, 9th Wonder, El-P, and Black Milk; and On The Grind, which examines the intersection of skate and creativity.[17] Time Pieces is a series of short films that has featured Pharrell Williams, Jay Electronica, and Too Short. Off Tha' Wall is its comedic interview series.[18][19]

TBS, a division of Turner, has collaborated with Mass Appeal and greenlit Storyville, a new digital animated series. The top-rated network is also in development on Think B.I.G., a scripted series based loosely on lyrics by the late Notorious B.I.G. The two projects are the first to emerge from a new strategic content partnership between TBS and Mass Appeal.[20][21]

In 2017, Mass Appeal released Burn Motherfucker, Burn![22] on Showtime, a 2-hour documentary film exploring the lives of the people at the flashpoint of the LA riots, 25 years after the uprising made national headlines and highlighted the racial divide in America.

Word Is Bond[23], directed by Sacha Jenkins, was released in 2018 and explored the art of lyricism. What was born on the streets of the South Bronx has now taken root globally and the young poets of New York have helped to spawn regional dialects everywhere. Featuring excursions with artists like Nas, Tech9, J Cole, Rapsody and Anderson. Paak, the film explores the different dimensions that hip hop poetics occupy.

In 2018, Rapture[24] was released on Netflix. This eight part docu-series featuring artists such as Nas, 2 Chainz, Dave East, T.I., G-Eazy, Rapsody, Logic, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie and Just Blaze.

Creative agency[edit]

The agency division of Decon was relaunched under the Mass Appeal banner in 2013. The agency's clients include Sprite, HBO and Under Armour.[25]

In 2016, Mass Appeal partnered with HBO to launch a campaign for the 6th season of Game of Thrones, entitled "Art the Throne"[26] ― going on to win the Bronze Clio[27] & Webby People's Voice[28] awards.


Decon continues to operate as the commercial production division of Mass Appeal. Currently, the roster includes a diverse selection of directors such as JEAN, Tj O'Grady, Jason Goldwatch, 13th Witness, Marcus Clarke and Steven Caple.[29] Goldwatch was hired to direct Season 3 of famed chef Eric Ripert's show Avec Eric for the Cooking Channel. The twelve season show aired in spring 2015, and footage from the season was featured in a campaign for Squarespace.[30]

In 2015, comedy directing collective JEAN joined the roster and announced the partnership by creating an advertisement and running it during 3am re-runs of Everybody Loves Raymond. That same year, Decon expanded its director roster to include TJ O'Grady and Marcus Clarke. Clarke's work as part of the Snickers campaign "What's Up With Marcia" earned two Bronze Cannes Lions.[29][edit] is an outlet for youth-spawned urban culture. The site features daily original video and also publishes social content direct to various platforms.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Mass Appeal on Forbes. Retrieved on 14 July 2016.
  2. ^ Mass Appeal Marks Decade in Business with Launch of Spinoff Retrieved on 14 July 2016.
  3. ^ Mass Appeal issue #52 with Earl Sweatshirt and Sagan Lockhart Retrieved on 14 July 2016
  4. ^ Nas Invests Six-Figure Sum In Mass Appeal Magazine Retrieved on 14 July 2016.
  5. ^ Nas to Record On Mass Appeal Records; Will Release 'Lost Tapes 2' & Posthumous Pimp C Album (Billboard) Retrieved on 14 July 2016.
  6. ^
  7. ^ Pitchfork: 50 best albums of 2014 Retrieved on 14 July 2016.
  8. ^ Nas teams up with Mass Appeal Retrieved on 14 July 2016.
  9. ^ Fashawn's The Ecology on Mass Appeal Records Retrieved on 14 July 2016.
  10. ^ Mass Appeal released J Dilla's The Diary Retrieved on 14 July 2016.
  11. ^ DJ Shadows: 'The Mountain Will Fall' on Chicago Tribune Retrieved on 14 July 2016
  12. ^ Nas launches Mass Appeal Records, readies release of Lost Tapes 2 and all-star compilation Retrieved on 14 July 2016.
  13. ^ CNN Films Gets FRESH DRESSED For Fall Retrieved on 14 July 2016.
  14. ^ Sundance Docu ‘Fresh Dressed’ Sells To Samuel Goldwyn & StyleHaul Retrieved on 14 July 2016.
  15. ^ 2015 Capsule Collection Lookbook by WATCHxWITNESS (Jason Goldwatch & 13thWitness) Retrieved on 14 July 2016.
  16. ^ Ski Beatz Flips A Squeeze LP On Mass Appeal's ‘Rhythm Roulette’ Retrieved on 14 July 2016.
  17. ^ On The Grind w Quim Cardona via Mass Appeal (2014) Retrieved on 14 July 2016.
  18. ^ "Time Pieces" series of short videos from Jason Goldwatch on techcrunch Retrieved on 14 July 2016.
  19. ^ Pharrell Williams and Karolina Kurkova on "Time Pieces" Retrieved on 14 July 2016.
  20. ^ Notorious B.I.G. Scripted Series in the Works at TBS Retrieved on 4 August 2016
  21. ^ TBS Greenlights Digital Animated Series Storyville And Begins Development on Notorious B.I.G.-Inspired Series Retrieved on 4 August 2016.
  22. ^ "What "Burn Motherf*cker, Burn!" Says About Black Anger & Resistance". Retrieved 2018-08-20. 
  23. ^ "Sacha Jenkins talks 'Rapture' and the importance of Hip Hop". REVOLT TV. Retrieved 2018-08-20. 
  24. ^ Reeves, Mosi (2018-03-28). "'Rapture': Inside Netflix's Logic-to-Nas Hip-Hop Doc Series". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2018-08-20. 
  25. ^ Mass Appeal Launches ‘Charged By Belief’ for Under Armour. Retrieved on 14 July 2016.
  26. ^ Artists Recreate Pivotal Game of Thrones Scenes to Celebrate Its Sixth Season (Adweek) Retrieved on 14 July 2016.
  27. ^ "Game of Thrones - Game of Thrones Art Gallery Experience". Clios. Retrieved 2018-08-20. 
  28. ^ "Art The Throne | The Webby Awards". Retrieved 2018-08-20. 
  29. ^ a b Directors at Decon Retrieved on 14 July 2016.
  30. ^ Chef Eric Ripert Serves Up Zen, Food Porn for Squarespace Retrieved on 14 July 2016.