Mass Appeal (media)

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Mass Appeal
Company typeLimited liability company
IndustryMass media
Founded1996; 28 years ago (1996)
New York
United States
SubsidiariesMass Appeal magazine
Mass Appeal Records

Mass Appeal is an American media and content company based in New York City. The name originates from the Gang Starr song "Mass Appeal" from the album Hard to Earn. 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 was started by Patrick Elasik (deceased) and Adrian Moeller and 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 that 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 merging with 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, Cuz Lightyear and DJ Shadow.[8][9][10][11][12] In May 2017, Mass Appeal announced a joint venture publishing company with Pulse Music Group. In June 2018, a new partnership with Universal Music Group was announced with the companies entering into a multi-year global agreement.

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]

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.[15][16]

In 2017, Mass Appeal released Burn Motherfucker, Burn![17] 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,[18] 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[19] 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.


Mass Appeal Digital has produced digital video series including WATCHxWITNESS,[20] its premiere photographic documentary series; Rhythm Roulette,[21] a producer-driven series in which artists visit a music store, select three records at random, then create an instrumental on the spot, sampling from the three random records they chose. Since 2013, Rhythm Roulette has attracted talent such as 9th Wonder,[22] Mannie Fresh,[23] Just Blaze[24] and many more. On The Grind is a series which examines the intersection of skate and creativity.[25] 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.[26][27] Open Space is an interview series that highlights creative people of all types in a context where they are free to speak their minds―the series has featured the likes Prodigy[28] and Fat Joe[29] as well as early interviews with upcoming acts such as Trippie Redd,[30] Tekashi 6ix9ine,[31] and Ski Mask the Slump God.[32] The Mass Appeal Collection[33] is a series of short documentaries focussing on up and coming artists and established stars. The Mass Appeal Collection has highlighted artists in their home towns including Post Malone in Dallas, Robb Bank$ in South Florida, and Young King Dave (RIP) in Middletown, New Jersey, as well as Quality Control's emergent female rap duo City Girls. Shop Talk[34] is a Mass Appeal original series where musicians are invited to a local shop to check out what it is they have to offer. American rappers Post Malone, Dave East, and Playboi Carti have all appeared on the series. On Mass Appeal's original series, SUPER[35] they ask artists to explain what their superhero alter-egos would be, and Mass Appeal's illustrators bring those characters to life. Kendrick Lamar, Fat Joe, and Lil Yachty have all taken part in the animated series. After initially appearing on Mass Appeal's YouTube channel as the unofficial music video for Migos's "Bitch Dab"[36] (later titled "Look at My Dab"), the spontaneous music video by the American hip hop group went viral, with over 13 million views on YouTube. In 2019, the Digital department began reconfiguration efforts.


The agency division of Decon was relaunched under the Mass Appeal banner in 2013. Decon co-founder Jason Goldwatch still regularly contributes to projects. Mass Appeal Creative clients include Sprite, HBO and Under Armour.[37]

In 2016, Mass Appeal partnered with HBO to launch a campaign for the 6th season of Game of Thrones, entitled "Art the Throne"[38] ― going on to win the Bronze Clio[39] & Webby People's Voice[40] awards.[edit] is an outlet for youth-spawned urban culture. The site features daily original video and also publishes social content direct to various platforms. The site has been under reconfiguration since the beginning of 2018.

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. ^ "Mass Appeal signs global distribution agreement with Universal Music Group". Music Business Worldwide. June 13, 2018.
  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. ^ Notorious B.I.G. Scripted Series in the Works at TBS Retrieved on 4 August 2016
  16. ^ TBS Greenlights Digital Animated Series Storyville And Begins Development on Notorious B.I.G.-Inspired Series Retrieved on 4 August 2016.
  17. ^ "What "Burn Motherf*cker, Burn!" Says About Black Anger & Resistance". Retrieved August 20, 2018.
  18. ^ "Sacha Jenkins talks 'Rapture' and the importance of Hip Hop". REVOLT TV. Retrieved August 20, 2018.
  19. ^ Reeves, Mosi (March 28, 2018). "'Rapture': Inside Netflix's Logic-to-Nas Hip-Hop Doc Series". Rolling Stone. Retrieved August 20, 2018.
  20. ^ 2015 Capsule Collection Lookbook by WATCHxWITNESS (Jason Goldwatch & 13thWitness) Retrieved on 14 July 2016.
  21. ^ Ski Beatz Flips A Squeeze LP On Mass Appeal's 'Rhythm Roulette' Retrieved on 14 July 2016.
  22. ^ Mass Appeal (December 25, 2015), Rhythm Roulette: 9th Wonder, archived from the original on December 20, 2021, retrieved September 4, 2018
  23. ^ Mass Appeal (August 28, 2015), Rhythm Roulette: Mannie Fresh (Live From The Sprite Corner), archived from the original on December 20, 2021, retrieved September 4, 2018
  24. ^ Mass Appeal (September 10, 2015), Rhythm Roulette: Just Blaze (Live From The Sprite Corner), archived from the original on December 20, 2021, retrieved September 4, 2018
  25. ^ On The Grind w Quim Cardona via Mass Appeal (2014) Retrieved on 14 July 2016.
  26. ^ "Time Pieces" series of short videos from Jason Goldwatch on techcrunch Retrieved on 14 July 2016.
  27. ^ Pharrell Williams and Karolina Kurkova on "Time Pieces" Retrieved on 14 July 2016.
  28. ^ Mass Appeal (April 28, 2017), Open Space: Prodigy | Mass Appeal, retrieved September 4, 2018
  29. ^ Mass Appeal (July 10, 2017), Open Space: Fat Joe | Mass Appeal, retrieved September 4, 2018
  30. ^ Mass Appeal (June 30, 2017), Open Space: Trippie Redd | Mass Appeal, retrieved September 4, 2018
  31. ^ Mass Appeal (August 3, 2017), Open Space: Tekashi69 (6ix9ine) | Mass Appeal, retrieved September 4, 2018
  32. ^ Mass Appeal (July 27, 2017), Open Space: Ski Mask The Slump God | Mass Appeal, retrieved September 4, 2018
  33. ^ Mass Appeal (June 20, 2018), Robb Bank$: MADE IN BROWARD (Mini Doc) | Mass Appeal, retrieved September 4, 2018
  34. ^ Mass Appeal (January 18, 2017), Shop Talk: Post Malone | Mass Appeal, retrieved September 4, 2018
  35. ^ Mass Appeal (May 1, 2015), SUPER: Kendrick Lamar, archived from the original on December 20, 2021, retrieved September 4, 2018
  36. ^ Mass Appeal (November 12, 2015), Bitch Dab (Accidental Music Video) - Migos, archived from the original on December 20, 2021, retrieved September 4, 2018
  37. ^ Mass Appeal Launches 'Charged By Belief' for Under Armour. Retrieved on 14 July 2016.
  38. ^ Artists Recreate Pivotal Game of Thrones Scenes to Celebrate Its Sixth Season (Adweek) Retrieved on 14 July 2016.
  39. ^ "Game of Thrones - Game of Thrones Art Gallery Experience". Clios. Retrieved August 20, 2018.
  40. ^ "Art The Throne | The Webby Awards". Retrieved August 20, 2018.