This Arkansas Rapper Turned Entrepreneur Blends Tech and Music

November 29, 2016

2:20 pm

It is hard to put Chane “Big Piph” Morrow in a box. The Stanford-educated rapper turned entrepreneur just doesn’t fit the mold. And he likes it that way.

11188156_10153823711717586_2194289894630811035_nHis latest project, The Legacy Project Experience (TLP) is exactly what you would expect from an artist and entrepreneur who constantly seeks to push the boundaries to leverage technology in the service of artistic expression. Piph’s primary goal is to create an enhanced experience for the audience sharing in his art.

With The Legacy Project, Big Piph has done just that. He has created a first-of-its-kind, interactive artistic experience designed to place the user front and center. TLP places the audience in the middle of the art in a way they have never been before. Using a custom app environment, Piph and team have pushed the limits of music, storytelling and audience engagement.

Creating a Unique Listener Experience

The dream began with a crowdfunding campaign and has culminated in the release of TLP Experience through the app. Listeners can engage with video and audio content along the storyline of the album in any way they desire. This project is truly unique in allowing the user to engage with the art from his or her own perspective. Thus, the art is a unique experience for each user.

“I wanted to push the envelope,” said Big Piph. “With this project I wanted to create something that was greater than the sum of its parts. And I think we have done that.”

Listeners can also download the music through iTunes, Google Play Store and other notable online vendors. The TLP Experience app creates a platform for the album that extends the consumer engagement with the record.

An Alternative Model

Just like the startup world, the music industry craves innovation. That is why Big Piph is so adamant about changing the way things are done for the better.

“The vision was to create an alternate, better model for albums.  Currently, albums are disposable,” said Big Piph. “Many artists from Beyonce to 50 Cent have experimented with unique ways of audience engagement. I wanted to create something brand new and pull all these ideas together in one, synchronized app environment.”

With the platform that Piph and team have created for the TLP Experience, they’re able to keep audience engaged over a longer period of time. The release of bonus materials like “behind the scenes” and unique content increase the life cycle of the art.

“Instead of a big release and dramatic falloff in engagement, we have created an engagement cycle that is more like a wave of continued engagement.” said Big Piph.

This model gives the artist even more direct access to the audience. The artist is not confined to the whims of social media algorithm adjustments or content platform changes.

“This has been the most difficult project of my life,” says Big Piph. “But it is worth it. The fans are already responding to the art in the way I had hoped.  They are creating their own experience of it. I’m completely open to how this project unfolds.”

Like any good entrepreneur, Big Piph has pivoted and adjusted repeatedly over the past few years on this project.

“You always underestimate the time and energy it will take to get a new project off the ground,” said Big Piph. “It is especially tough with a revolutionary project that no one has seen before.”

About Big Piph

Big Piph saw his love for hip-hop as vehicle to impact the world. Although he performs regularly with his 7-piece band, Tomorrow Maybe, and has worked with major acts including TI, Big Sean, and Snoop Dogg, he has always looked for opportunities to create change within the communities he frequents.

In addition to being a rapper, musician, and entrepreneur, Piph is a philanthropist who works regularly with youth. He is the lead coordinator of Global Kids-Arkansas, which sends stellar high school students in underserved communities abroad for social service projects. Perhaps most notably, he has served as a cultural ambassador for the US Embassy, traveling abroad to countries such as Morocco, Algeria, The Gambia, Seychelles, and Thailand.

Photo Credit: Epiphany Morrow

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A self-proclaimed “Startup Nerd,” Steve Rice is the principle of SR Communications, a strategic communications and leadership consultancy. Steve also founded the Start Here Initiative, a community-led effort that seeks to close the gap that exists for women and minorities in access to capital in entrepreneurism. He routinely writes on inclusion, entrepreneurism, and leadership for local, regional and national publications.

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