Backbeat: Drake, Maroon 5, Busta Rhymes Rock Google Music Launch Party
Backbeat: Drake, Maroon 5, Busta Rhymes Rock Google Music Launch Party

Surrounded by diverse crowd of L.A. socialites, music industry executives and tech industry legends, Busta Rhymes, Maroon 5, and Drake performed highly energized sets Wednesday night at the Google Music Launch, in an extravagantly decorated warehouse studio used by the street artist Mr. Brainwash.

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Drake (left) and Travie McCoy (of Gym Class Heroes), who both attended the launch. Drake performed a set, as well. (Photo: David Livingston/Getty Images)
Maroon 5 also performed at the launch event. (Photo: David Livingston/Getty Images)

Early in his set, Rhymes hushed the crowd and proclaimed: "This is the day we shift the climate in music. This is the day we shift the climate in entertainment." He also shifted his own climate in entertainment, by using the stage to announce that he has signed with Cash Money Records.

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Later in the evening, Maroon 5 played a 40-minute hit-laden set, while Drake rocked the crowd with a set drawing from his just-released new LP, "Take Care," which is expected to move more than 700,000 units in its first week in stores and debut at no. 1 on the Billboard 200 next week.

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Busta Rhymes, pre-set, with Billboard contributor Anthony Accardo.

Spotted in the crowd of the Google Music launch party was Eric Schmidt, the newly retired former CEO of Google, chatting with the co-founder of the Android operating system, Andy Rubin. Paris Hilton and Audrina Patridge also attended the event.

Rhymes is one of the marquee artists launching Google Music, and he released his new single, "Why Stop Now" (featuring Chris Brown), exclusively on the music service.

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In a conversation with earlier in the day, he said he's Los Angeles for a week finishing up an album that's "85% done" before heading to Miami and spending Thanksgiving with his family. When asked if his album will have any new producers, he mentioned Sham Joseph. Collaborations include Lil Wayne, Missy Elliot, Rick Ross and Chris Brown, among others. Rhymes also discussed the shift of industry gatekeepers. "Since the Internet started to play a bigger part in music, the new tastemakers are going to be the people, and not as much the radio DJs. The people are going to articulate who's the sh-- and who's not the sh--."

Busta Rhymes on stage at the Google Music launch party (photo: Anthony Accardo)

One new artist he's especially impressed with is Kendrick Lamar, whose rhymes "blow my mind - some of the stuff he says." Rhymes also praised Big K.R.I.T., whose "music is soulful and speaks to his people," and added that his assistant had just filled his iPod with songs by ASAP Rocky - the newly signed MC with a reported multi-million record deal with Sony. "I haven't listened to it yet," he said, "but it's next on my list."

Left to right: Caren Kelleher, Manager of Artist Programs at Google Music; Tim Quirk, Director of Content for Google Music's new-music blog, Magnifier . (photos: Anthony Accardo)

T Mobile sponsored a smartly decorated room called the "T Mobile Music Shop" that featured a Bob Marley mural made of vinyl records and a traditional CD and vinyl retail shelf, among kiosks representing a newer kind of music retail - on tablet devices and mobile phones. Decorations included a wall-to-ceiling boombox 20 feet wide, refrigerators and cabinet sadorned with Mr. Brainwash art, and graffiti everywhere - on the floor, pillars, bar, walls, and ceiling. Also looming around every corner were five-foot Android statues, of every imaginable design.

The party, which was decorated by festively decorated Android statues (right); at left, this is as close as our intrepid reporter could get to Paris Hilton (photos: Anthony Accardo)