Billboard and THR have learned that Eminem will be performing at tonight's Beats Music launch party along with a constellation of primarily old school hip-hop luminaries that includes, Ice Cube, Sean "Diddy" Combs, Geto Boys, Method Man and Red Man, Bone, Thugs & Harmony, members of Pharcyde, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Teddy Riley & Blackstreet, Busta Rhymes, Ma$e, Souls of Mischief and DJ Irie.
Despite Beats Music's release only this past Sunday (Jan. 20), its launch party during Grammy week carries a hip-hop line-up that could be the run-of-show at an arena or even a stadium performance. And its a clear statement of just how much the music streaming service is invested in promoting itself right out of the gate.
The Santa Monica company spun out of headphones maker Beats Electronics after it snagged a $60 million investment last March from Warner Music Group owner Len Blavatnik's holding company Access Industries. It is spending heavily to promote its service, placing television ads during the NFL playoffs and another scheduled to run during the Super Bowl on Feb. 2 at a cost of $4 million for each 30-second slot.
Tonight's party at LA's Belasco Theater, which has a capacity of 2,500, is being hosted by Beats' top executives: Jimmy Iovine, Dr. Dre, Ian Rogers and Luke Wood as well as Access' Marc Rowan and Blavatnik. It's also co-sponsored by Target and AT&T, the exclusive carrier of Beats Music which is currently offering customers a 7-day free trial of the service.
Beats' promotional relationship with Eminem goes back to at least last August when the company and the hip-hop superstar partnered on a commercial that aired during the MTV Video Music Awards to announce his latest album "The Marshall Mathers LP 2."
Eminem's manager Paul Rosenberg explained the relationship in an interview with Billboard. "The partnership with Beats is the relationship with Em, Dre and Jimmy from the beginning of time," he said. "That’s really where that comes from. When we were discussing who the potential partners were going to be for this record, it was the first time that Beats was able to come in and say “'Hey, we’re the right partner for you, because there’s obvious natural synergy, and by the way, we’re a really big company now and we can do this.'”