HITS Daily Double
[Maverick Records and Me'Shell NdegeOcello] deserve recognition for giving digital music fans a simple way to collect and enjoy this previously unreleased new song."
——Derrick Olin, President VUNet USA Music & Media Group


Maverick Records Will Offer Single for 99 Cents From a Variety of Affiliated Online Sites

Maverick Records is offering Meshell NdegeOcello fans a bite of her upcoming Cookie.

The label, along with the Music & Media Group of Vivendi Universal, has made the groundbreaking performer the first major label recording artist to offer a downloadable track for sale in the MP3 format. It will cost 99 cents and hopefully will spur sales of NdegeOcello’s new album.

Starting today, a special dance version of the song "Earth," remixed by Lazy Dog (Ben Watt and Jay Hannan) will be available exclusively for purchase and download for 99 cents from a variety of VUNet-affiliated music and media Web sites—MP3. com, RollingStone.com, GetMusic.com and MP4.com. Additionally, the 50,000 subscribers to the EMusic MP3 music service will be able to download the track as part of their memberships. The track is in the popular MP3 digital audio format, giving music fans the flexibility to easily burn it to CD-ROM or transfer it to a portable MP3 player.

The original version of "Earth" appears on NdegeOcello's forthcoming album, Cookie: The Anthropological Mixtape, due June 4 on Maverick/Warner Bros. Records and probably availabled for download from an unauthorized file-sharing service near you. The company initially released a few hundred copies of the remix on vinyl to dance-club DJs, but the 99-cent MP3 version will be the only format available to consumers.

"Meshell NdegeOcello is well-known for breaking new ground and bringing people together with her music—it is fitting that she is involved in exploring a new channel to deliver music to her fans," said label new media head Jeremy Welt. "We chose to work with VUNet USA's music sites because they too are leaders in pioneering new ways to discover and enjoy music. Kids, start your downloading engines."

"This is a bold step for Maverick Records and Meshell NdegeOcello," said Derrick Oien, President of VUNet USA's Music & Media Group. "They deserve recognition for giving digital music fans a simple way to collect and enjoy this previously unreleased new song. This is a good example of record labels trying to meet a halfway point with consumers and add value."

The first single from the album, "Pocketbook", has been remixed and produced by two-time Grammy winner Missy Elliott and Rockwilder. The track features rap superstar Redman and background vocals by Tweet.

Other contributors include Soul II Soul’s Caron Wheeler, Lalah Hathaway, Marcus Miller and Funkadelic guitarist Michael Hampton. Cookie... is Meshell's fourth release for the label, following Plantation Lullabies (1993), Peace Beyond Passion (1996) and Bitter (1999).