Music Goes Viral

We have seen movies and television use the tactic of viral marketing a bunch over the past couple years. The TV show LOST has had commercials for the fictional airline Oceanic and there was even a Mr. Clucks commercial with Hurley. Movies such as the Dark Knight have gone to great lengths to get people interested long before the release of the film. People were sent the Gotham Times newspaper with articles made to look real and even featuring advertising for Gotham businesses. There were websites for the Bank of Gotham and Gotham News Network. There was even an elaborate scavenger hunt in various cities and fans had to keep going to find the next clue. Finally, the use of viral marketing has made its way into music, but not by who you’d think.

Viral marketing has made it’s way to independent hip hop label QN5. They are employing the technique for their release Chico and the Man, a duo composed of emcee Tonedeff and producer Kno (of CunninLynguists fame). What’s interesting is that an independent label would go the viral route first, and not a major label with unlimited supply of resources. This goes to show you the power of the internet and social media sites.

So what do we know about this album? There’s not much. Everything that has been found has been by the dedicated fan base working hard at finding any sort of possible information, making guesses, and taking leaps. Only a few clues have been released, but let’s take a look at the clues that were given, how they were given, and the resulting news. All the clues have appeared on the Chico and the Man Twitter account.

Before we look at the clues given, I should point out that the Twitter account background is a clue in itself. If you look at the background file name you see that it’s called fulgenciobatista01011959. Fulgencio Batista was a Cuban dictator, and 0101959 = January 1st, 1959. On that date, Batista was forced out of the country by Castro’s revolution. Could the History of Cuba be one of the topics. There is also the line catm: work for it. twitter is the key. commented out in the code.

Clue number 1
: waiting to breathe
No one is sure what this means quite yet. It may be the title of the album or a title of the track off the album.

Clue number 2: love keeps the stars in the firmament and imposes rhythm on the ocean tides – maya angelou
The rest of the poem is as follows:

“Love builds up the broken wall
and straightens the crooked path.
Love keeps the stars in the firmament
and imposes rhythm on the ocean tides,
each of us is created of it
and I suspect
each of us was created for it!”

It seems that the ocean is a major theme for this album, but what does it all mean?

Clue number 3:_fanned by a _pale mist the heart _flutters
There is a lot of speculation on what this one means, what the underscore means, etc. Far too much for me to reprint here, but read what fans have to say.

Clue number 4:18/5/1/3/8/ 23/8/9/20/5 13/1/18/9/16/15/19/1
This turns out to be code for Reach White Mariposa. What does this mean? Well, fans have found White Mariposa. Again, there’s a lot of clues here. Could the tagline “Su Amigo Para más de 45 Años.” mean anything for the album? What about the image titles. The logo is punto4. Point 4. Also, if you call the number, it is for this fake business described on the page, but the message is in Spanish. So if you want to translate an audio message that would help the fans out a great deal.

Your’s truly found the next bit of information. Commented out in the code is cada punto confirma el último. Translated that means “each point confirms the last.” That takes us to…

Clue number 5: cada punto confirma el último
It seems we are on the right track.

There is a lot of information that I have not posted, from meaning of butterflies to speculation on the initials HCK. It is all very fascinating. If you want to play along and love riddles, someone has made a thread to catch everyone up with what we know so far.

I’m excited about this use of marketing. This is definitely innovative. QN5, like one of their slogans says, is always 5 steps ahead of the game.