Support Pirated Music

I support the illegal downloading of music... how's that for blunt and to the point? Ironically, half the people reading this post are probably looking for free music this second. The hip-hop blog-overse seems to be pretty divided on this topic. You have the traditional bloggers who never post download links, subliminally hinting to you to buy the shit yourself. You have the new-age bloggers who provide links for individual songs and artist-approved albums, still hinting to listen to it, then buy the shit! And you have a small minority of bloggers who post all sorts of free music, and hint that if you could get the shit for free, why pay for it?

Personally, I'm a hybrid of the second and third blogger. I don't feel there's anything wrong with getting your music for free. If the artists want more money, they'll make the money touring, and if they make an exceptional album (it happens once or twice a year), I will buy it. Gone are the days, where you hear a hot single on T.V. or the radio and rush to buy an album. Those days are gone! As much as you may want them back... they are gone! Most people listen to an album in it's entirety two or three times before buying it these days. Still, I think I can prove that pirated music is a good thing not only for you, but also for the industry.
Remember back in '79, when Sugarhill Gang released "Rapper's Delight" (I don't, I wasn't even alive back then). Even though they got hip-hop it's much needed attention, the hip-hop community looked down on them as "sell-outs" of sorts. Skip about 18 years or so, and your in the declining years of the "Golden-Age" of hip-hop. This marks the beginning of untalented rapper's influx and over saturation of the hip-hop industry. Starting with the whole Bad-Boy team other than the recently-deceased Biggie Smalls, and flooding the coasts you have gimmicky rappers making club bangers and simplifying their lyrics to gain mass appeal. Why did they do this? Well, by this time it had become obvious that it didn't take much to become a rap superstar.
Starting in the late 90's and still today, anyone can trade their scale for a mic. It's even become difficult for "real" rappers to succeed, notice that Killah Priest, and Chino XL are throwback rappers, yet success has alluded them because of their unwillingness to conform to the industry's standards. Yet rappers without a touch of flow, cadence, or lyricism have made millions of dollars in this industry... Ja Rule, Soulja Boy, Vanilla Ice, DJ Khaled, Shawty Lo anybody?
And I believe that we as consumers are completely at fault here. Those of you that bought that Plies album and left Nas' sitting on the shelf... those who supported Nelly and LL Cool J but not Jake One and Ill Bill.
But the internet has provided us with a way to reverse it, how you ask? With artists making less and less money off album sales, within a few years the allure of being a rap star will have faded. You can't be a street dude running a blog... it will be harder to sell bullshit in a few years.
Once all these average rappers see that, they will back off, leaving the rapping to professionals that have mastered their craft over years, not freestyling over a beat your local DJ put together in a matter of minutes.
So what's my call to action? What am I asking from you, the consumer? I am asking you, or heavily hinting that you should download as much as possible, it's just a matter of time before it takes a turn for the better. And while your at it, if you come across a dope album, go out and buy it. Sure, I could give a fuck less about C3 and "The Definition of Real", but "White Van Music", and "Politics as Usual" are well worth your money. Let's not scare off the talented artists while ridding ourselves of the snakes.
As a treat, an unbiased one at that... I put together 10 or so sites (non-contributor affiliated) where you can find a lot of good material. From mainstream albums, to underground mixtapes, one of these sites has to have it.
Posted on 4:37 PM by Guy Fawkes and filed under , | 7 Comments »


quan said... @ October 15, 2008 at 2:44 AM

I disagree here Guy. While I'm not against pirating music (Lord knows I got a couple hard drives of music), I think saying "consumers are completely at fault" is off. There are a number of factors that led mainstream rap from dudes like Nas to dudes like Soulja Boy. To sum up:

1. Industry Rule #4080. Corporations got a stranglehold on the game and decided that complex lyrical, boom-bap hip-hop was, well, too complex for radio audiences.
2. Dudes like Nelly and Soulja Boy--no disrepect to Ice-T--they brought something legitimately new and valuable to hip-hop and deserve some spotlight because of it. It's different and I don't like it but I can appreciate it. I mean how can you blame consumers for liking to dance at a show instead of nodding their heads the whole time?

Guy Fawkes said... @ October 15, 2008 at 7:38 AM

I respect your opinion quan, and I don't think I put it right by saying it was completely the consumers fault... but even when the corporations spoon-fed the consumers watered-down music over bouncy beats... it's still the consumer's fault for accepting this music. If those wack dudes didn't get sales, they wouldn't exist.
And I mean personally, I was talking from the perspective of a hip-hop head, I can't appreciate what they've done... even if it's new.
It's like hip-hop's degenerated... back in the mid to late 90's the lyrical level was at an amazing place. These guys are simply using a formula to create music... like DJ Khaled beat with simplistic Plies lyrics= hit. If nothing else, I appreciate creativity... and these dudes today have very little of it.
Still, you do have a point, it can be argued both ways.

elmattic said... @ October 15, 2008 at 10:47 AM

Maybe you need to go back in there and edit it, because what it seems like what you're saying is 'pirate the shit out of music' when what you seem to mean is 'pirate the shit out of commercial music.'

I can get with the second but not the first...struggling artists gotta eat and the way to feed them is to BUY THEIR FUCKING RECORDS, hype them on your blog without linking to a free album download...

I don't get these cats who say I love MC Whatever so much, I'm gonna dip directly in his pocket by posting his album on rapidshare for y'all.

Admittedly I download tons of shit. I listen to it once and 90% of it gets tossed. The shit I like, I buy, even if it's just one track on emusic.

There's an obvious solution which could have been put in place years ago, but now it's probably too late: full song streaming so you can check shit out, cheaper CDs and better quality mp3s. I've paid for albums on iTunes and then dl'd a 320 rip just cuz it's more cost effective.

Anyway that's me.

Guy Fawkes said... @ October 15, 2008 at 12:18 PM

I don't see how you criticize people for putting up download links, yet you use those same download links. That'd be like me criticizing butchers for killing animals, yet still eating meat.

In the post, I said download all the music you want, and if you come across a good album, go and buy it. So, I don't really see how our opinions differ at all.

I believe that if a site is created where you pay $10 or so a month, but can listen to whatever you want, and can still customize playlists and put it onto mp3 players... without technically owning it(being able to share the music) would be the best.
Then again, this wasn't a post to discourage the purchase of albums, but like you said, to kind of scourge the mainstream rap community of it's sales.

Mr. Glass said... @ October 15, 2008 at 5:54 PM

haha bro i respectfully disagree with this....and i might be posting my own opinion on this subject tomarow!

elmattic said... @ October 16, 2008 at 3:31 AM

Aight then...we're on the same page then.

What you say about the $10 subscription model is absolutely right. I read a thing where some industry cats called up Rick Rubin and were all, 'Rick, save us, what do we do? We're fucked over here.' and he suggested just that. And they were all, 'yeah, yeah, thanks, that's great, but you know what? No.'

SuPerMaN said... @ October 17, 2008 at 12:41 AM

I think sharing music is a good thing. I believe there is a positive correlation between pirated music and higher sales. Let me restate for you smart dumb cats... If your album is being pirated alot, then chance are your sales are going up too.

The thing is that selling music to consumers is a thing of the past. In the future all music will be free. It will be the company that distrubutes the free download that will pay for the record.

I actually wrote a really thorough article on this that I invite all of you to read.

The Future of the Music Industry???