Asita Recordings

We like Pam Grier, Red Stripe, the sound and the smell of records, mixtapes,the SF Giants, analog synths, McCovey Cove, Lanikai at night, and San Francisco's indian summer.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Ethical Gymnastics - The Survival of the Music Game

There is an interesting thread on the La2thebay message board right now. It was initially raised as a discussion of ethics regarding established artists selling verses for money. Along the way it spiraled in to something completely different. Instead of the usual hating there were actually a few intelligent ideas posed.

I connect, on many levels, to Subtitle's birthday post and I thought I'd share it here. There is quite a bit of history tucked in to the rant. You can read the rest of the thread here.
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Subtitle----
( if your a good artist, spending alot of time, energy, focus, workiing realy hard ona project and getting chump change for it, then you see a dood whos wack as fuck, and barely has to put any effort into his "craft" make waaaaay more money then you,part of you is gonna be like "wtf am i doing? im working so hard and getting nothing, while this fool is half retarded and makeing bank, i need to get like that")

case in point- the cool kids.
1 year of rapping half-assed (I mean, total) and making 1/2 complete beats
means the best publicist in the game, best booking agent, tours opening for the clipse (fuck it, tours in general) and a carreer.
I made like, 15 records, won battles against dudes whom the majority of you guys are staright up mystified by or scared of, travelled the world on my own dime, can make beats, write raps,
play instruments AND read/write/transcribe sheet music-and that's just onstage.....
I can't even tour with rappers whom I've known for half my life.
I'm 29 today, so it's both guns out.

Look, with the exception of the folks who understand, GET A FUCKING LIFE. Rap music is not life, it's rap music. Untill you had an idea of what it took to make a song, YOU didn't give a fuck HOW it was made! When I first worked with adlib in 97, I paid him 150 for a beat over the course of a year cause we were both broke. He gave me 100 to get on his album cause we were both broke. My mommy never bought me a sampler or 4-track and I still haven't paid pablo for the EPS he let me hold in 99. What no one seems to remember (or know, since you probably weren't there) is the west coast avant-garde hip-hop scene was for many years, untouchable and bulletproof. No rapper could be served by the average mortal, the beats were on other levels and the subject matter was literally sublime. Around the time all balls was recorded, p.e.a.c.e was on death row, mikah was smoking up his 300,000 dollar advance from capitol, abstract rude was poised to come out on grand royal, CVE was getting courted then bit by ruthless and ganja k was busy being blackballed by DJ Quik. Oh yeah, volume10 was on sony with a gold single and the nonce were on rick rubin's label. Project Blowed got re-released on capitol,
erule (remember him?) was on that label fab 5 freddy a&r'd for (pallas), ras kass, xzibit and saafir were all on major labels or on their way and heiro was still on some paper shit, with souls getting a gold plaque. We (LA) were in the top slot, dialated and born allah had the best radio spots and you could listen to 92.3 the beat for 3 hours and hear bomb shit. like the hiero/hobo battle. Even dre, snoop and the dogg pound were the shit. We had magazines and newspapers describing our scene (rap sheet!) and a million other ways to get your voice heard for real. Back then, I only knew baltimore for labtekwon, not b-more house and spank rock.... I could go on forever. Folks, things done changed. I make dance songs when I get bored of making rap because people actually respond. I have to give away records in the form of mixtapes because motherfuckers don't show interest in anything anymore.
Plus girls are at the spots like the homie said, but I'm not tripping off gay dudes, I got my fill of that at blowed, no homo. I swear if I told you who labwaste is talking to in the record deal department, you would hate us as soon as the sun rose, if you actually listen to that type of shit. I don't make a dollar off of rap music purchased in LA. In fact, I'm in montreal slanging "things" because guess what? I'm broke! When I get home, I'm going to a day-job as an assistant to the head A&R at motown (wich is funny as fuck) because I. AM. BROKE. I already know that I'm a better rapper than 3/4 of your favorite rappers because they told me so. That never paid me. I hid out and only did songs with my friends and factions that I respect, no matter the genre and THAT did nothing but villify me to the "hip-hop" community because now I was too elitist and couldn't be hit up at amoeba to kick a freestyle on the spot anymore since I'm in hollwood all of the time, apparently. While you guys are playing happy dicks and hip-hop trading cards, there's some motherfucker on here selling ALL of our CDs for .50 to 2.00, and I'm talking about shit that you can order right now off this very site! You wonder why some rappers charge for verses/beats to whoever? Who cares? Not that motherfucker selling 1,000 dollars worth of merch for 29.95... I noticed that no one banged on that dude for undercutting us 90% on our own site.... If you really want to know why shit is weak, look no farther than 2 places:
1.your CD collection
2.the mirror
okay, shit is wack and so are scruples. we know. we may even helped it along to a flatspot, but we highly doubt it. but besides trip on no one in particular, list all of the things that you do to make rap easier for baby jesus or whoever it is you are speaking on behalf of....
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So yeah it's hard out there for 99% of people involved and passionate about music at this point. Technology has obliterated the hierarchy that both created fans and in turn growth. The leveled playing field..has morphed in to a general flat line of apathy towards art. People rather talk about music than listen to it these days. The gray area between fan and musician has blurred and erased itself, especially in hip-hop circles. It will be interesting to see where it all goes in the next ten - fifteen years.
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Maybe Radiohead is on to something? Radiohead is allowing their fans to choose how much they think RH "deserves" for the digital download of their upcoming album. There is also the option to fore go the digital option and purchase an $80 cd/vinyl/extras package instead. Though I believe their model will be successful, I also think it will only work with groups who already have massive cult followings. Interesting to see how this plays out in any case.

1 Comments:

Blogger Chad said...

fantastic post

i feel bad for buying cd's from that dude, he was on the C7 board selling his stuff, saw the prolits and flipped out! he had a bunch of memphix stuff for sale too a while back....

but onto your post

the making music part you posted is so true, it feels so passe to even "make" music when everyone and their grandmother with an internet connection is able to and everything is so feeling less, not necessarily sad, but just the warmth, swing, and soul... i guess its not for me to say, mostly because i haven't been around say the length that joes been or anyone who has recorded on 4 track tapes and whatnot...

apathy towards art, sums everything up in a nutshell, i think thats why oliver wants to leave and a lot of the other guys are so over hawaii and the scene....

thanks for the read

we need more of this (not hip hop related)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgZ8bZ9TuO0

6:43 AM  

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