A lot has been written about piracy and it’s effect on artists sales. My own opinion is that the only thing that changed ‘post-file sharing’ was the nature of the thief. Prior to websites like LimeWire and Napster it was the major corporations who robbed their own artists blind, collecting the vast amount of their profits. Now it is the fans themselves who supposedly cause harm to the music business, yet surely this must be recognised as the lesser of two evils. Regardless of the struggles caused by downloading, at least there has been a collective power shift from the big business’ to the every day man, and this is no bad thing.

Continue Reading After The Jump…

However there are some independent artists who have claimed that piracy effectively ended their career. Hip-hop group The Procussions split in 2008 after Mr. J Mederios confessed on his MySpace:

The Procussions have been inevitably shipwrecked, blows taken in the lower deck from the most fierce of all pirates.”  He also added….

“can’t do it anymore y’all. The Procussions have officially been destroyed by the system, the industry, and those kids who just don’t understand you can’t burn independent albums. You will kill their career.”

Although exagerrated, hip-hop fans would naturally sympathise… Still it leaves you wondering why The Procussions never spoke out about the major labels crippling artists in a much more brutal fashion. Thier reasoning is far too black and white to be a realistic repersentation of industry problems.

In many ways we have come full circle, artists must make things happen on a ground level before gaining a fan base big enough to sustain a career. With these opportunites still out there for independent artists I believe piracy is often exagerated by those who don’t understand how to adapt to the changing climate. Of course touring and merchandise still offer a lucrative incentive for talented musicians. Whilst emcees like Charles Hamilton gave music away for free, embracing the internet culture rather than condeming it.

A larger issue is the strain on the quality songs, caused by the emphasis the net has put on speed. With access to so much music we have stopped taking the time to really listen to albums that deserve to be honoured. Remember in the 80’s RUN DMC would release an LP on vinyl and every B-Boy would play that album to death. Now when a classic album is released there are so many distractions that these pieces will be more than likely over looked, swiftly replaced by whatever is flavour of the month. How many of us stick to iTunes shuffle rather than play albums in their entirety. This fast food effect on music causes a very disposable feel to mp3’s. It also begs the question, why should an artist spend such a long time perfecting their album if it will be yesterdays news post release.

Obviously blogs make their positive contributions to hip-hop too. Word Is Bond.Com provides a platform for me to express these views and our forums allow you to do the same. The response we get from artists happy for us to promote them often amazes me. Clearly there is a huge appetite for hip-hop in 010 and the Internet allows us to publicise those who are often under-celebrated. In many respects blogs now serve the function of magazines like The Source did back in the 90’s. With the added bonus that everyone can have their own input.


Previous post

AUDIO: Oddisee - A Year In

Next post

FREENESS: Hance - Make me Famous