The Album Is Dead. Welcome To The Show.

I won’t even go as far as to say hip-hop is in a bad way, like most people would. I actually think we are in the 2nd Golden Age of the Hip-Hop movement. Only problem is, the Hip-Hop community is is denial like I’ve never seen before. Every man is entitled to his/her own opinion, but that doesn’t make the facts any less true than they are. The Album is an artifact of the music business. These days, you better have a good character to portray, lest you find out the hard way that the perfect platinum album equates to nothing these days. Yeah, you need great music, but these days we can all get it for free. I wouldn’t expect anyone to pay for any music these days, if they do, they are true aficionados of the Compact Disc/Vinyl/etc.

I saw it all coming with the rise of file-sharing. In 7th grade, a friend and I downloaded DMX’s whole catalogue (at the time), off of Napster, and most times got album leaks ahead of time. When the bite came to Metallica’s ass, and Lars Ulrich threatened to sue for damages, I knew the game was already changed. As hard as Steve Jobs tried to save the majors with iTunes, we saved free music with bit torrents. Actually, we get free EVERYTHING through bit torrents. That’s another story though.

My inspiration behind this post was looking at Wiz Khalifa’s “Rolling Papers”, and its reception among hip-hop heads. I admit, it should be billed as a pop record, and not shopped as hip-hop, as is also the case with Drake, but that label is more suited to the fact that 16 bars with a rhyme scheme is technically, a rap. I’m not mad at any of them. What I’m mad at, is how at this point in time in music, people can still feel as though first week sales are a precursor to success. These artists are all platinum plus….if Hulkshare was recorded by Nielsen. But it’s not. The kid still packs out shows from state to state, and that, my friends, is great success these days. In an industry that’s suffered a recession and a death-defying drop in sales revenue, Hip-Hop has become indie/underground music again. So instead of being judgmental, go out there and get yourself some shows, and see how many “recorded sales” your album gets. Remember, if you don’t scan a barcode, the sale isn’t recorded by SoundScan. If you’ve ever been to a show before, and an artist is selling albums out of a backpack, those sales don’t get recorded. Imagine selling them shits state to state. Not saying I’m watching this happen, but in the game most similar to the crack game, anything and everything can and will be done to get the paper.

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~ by Chucky_Nite on April 5, 2011.

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