The sale of “crack music” as Kayne would put it, has been temporarily postponed, but not canceled. The sale of mixtapes which use to be an underground thing, hit the clubs, then the flea markets, then the streets; has allowed DJs’ to become popular off of someone else’s creative property without having to pay taxes or royalties. This is the wake up call; wake up, crack music sells, but the BOSS MAN wants his cut. The Hook-Up for DJs’ and artists, an underground market for the streets, the mixtape format feeds a need for both the artist and the streets. Well the record business is hitting back.
The recent crack down on the mixtape market culminated with the arrest of DJ Drama and DJ Don Cannon in Atlanta on Racketeering charges. It was the Record Industry Association of America that initiated the raid with the assistance of the Feds. What’s going on in the Hip Hop industry? DJ Drama has a close association with TI, Lil Wayne and other heavy hitters, was about to release a new album. Is this just a publicity stunt or is there some deeper meaning to this entire fuss? On the real tip, what is really at play is that the record industry has realized that a tremendous amount of money is being transacted via the mixtape format and they want a cut! The artists that are from the streets got their first buzz in the industry through distributing music on the mixtape format. Those are not people screaming about the mixtape business. You are more likely to hear a Hip Hop artist complain about illegal downloads more so than a mixtape being sold. Most of the known and trying to be known artists all are familiar with the mixtape market and use it. If there is a demand for music, a market will be created, that’s the way it works with any product. So this arrest of a high profile individual will not stop the sale of mixtapes, it will just help to mutate the business to some other means of distribution. The DJ Drama arrest is just to put everybody else on notice. Once you get hooked on crack, there is no substitute; mixtapes available on the QT! What do you think??
Other Article Relating to Hip Hop:
- Record Label Deal – Are You Ready
- Freestyle Battle – Young Greedy vs Frost
- Hip Hop Economics – You Buyin
The New York Times – reported the following:
The police, working with the Recording Industry Association of America, raided his office, at 147 Walker Street in Atlanta. The association makes no distinction between counterfeit CDs and unlicensed compilations like those that DJ Drama is known for. So the police confiscated 81,000 discs, four vehicles, recording gear, and “other assets that are proceeds of a pattern of illegal activity,” said Chief Jeffrey C. Baker, from the Morrow, Ga., police department, which participated in the raid DJ Drama (whose real name is Tyree Simmons) and Mr. Cannon were each charged with a felony violation of Georgia’s Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organization law (known as RICO) and held on $100,000 bond. …As mixtapes have grown more popular, they have also grown easier to purchase, despite that official-sounding declaration — “For Promotional Use Only” — printed on every one. Sites like mixunit.com specialize in selling them, and big record shops and online stores have followed suit. As of yesterday DJ Drama was sitting in jail, but dozens of his unlicensed compilations were still available at the iTunes shop. …It also seems clear that mixtapes can actually bolster an artist’s sales. The most recent Lil Wayne solo album, “Tha Carter II” (Cash Money/Universal), sold more than a million copies, though none of its singles climbed any higher than No. 32 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. That’s an impressive feat, and it’s hard to imagine how he would have done it without help from a friendly pirate.