Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Revolution Will Be Broadcasted (& Illegally Downloaded)

I'm young enough to remember when Mtv changed the music game. Word to Dallas Penn, videos already existed before the channel made them the prerequisite for any fledgling musician(s). But what that television station did was provide not only an outlet for groups to realize the physical manifestations of their audio creations, but also to give the fans an opportunity to put human beings to the sounds they enjoyed. Video killed the radio star, indeed.

On a side note, Michael Jackson & John Landis personally changed the video game immediately following. Do your homework if you ain't already knowing.

The music racket had been one-upped, & there was no turning back, like when vinyl pushed 8-track off the proverbial cliff, & pissed on him as he slipped into darkness.

Fast forward a couple of decades, & the World Wide Web did a similar move to the music industry, almost making the CDs, that once made the cassette obsolete, irrelevant. Here we are, faced with a mechanism capable of information transfer at a staggering rate & unimaginable reach. Communicational boundaries were literally erased, as people all across the glorious globe could now be connected with one another with essentially no effort at all. Once mankind truly had a grasp on the Internets full potential, nothing was safe from it's voracious ability. I seriously doubt that anyone could've foreseen the effect the Web would have on the entertainment industry, much less civilization as we knew it. Experts once thought that, with the up rise of the 'Nets, the music & movie companies would fall under, due to the 'Nets sheer strength. In theory, one would be hard pressed not to agree. Any & everything a person could want had become available online.

The 'Net created introverts where there were none previously. Shopping, entertainment, social activity, porn, all available at one's fingertips [||]. But, as the smoke clears, the industry that seems to have sustained the most injury is music. Downloads, file shares, album leaks, all play a part in the customers willingness to abandon physical LP's & opt for digital downloads, illegal or otherwise. & who would ignore such luxury? When I was younger, a trip anywhere required 5-7 CDs (at least!) & my Discman, regardless of my destination. Those of us who took our music seriously back then would even shell out upwards of a hundred bucks for the anti-shock or non-skip models. Now, a little bitty box can adamantly hold the majority of my musical library, with me not so much as setting foot inside of a record store. & if you want to get dry snitch-y about it, without so much as spending a dollar, either. The consumer, being catered to, never stopped to think about the artist, & how our decisions may effect them. Which brings us to today's flailing music market, where yesterdays mega-star is only moderately compensated & easily dismissed, regardless of talent. Not only can anybody "produce" an album, but the playing field has been leveled, & accessibility & visibility aren't the parameters of success any longer. YouTube (& the like) can & will make or break a nigga these days.

Now, thanks to the 'Nets, any music, especially the wack, overrated, unnecessary kind, is available on demand. This has the record industry--especially Hip Hop--in a frenzy. Theoretically, there's no reason to buy music anymore. Albums get preleased(c) before their time, & unless you're Jay-Z, Eminem or Black Eyed Peas, the amount of sales is affected. Although that sounds bad, it's actually not. With all music being basically free, we, the fans/consumers are able to sample what's out there & only focus on what we like.

I don't have to second guess ripping Mos Def's latest offering, right after I sneaked a peek at why even Combat Jack likes Gucci Mane. I can find out what the big deal is with Pac Div just as quickly as I can download (then trash bin) Lil Boosie. Point is, no star shines brighter than the next, unless we decide that. & with the opportunity to sample a little bit of everything on the veritable buffet table, the truly talented will undoubtedly be pushed to the forefront. & once CD's become completely obsolete (which they will--mark my words), the industry will be forced to start from scratch; more skill, less marketing.

While this may have an adverse effect on the amount of wack juice that we get exposed to, it also eliminates the radio-factor & let's the listener be in total control of the audio experience. Honestly, the only times I even think about radio is on holidays, to create a festive atmosphere for whatever the hell it is we're celebrating. I think that we've all concluded how much of a dichotomy the 'Net is. So, why not love it as much as we hate it, like an alcoholic parent.

[tony's note: the same evolution is happening to libraries as well. go figure...]


Federal Ranga said...

Good drop, man. You pretty said it all. However, you'll NEVER see a world where everybody is using their Kindles to read classics like "A Tale of Two Cities" or "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish"... mark MY words.

Speaking of the Nets' (OSOS)... God, they SUCK! Is Jay still tryna 'buy them' or whatever?

E13 @ 1pm...

Curtis75Black said...

Well said homie !! Well said. My road trips were 10 CDs, 4 R&B, 6 Hip Hop - six different artists.

Tony Grands said...


Yikes! I think Shawn has surely changed his mind about that. There's still talks of them moving to Brooklyn, though. Them dudes haven't even won ONE game yet. Sad.


Man, I didn't even begin to appreciate R&B until I moved out my parents house (about 18-19) & by then, no need for my Discman.

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