Well isn’t this some bullshit?
After 2.5 months and 45,000+ views and alot of unexpected love and interest from complete strangers across the globe connected through a mutual fascination of dope sounds, all of which I genuinely appreciate- in the space of a fortnight I’ve been sent two DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) Copyright Infringement notices threatening to shut the blog down. Fuck that. I’ve worked harder than I ever intended to on here, to commit to the pamphleteering of great music via this blog and I refuse to let my last 92 posts disintegrate into the anal passages of cyber-space because of shook industry tactics.
I’m writing this whole thing real quick-time, so I won’t be able to cover every base in this tirade, however…
….the first post to get DMCA highlighted was Nas’ ‘Untitled’ (a.k.a. confront the fact it is and will always be ‘N****r’ no matter which sensibilities are offended), like, 2 and a half months subsequent to the rampant internet leak (which Nasty himself supported out of anti-establishmentarian revolt). But slappin’ around charges 2 and a half months after the real vital sales figures are in? Wow, you digital snitches and net combers at the label offices are doing a shit job of taking care of product.
A little over a week later I was issued another DMCA warning far more shocking and unreasonable than the first, but this time I had to laugh at how ludicrous The Man’s power-of-the-prick-wielding was: they tried to persecute me for having a download link to Kanye’s ‘Love Lockdown’ single. Gimmie a goddamn break- that single was leaked by the label (if not West himself even) for the aims of generating enormous promo and publicity (a routine ploy). The cat’s out the Louis Vuitton bag, so back off DMCA daleks, you have no business with me. Worst case scenario I thought to myself is that after the preliminary leak was the mediocre first version of ‘Love Lockdown’ and then then the superior mastered version dropped a couple days ago, that West himself issued a veto on the inferior leaks. If that is the rationale behind this, then to be honest as much I respect and deeply admire Kanye West, I should (figuratively) punch his teeth out for putting me in the line of fire when all I do is honour the man’s artistry. Perfectionism means you handle your business right first time around homie, instead of making a partisan suffer. (Still, I’ll see you at Glow In The Dark.) Yet I’m currently detecting ‘Love Lockdown’ up on dozens upon dozens of other blogs right now (ones way bigger than Your Mum), including WordPress blogs like mine- what the fuck’s all that about? Was I the only one that had this problem (feel free to comment)…? I’m going to appeal on principle alone.
Having worked in and around the music industry, I can understand some of their aggravation. On sight, to them I am the enemy of course: a sniveling, rat bastard, downloader (fair enough, but I cite having my arse credit crunched on, and I vowed to buy strictly vinyl when I start a salary) and distributor (not guilty, I don’t upload albums or singles onto the net, merely find them already circulating and re-exhibit them here). To my readers however, I’m just like them. ‘The internet generation’: a growing band of eclectics and free-thinkers. In my own mind, I’m just another arrogant blog wanker who thinks his taste is that utmost, superlative, supreme shit. Though I do try to show some level of subterranean infatuation and liberated critique for the music I want more people in the world to recognize and enjoy and it’s this campaigning (by all bloggers) that’s emancipated more musicians than ever. What, you make a little less money? Fuck you. You have more fans and an increased chance to pierce your sword into public consciousness; more people that love and worship your creative capabilities as a human being than you would have had 10 years ago. Use your acumen and capitalize on that so you can practice your craft and still live comfortably.
The above statement doesn’t just apply to major label artists, though I’m fully aware the independent grind is far more taxing. But then I’m humbled, and I’ll say it’s not my intention to hurt the smaller fish. It’s just that, not everyone is a music obsessive or avid follower. They don’t have a music blog checklist and don’t read the music publications or surf MySpace’s looking for future talent or analyze industry trends. I live for this shit. And all I’m trying to do is guide and inspire heads (particularly in my environment, I come from London, and no disrespect to my local mankind but one’s surrounded by a few fickle- but what? You don’t wanna tap the London/UK market? Everybody wants to tap the London/UK market. The pound is stronger than the dollar). Sometimes in efforts to nourish, you have to put that shit slap bang on their plate. People are afraid of or apathetic to approach/purchase independent music; it’s not frequently tangible in the way mainstream music is so that can breed ignorance, but I’m always insisting that does not make it any less thrilling for the head, heart, soul n’ feet. The sounds of the future are on here, not on your radio or television. So I put it on the plate. And let them eat that good shit. Until they become addicted. Then they become fiends, fans, lovers and real enthusiasts that spread the message on (replacing the advertisement that’s not available to smaller artists) and hopefully turn long-term supporters. It’s a perpetual cycle. It’s viral marketing. It’s THE new business model. Personally, I make little to nothing out of it, not a penny just personal satisfaction. I received an eloquent and civilized e-mail from the manager of one of the artists I’d put up and he distinguished “the love that underpins all these posts” foremost. I give and ask for nothing less.
I’ve said it before, the labels are in pain and they’re perishing but then every corporate middleman has his day (and imminent sunset). And though I could sit here behind the safety of a screen spouting anarchic declarations like “it’s time the artists and performers took the power back!” I also know it’s never that simple, and everybody fashions their own circumstance and major label investment hasn’t always been a poisoned chalice. Plus I have friends who work in the industry as A&Rs and managers, good people, who believe they can make a difference from the inside. So my respects to them, if not necessarily their overseers.
Still if you want to talk ethics- buy a fucking t-shirt and a ticket to the show. Your favourite artists make more money that way. Ask them.
But if you think legally digitally downloading your favourite artist’s material is ethical, don’t believe the hype. It costs the label fuck-all for somebody to download an album (no manufacturing, shipping or overhead costs of any kind) yet the artists still makes less money than if you bought a physical copy of their album (this may be more the case with Majors than Independents however). Why do people legally download music? Have we become THAT vegetated in our convenient electric bubbles? That’s the most pathetic disservice to music etiquette. Leave your homes and buy something you can feel in the palm of your hands with artwork you can ogle for its iconography (or atleast buy it off the net). Downloading 3 tracks off an album for 79p each is lackadaisical, pseudo-moralistic crap because you’re killing the craft of an album anyway. Stop that half-arsed shit.
I’d love to go really in depth, insightful and bring out the political and economic facts and figures to fill all the holes in my rant. But I’m looking at the clock right now thinking I’ll save that for my university dissertation instead of bombarding your 17 inch monitors with a self-indulgent polemic (as I’ve done so for the last ten paragraphs). I’ll probably think of more shit later on the bus home, but for now this is just a blunt diary entry.
Yet, fret not. I practically live by an audio-samurai code of “What else in life really matters except for music anyway?” It’s all I live for really. So, hol’ tight, Your Mum does her best.
If next thing you know, the blog gets (love) lockdown’ed and simply vanishes forever. I may set up a new private blog that is invite only. Whatever the outcome, just keep email@example.com up in your domepiece, hit me up and I’ll tell you what’s going down. I can’t let down my (on average) 1000 readers a day. That’s miniscule by Nah Right or 2dopeboyz standards, but it means alot to me at any rate.
Right now I may have to take some time off from blogging (and I had some amazing stuff to put up this week) simply because I need to re-strategize how I’m going to spread the melodious gospel truth on here in a way that doesn’t risk me having to lose all my efforts because of The Man and his insecurity. I hope I have the reader’s support whatever I choose to do on here next. And thanks, reading your feedback e-mails always reminds me of how rewarding this endeavour’s been. I’ll still try and keep our now esteemed mixtapes coming weekly if I can.
Plus, you do realise Summer’s coming to an end, and well maybe it’s time I went back to university and, gee, I dunno, got a girlfriend or something.
Anyway, nuffin’ long.
Sincerely yours for the moment, Don Juan DeFantasticunt.
P.S. Here’s the (new version of the) fucking song in question. That I now refuse to post (because it’s posted everywhere else but they’ll probably only shank my shithole for it). Get it courtesy of my trusted amigo Speakz’ block rockin’ spot, click here >>>> Pinboard Blog.
P.P.S. Free Your Mum.