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04:27 PM on 11/20/2007
"Radiohead and AC/DC have turned their backs on iTunes for the same reason."

I don't think that comment is actually completely true. Radiohead do have some of their catalogue available on iTunes. However, their new album "in rainbows" isn't. It's only available for purchase through their website. Now they plan to release it in record stores in January so who's to say they wouldn't make it available on iTunes as well? And from what I understand, Radiohead chose this method to cut out the "middle man" entirly, not just iTunes. They were tired of their work being overpriced for their fans and record execs making the majority of the profits.
03:50 PM on 11/20/2007
What this man seems to overlook is that the record business throughout its history has been very good at making a small number of people massively wealthy. Most artists make next to nothing from their copyrights. Clearly Dupri is one of the privileged few and makes an argument here in favour of keeping it that way.

If the riches in music had historically been more evenly spread allowing recording artists in general to finance their careers from royalties, and if the new format was putting such artists in jeopardy, then the complainers would have a case. As this is not even close to being true they should be silent and go enjoy their multi millions.

The new format so brilliantly exploited by Apple is a superb development but it will probably mean no future superstars. However it might raise the possibility for modest artists to gain some recognition and for the first time actually earn a buck. If this is done at the expense of the Jay-Zs of the world then no bad thing. They are over-rewarded in any case.

Respect the craft absolutely and share the spoils!
03:30 PM on 11/20/2007
The measure of an artist is their fan base, not their record sales. Jazz, classical and bluegrass musicians make their money off touring and use record sales only for promotion. Even pro athletes get paid by the game, the medium only promotes them so they can get paid. Frank Sinatra made very little off of his recordings, but they propelled a lucrative career in performing.

I do share Mr. Dupre's distaste with Apple as interlopers, taking revenue and credit from the very system that created the music.

Personally, I tire of most music very quickly, a few times is enough then it goes into the nostalgia bin.

The problem with the recording industry is it began to think every band could be a bankable Beatles or Stones, when all it really had was just a pile of disposable ditties in the end. Sure they hosed a bunch of artists down, but the good ones got popular enough to tour and are doing just fine.

Technology will eventually make music infinate and almost free. The corporate world would love to make us continue to pay for each minute of music that enters our ears. This model isn't going to last.
03:29 PM on 11/20/2007
On the other hand, back as far as the day of the little plastic mini-pizzas, a fairly popular local bar band got a record contract, and was teamed-up with a classical producer, who knew next to zilch about Rock 'n' Roll. No clue as to how much quality "time" he spent with them, but it's a matter of history that he heard things this crude rave-up of a band could not hear, and got them to slow down and do things they never would have done, rocking raunchily to the boozed-up kiddies in The Cavern Club.

In the process, he pioneered the concept of a recording studio being an essential "instrument" in any group's makeup. Never would have happened, if The Beatles had been given an artistic blank check. They knew they had to LEARN STUFF, and they did.

Ironically, The Beatles were later one of the first recording acts to pioneer the "concept album". The Who, Pink Floyd and many, many others went on to record little audio operas, whose continuity was integral to the production.

What happened? Over time, INDIVIDUAL songs from those albums stood out, and stood the test of time. The surviving artists of that period play those songs today, in concert, all the time. OUT OF context. They're good with it.
03:13 PM on 11/20/2007
EXACTLY! I definitely feel you on every last thing you said, JD. I'm glad to see someone so influential in Hip Hop is taking a stand. I am by no means a person stuck in the "golden era", but I surely miss the cohesive feel an album would always have, regardless to how many producers contributed to it. Ready To Die, Reasonable Doubt and Illmatic, all felt like an epic story being told more so than just an album, thus cementing these contributions to Hip Hop as some of the best.

We're in an era where instant gratification is the norm, hence the existence of the ringtone rappper. But I could not agree more, that it should be the artists choice and I commend Jay-Z for making that bold choice and you for supporting it.

As a result American Gangster is by far one of the best albums of the year and all time.

Thank you JD for bringing NO ID back to the limelight, your contributions together solidified Jay's album as another classic.

Once the acapella's drop on Dec 4th, keep your eyes posted for the remix album!!

03:00 PM on 11/20/2007
Memo to Jermaine: Frank Lucas, whose story is told in "American Gangster" and "inspired" Jay-Z's album, is not a hero. He destroyed lives and neighborhoods, and is rotting in jail now, right where he belongs. He is not, as one of Jay-Z's limp "lyrics" asserts, "cool." Ladies and Gentlemen, "Exhibit B" in why the music industry is losing customers.
02:37 PM on 11/20/2007
This argument totally ignores what got the music industry into this situation. Along with ignoring the emerging technology, the industry continually forced people to buy whole albums that mostly included 1 single and 9 or so throw away tracks. For every album that was truly a piece of art, how many were just attempts at squeezing more money out, with no checks on quality? It sounds like Mr. Dupri is just complaing for the days when he was guaranteed sales of a mediocre album if it had one good single. By the time mp3s came about, how many of the albums were being released were truly artistic?
02:16 PM on 11/20/2007
Isn't it possible to offer iTunes an album only, no singles available? It's a soundtrack you're talking about. Jay-Z may not sell as many, but people can still go to a "record" store and buy CDs.
I used to have thousands of LPs and before that, some 45's as a kid. I really LIKE albums even though some songs may be so-so: the producer & artists heard it that way & it usually moves well...
Now, with iTunes, I sometimes mix & match and buy one or two tunes, or the entire album, & I create a mix for my computer & iPod. I also feel that a lot of new rock, pop or hip-hop isn't rewarding enough to want the whole album - We have radio stations for listening to a mixture.

Musicians deserve to be paid! SIngles or not.
Semi-retired musician, that's me.
Expat Extraordinaire.
02:04 PM on 11/20/2007
It's all about greed. Gone are the days where sheep rushed out to purchase their heroes album no matter what.

iTunes has you pissed off because people like me can be exposed to new and different music every single day and don't need to have some "processed pop star" shoved down my throat.
It's amazing how much quality music you find by not confining yourself to one musical genre.

There is more than enough unexplored music out there to keep me entertained for the rest of my life and that's the real issue isn't it? You cannot get into those millions of pockets so that bothers you. Nice red herring though with the "whole album" nonsense.
01:53 PM on 11/20/2007
What a load of hooey. Artistic license my ass. Plain and simple, these artists want to get paid for all the crap they write rather than just the one song everyone wants to hear. Jay-z is "free" to do whatever he wants and just like the first commentor said, he won't show up on very many i-pods (I suspect he doesn't show up on many anyway since we all know "record sales" doesn't equal "popular"--Wal-Mart may be buying this crap but the listeners aren't).

Keep trying to convince yourself your artists and that all the money you make is really from fans... and then, if you want, go on tour and see who shows up.

I hope Jay-z does stick to his guns. That way his attempt at music will fade away.
01:02 PM on 11/20/2007
All these artists and record companies you mention aren't really represented on my iPod. I find it amusing that you guys consider this stuff "art".

The albums put out by these artists and record companies rarely contain more than one point of interest per album, maximum. My son rarely says "thats a cool song", he usually says "thats a cool beat" to which I respond "go get yourself a drum machine"...

Don't confuse "making money" with "good music".
12:55 PM on 11/20/2007
You're right, things are worth more than the sum of their parts and it makes sense for artists to keep all the songs of an album together.

However, how much would music artists be making if not for the invention of the vinyl record? Is that invention not a work of art in itself and doesn't it become similar to the content deemed "artistic" by Mr. Dupree?

There are fashions for types of music and the modes of its transmission are no less prone to them. It's all one - all the songs and the fashion become one another and there isn't one rap artist out there responsible for the invention of the vinyl record, or the radio, or the CD, or the television, or the computer, or the internet.

So, I could as easily say to Mr. Dupree that he's been making money off the backs of the inventors of the previous mediums by which his music has been mainly transmitted. In fact, by Mr. Duprees logic, the inventor of the microphone could take the majority of money made by every musical performance in the twentieth century.

You value yourself and your music too highly in a society that only values its barbaric need for chopped up horseflesh over those of humanity. I, like others, do care how artists eat - I recommend some good wholesome oats.
Some say I'm an enigma, but I'm not easily figured
12:42 PM on 11/20/2007
The digital world is evolving so fast that we haven't time to try new things for more than a couple of years at best. It was just a few short years back that many young artists were figuring out where they wanted to make their money, touring or cd sales.

Now, if we choose sales, we have to choose the best way to market it.

The Eagles are selling almost exclusively with Wal-Mart (Hell is freezing over). Radiohead is selling their latest on the honor system on the web, Some are choosing to sell singles and the hell with the albums.

There are probably as many ways to sell a song as there are artists. I'm just afraid that there are some very deserving artists who will get the short end of the stick as the industry figures out what works best.
12:39 PM on 11/20/2007
Please try and produce GOOD stuff. Mariah, the reigning Queen of light-weight music, continues to put out bland, forgettable song after another. She has never come close to having her Tapestry, her Ray of Light, her Jagged Little Pill, her MisEducation of..... Face it, rap is dying too. Hip/Hop is so bland,unoriginal and the lyrics usually cringe-worthy that its become a parody of itself. Country is starting to regain traction after years and years of hip-hop crud being shoved down our throats by corporate radio because people are sick of it. Get a clue!
12:25 PM on 11/20/2007
Simple question:
What makes you think that every musical though you have is worth my money? What if I only am touch by one cut? What gives you the right to force me to pay for product I don't want?