Would You Pay $1,000 For This Album?

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LA based rapper Nipsey Hussle’s latest album, Mailbox Money is on SoundCloud and Spotify. It’s available for free download from the mixtape site, datpiff.com and has been downloaded over 200,000 times. On iTunes it’s $9.99. But if you want a physical copy of the album, that’ll cost you $1,000. And he’s only printed 100 copies.

Hussle believes digital music should be free. He explains in an interview he gave with The Guardian, “Digital music is abundant and it’s going against the laws of nature to charge for something that is ubiquitous. It would be like charging for air.”

The $1,000 album gets you the secret package (Hussle will not reveal what’s inside) and access to a private advance listening session for his forthcoming album, Victory Lap. On the purchase page at Iamproud2pay.com (the site he setup specifically for the physical sales of his albums) he writes: “Ain’t no money like Mailbox Money. This project is about ownership. It’s about archiving what I set out to achive (sic). In my first single “Hussle In The house” I said, “fresh of the bloc I sold dope to buy groceries/now it’s rap money no advances all royalties”. This project is about seeing that vision thru.”

Every time Hussle gets a transaction he receives a text message. Hussle responds and starts a conversation with each buyer. He says “The feedback and the connection I have with these people help me understand the psychology of the person paying $1,000 for some songs that, realistically, you could download for free.”

He sold his previous album, Crenshaw, in a similar manner. He printed 1,000 and sold them each for $100. All 1,000 sold out (with help from Jay-Z who bought 100).

Hussle, now completely independent, was once a major label artist. He left Epic Records in 2010 and believes he is now much better off. He protests:

“The labels aren’t letting us live. They’re not letting artists own anything! We’re going to end up 60 years old without a pot to piss in – no catalogue, no mailbox money, no residuals.”

He found a creative way to make $100,000 off of his recorded music for his past two releases by selling to a very small, dedicated portion of his fan base. The new music economy is going to look a lot more like this. More and more midsize acts sustaining themselves, independently, with the help of a dedicated fanbase willing to support the acts they love.

What does it matter if an artist sells 10,000 albums at $10, 1,000 at $100 or 100 at $1,000? Or more commonly, selling no music at all, but getting fans to support you in different ways (netting the same amount of income). The music industry has been so obsessed with quantity and defining success solely by reaching the Billboard charts or selling out arenas. No wonder the major labels have been in a free fall. They lack the understanding of the new music economy. They lack the ability to try creative endeavors like this.

Nipsey Hussle is living proof that if you have the fan base, you can find creative ways to monetize it. Hussle isn’t guilting his fans into buying a digital file on iTunes. He’s not ripping his music off of Spotify in a hissy fit. On the contrary, he openly promotes his free album while asking his fans to support him if they’d like. And he’s pulling in well over $100,000 a year (before touring – which he does extensively).

+Why Other Musicians Shouldn’t Copy Taylor Swift

Getting the fan base is step one. Figuring out how to monetize this base is step two. There’s no magic number of fans you need to ask them for support. And there’s no one way (or one platform) to ask your fans for support. Whether you have 10 fans or 10,000,000, find a creative way to ask them to pay you in a manner that’s personal and meaningful.

Don’t force your fans to buy. Ask them to pay. This is the new model of the music industry.

It’s why Patreon, Kickstarter, PledgeMusic and BandCamp are taking over the industry. Asking is not begging. On the contrary, fans feel great supporting their favorite artists directly. They feel much better paying $10 directly through BandCamp or PledgeMusic (knowing that most of it is going straight to the artist with a deeper connection made) than through iTunes – which feels cold, detached and stale.

Spotify has started to bridge the fan-artist gap by enabling fans to follow artists and allowing artists to send out messages to their followers via the Activity stream. It’s definitely not there yet, but moving in the right direction.

+Fans Aren’t Going To Pay For Music Anymore. And That’s Ok

Music companies that realize the importance of helping artists facilitate these relationships are the ones that are succeeding. The companies that are attempting to cram the old model of paywalls and fan-artist detachment will fail.

“The highest human act is to inspire. Money is a tool – it’s the means, not the end. [Inspiration is] the metric that dictates whether or not a project is a success. It’s more realistic than trying to aim for radio play, or trying to satisfy an A&R, or the other gatekeepers on these platforms. I don’t even know how to create with those things in mind. But if you tell me the goal is to inspire? That makes my job a lot easier.” – Nipsey Hussle

Ari Herstand is a Los Angeles based singer/songwriter and the creator of the music biz advice blog, Ari’s Take. Follow him on Twitter: @aristake

35 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    Meanwhile, in the real world:

    Selling iTunes downloads is the only way to make a living as a recording artist today.

    Reply
    • Jeremy

      @Anonymous… Says who? I am making a respectable living with my music and iTunes is a very, very small portion of my income! It’s not the only way

      Reply
  2. GGG

    If Fareplay doesn’t comment on this story soon I think we can assume he read the paragraph below and fainted. Someone should swing by his house just in case.

    “What does it matter if an artist sells 10,000 albums at $10, 1,000 at $100 or 100 at $1,000? Or more commonly, selling no music at all, but getting fans to support you in different ways (netting the same amount of income). The music industry has been so obsessed with quantity and defining success solely by reaching the Billboard charts or selling out arenas. No wonder the major labels have been in a free fall. They lack the understanding of the new music economy. They lack the ability to try creative endeavors like this.”

    Reply
    • FarePlay

      I was at a refurbished movie theater, the ones with the big comfy seats and double wide armrests and it got me thinking about this post. Who ever this tat encrusted rapper is, what he’s doing is an extreme example of part of the future will look like.

      Jimmy Page is probably closer to the mark, but those who can will repackage classic records and/or create box sets with books and photos and all that stuff. Even some of the emerging artists with a gift for chronicling their work/lves can connect further with their fans and sell more physical product that way.

      Obviously, the traditional record label way of doing business continues to disappear, along with the record people who loved and understood music. Streaming will play a big part, but there will be other ways people find and acquire their music.

      Once there was a time when people from Europe came to the US to buy music. Many artists who played Winterland and later the Fillmore went to Village Music in Mill Valley an only vinyl store that closed a decade ago. Perhaps they’ll come back. Who knows?

      Reply
  3. Chris H

    The point is really not that you CAN’T make an income in a variety of ways, but that he HAS to because of the poorly rigged economics of the “legal” market. Until Tech companies and consumers stop stealing, there is no other way than these extreme ways to make a living. Any of these strategies making anyone rich? Any of these strategies working on a long term basis? Those are the true tests.

    Reply
  4. Paul Resnikoff
    Paul Resnikoff

    “Every time Hussle gets a transaction he receives a text message. Hussle responds and starts a conversation with each buyer.”

    That’s a huge number of phone calls. It’s good market research, but probably 20 to 30 minutes each call. Let’s say 20 minutes:

    20 x 1,000 = 20,000 minutes / 60 = 333 hours / 24 = 14 days (2 weeks) of non-stop talking

    Reply
    • GGG

      You wouldn’t talk to people for the equivalent of 2 weeks for $100K?

      Also, for all we know a “conversation” initiated by a text could be like a copy/pasta thank you response.

      Reply
    • Essince

      Right. He didn’t say he gives them a ‘call”, he responds to the text sent so it’s a text communication. I doubt it’s only a “what’s up? thanks!” I’m sure he interacts with them to keep them happy as fans. I’d bet some are repeat customers from his $100 project, too.

      Reply
    • Ari Herstand
      Ari Herstand

      well, for this project it’s only 100 total calls. Maybe. He only printed 100 copies of the new album. And yeah, it’s most likely via text he’s responding.

      Reply
      • Paul Resnikoff
        Paul Resnikoff

        Right, 100 not 1,000. If that’s text-based it’s manageable, though I wonder how deep the market research can get on text. Perhaps selected phone calls would help.

        Reply
        • Kyle Williams

          He’s using Ryan Leslie’s software Disruptive Multimedia – http://disruptivemultimedia.com/

          “you will be able to run a fully functional independent record label straight from your phone for $200 in web services per month. That means you can cover your enterprise overhead with 20 CDs sold per month.”

          It’ll be interesting to see if the service works for artists with smaller fanbases who have no label ties. Spoke with a representative from the company and he said they were working on case studies.

          Reply
        • Kyle Williams

          He’s using Ryan Leslie’s platform – Disruptive Multimedia

          As far as I know it involves some kind of SMS automation lead capture.

          From the site…
          “you will be able to run a fully functional independent record label straight from your phone for $200 in web services per month. That means you can cover your enterprise overhead with 20 CDs sold per month.”

          It’ll be interesting to see if they can gather case studies for small artists who have never been signed.

          Reply
  5. Anonymous

    Hey everybody…

    Steps in the right direction, there are some different and exciting tools and sites to help give choices and options to people, so that’s always good, just a few things to consider…

    I love ownership, as most know i advocate retaining ownership of Masters if possible, but it’s still something one must weigh among many factors…

    I am not a huge fan of the free digital file. Streaming provides access not ownership, so a free option exists to fans, but having a legal file denotes ownership, and i believe that is something worth charging for… If they want the convenience of transferable music files to any of their devices without having to use bandwidth, i believe that holds value over streaming and is therefore reasonable to ask money for… I also feel free downloads hurts the value of music, and if owning masters, it’s devaluing your own property, unless you can leverage it somehow and just give it the appearance of being free…

    Id prefer a lot of other things for free then music or digital files, especially when a free option already exists in so many places…

    Don’t worry about the guilting or forcing part of things… A potato farmer has his fields and he cultivates them and harvests them and the potato gets shipped out to sit on a shelf until someone consumes it, for a price that is dictated by someone, no one guilts or forces anyone to buy some potatoes, someone buys the potatoes because they want some potatoes and for no other reason, if they look at the price and feel it’s too high or think they should be free, they don’t purchase the potatoes, else they grab a handful or two and make a dash for it, either way its the consumer or fans choice… If people choose not to pay, that is their choice…

    I also feel the new music economy looks just like the old music economy… Make music, sell music, build fanbase, monetize fanbase, in any way possible, so i see it as the same thing… While retaining ownership provides a bigger piece of the pie, the pie itself is almost always smaller…

    One just must keep in mind that building a fanbase costs lots of money and time and energy, if you feel that is best done independently, great, if it’s a Major, then great too… What does one need in order to build a fanbase?? People and Money… What does a Major provide?? People and Money… Lets not forget Majors aren’t lining up to sign people anyways and one must take it upon themselves, in most cases, to get themselves to a point where it makes financial sense to a Major anyways, therefore this all works to their advantage… What works for one won’t work for another… Not every artist and not all music is major material, that doesn’t make it less or worse, it’s just the way it is… Majors business has always been a hit and miss business with a low batting average and therefore the numbers in and of themselves lead the landscape to being one negative and persecutory towards Majors… But when you add in all the subsidiaries, they still dominate the market and likely will for some time to come… I actually don’t see them failing, i see them adapting, it’s just a horses for courses game that’s all…

    Most of the big success stories from these platforms and ideologies come from former major label artists who had a huge help in building a large fanbase and getting people like a Jigga in their corner, which helps tremendously…

    The secret is to building that fanbase, something that has never been an easy task…

    Reply
  6. Nothing but respect, but....

    ^^^ I, for the most part completely agree, and would just like to add-

    Although, admirable and respectable, Nipsey’s current approach is not- never has been- and probably never will be a sustainable long term business model…and even he knows that (although he probably wouldn’t publically admit it right now). Basically its more or less a “reverse psychology” audience approach gimmick. At this point, he figures that there are at least a few fringe fan(atic)s out there that will fork over his incredibly unrealistic asking price for a copy of his project’s so-called limited physical run. They’ll do this mostly just for social points and for self esteem reasons. The entire while, what he’s truly hoping for is an uptick in digital sales at the $10 price point. The idea is to make the consumer feel like the least they could part with is ten bucks for his project- since it’s actually being sold for $100/$1000 in another platform. An analogy would be: Walmart buys a model of HDTVs in wholesale bulk. Each unit only costs them $300 apiece but they mark up the floor price to $550, then later they have a so-called mark-down sale on those models at $400, making consumers feel that they are getting a steal of a deal when in reality Walmart is still banking a considerable profit at both price points. This is the “reverse psychology” part that Nipsey is employing here. Sure, there’s the FREE Version available as well but there’s some caveats to it: 1. It’s a DJ-hosted version, in this case, DJ Drama, which means that each song’s beginning and end will be stained by a shoddily mixed-in DJ’s over-dubbing that isn’t really contributing anything of value to the listening experience. 2. The sound quality of those mp3 versions don’t maintain an identical sonic fidelity to the paid versions of those songs, so basically you’re getting jipped on the overall enjoyability of the listening experience. (I guess there’s always a “price” to pay even for a freebie.)

    I like this guy, and have been following his career from the beginning (I have all of his projects). The fact is, the average consumer is completely ignorant to how the business side of the music industry works, let alone, why. By his own admission, Nipsey’s deal with Epic didn’t work out partly because they felt that the investment was too risky, being that he, unlike a lot of his contemporaries, is REALLY from the meanest streets of the inner city (South Central Los Angeles in his case), and he was considerably active within his street gang association at the time. On an earlier project, Nipsey rapped “…They thought that I’d be dead/Or doing Life/’cause what I rap is true”. However, one thing that he, nor, most casual observers would be quick to point out is that Epic attempted to put together a credible single with him for the radio format and it didn’t quite pan out successfully (the particular song in question featured a very popular-at-the-time R&b singer….I believe it was Jeremih). Some, including himself, might would argue that the label irresponsibly didn’t push the record strong enough -HOWEVER- usually when that’s the case, it’s because they didn’t like the audience reception from the preliminary “test push” of the song, so they determined it wasn’t worth the extra budget -AND/OR- they didn’t feel that the artist was fully worthy of the deal being bargained for. Either way, Nipsey figured out that he was gonna have to create his own lane if he was going to have any chance at real stardom and financial success. Keep in mind, major labels are not too quick to cancel a contract with an artist that they see big value in- quite the opposite. They’ll fight tooth and nail to own you and your material so that they can reap profits from it. In other words, it was unfortunate, yet, fortunate for him that they gave him an easy out, because it’s simply not something they prefer to do. They’d rather shelve your music indefinitely if need be.)

    One last thing. Nipsey has made it quite clear that he desires to be an “ownership” force in this business. The reality of that is: if/when his company is strong enough to actually sign acts and present them with credible budgets to market, promote, publish and push their projects, he’s gonna be in the same decision-making position as the so-called execs and A&R’s that he claims to be so staunchly against. There’s essentially no way, fundamentally, that he could expect to apply his current promotional scheme to the marketing efforts of any of his artists and it work with identical results, unless he happened to luck up on that truly once-in-a-lifetime-next-big-thing act, in which case, the Majors will either be competing or negotiating with him for that act, and the odds don’t favor his side of the business table (although he could become a very successful glorified “broker” of sorts in the process.) I wish him well because I like his mind and his music.

    Reply
  7. Versus

    “Don’t force your fans to buy. Ask them to pay. This is the new model of the music industry.”

    No, it isn’t. That’s a model of charity.

    An “industry” means that providers of a product or service get paid by their customers/clients.
    There is no force, except the force of a contract: You want the service or product, you pay for it.

    People like this are ruining it for all musicians.

    Reply
  8. Anonymous

    IOW, this guy’s real fans now subsidize the freeloaders. That’s not a business model for widespread sustainability.

    Reply
    • U're correct and actually....

      It’s not even a business model for his own sustainability. He’s now 8 official mixtapes into the game (no official albums) and he’s milking the current situation for all it’s worth so that he can hopefully leverage it into a more firm business position. He’s gambling his ass off, but that’s partly because he doesn’t believe that he has much of a choice. If he signed with a major right now, he’d have to conform to how they want to package him while giving up most of his overall royalties (publishing, mechanical, merch and possibly performances). I respect his idealism, but he’s definitely rolling the dice with his current approach.

      What he actually needs in order to seal a favorably lucrative industry deal is a Billboard Top 100 hit- something he doesn’t have and hasn’t had since he started. His business acumen is to be applauded but his song making ability is the primary thing in question (though I highly suspect that he’s gonna try his best to acquiesce on his upcoming album project).

      Reply
      • Anonymous

        It’s not even a business model for his own sustainability. He’s now 8 official mixtapes into the game (no official albums) and he’s milking the current situation for all it’s worth so that he can hopefully leverage it into a more firm business position. He’s gambling his ass off, but that’s partly because he doesn’t believe that he has much of a choice. If he signed with a major right now, he’d have to conform to how they want to package him while giving up most of his overall royalties (publishing, mechanical, merch and possibly performances). I respect his idealism, but he’s definitely rolling the dice with his current approach.

        What he actually needs in order to seal a favorably lucrative industry deal is a Billboard Top 100 hit- something he doesn’t have and hasn’t had since he started. His business acumen is to be applauded but his song making ability is the primary thing in question (though I highly suspect that he’s gonna try his best to acquiesce on his upcoming album project).

        No albums? That’s crazy…

        In all fairness though, he wouldn’t be giving up all, or even most his royalties, other then on the Masters… Giving up 20-30+% on merch or performances might seem like a lot, but the pie becomes bigger and therefore his 70% of x will likely be more then his 100% of y…

        If he owned his own Publishing company, he could retain at least 25% of the Publishing, and then any writing, lyrics or music he does, would be there in the other 50%, and the 25% he signs away is well worth it anyways, so that wouldn’t be any loss at all, IF he could negotiate that out…

        Of course if he goes in with zero leverage, giving up how he is packaged, he may be strong armed to use a lot of writers and producers that cut into the publishing and whittle a few away from the small masters portion, depending on the producers and writers, which still often makes a lot of sense in the big picture of things, at least financially speaking… Seeing as the billboard charts are graced mostly by the same core of people, that’s normally how you enter them, with a major or subsid backing it, known and safe producers and writers, because it’s a very very difficult thing to achieve as a true independent…

        Reply
        • In agreement for the most part....

          In all fairness though, he wouldn’t be giving up all, or even most his royalties, other then on the Masters… Giving up 20-30+% on merch or performances might seem like a lot, but the pie becomes bigger and therefore his 70% of x will likely be more then his 100% of y…

          I’m aware of this and fully agree.

          If he owned his own Publishing company, he could retain at least 25% of the Publishing, and then any writing, lyrics or music he does, would be there in the other 50%, and the 25% he signs away is well worth it anyways, so that wouldn’t be any loss at all, IF he could negotiate that out…

          And therein lies the crux of the matter as it relates to him and what he wants because of:

          Of course if he goes in with zero leverage, giving up how he is packaged, he may be strong armed to use a lot of writers and producers that cut into the publishing and whittle a few away from the small masters portion, depending on the producers and writers, which still often makes a lot of sense in the big picture of things, at least financially speaking…

          He’s sooooo not interested in having zero leverage, hence his dogged determination with utilizing this approach. His self-owned and administered record label is called “All Money In”; the philosophy is to NOT bargain for sharing profits/proceeds with Majors and/or so-called “middlemen”. Now while I completely get where he’s coming from, the inherent benefit to this business approach is also ultimately its biggest flaw. If you want/expect to maximize your audience exposure, as well as, position your revenue stream(s) to their widest earnings potential you have to work with the bigger players that are already there and that have platforms that can be used to extend your reach and appeal. Otherwise, he may as well accept his current platform and the limitations that inherently come with it. Maybe he has, who knows. But one thing is for sure- he’s smart enough to not admit it on any public microphone. As it stands, his appeal is grossly limited due to the content and production that he currently presents.

          Reply
      • Anonymous

        what the heck is a mixtape anyways?? i only make albums so i have no idea how you would even put a mixtape together?? What is the definition of it, or what makes it different?? Curious…

        Reply
        • In the event that u're not being sarcastic....

          what the heck is a mixtape anyways?? i only make albums so i have no idea how you would even put a mixtape together?? What is the definition of it, or what makes it different?? Curious…

          Well, back in the day, a TRUE mixtape was just a collection of various artist’s songs- a playlist as it were- that maintained a particularly cohesive vibe for a specific listening experience (usually put together by a prominent DJ, but could also be otherwise arranged by anybody). Then it morphed into a rapper creating/releasing a non-commercial project wherein the artist is rapping original lyrics over other artist’s productions. (Think “karaoke” minus an actual cover perfomance.)

          Fast-forward to post ’90’s era hip-hop; rappers have been relegated to making actual albums- but calling them “Mixtapes”- prior to an impending release of their so-called “Studio Album”. The production is original, as is the lyrical content. This is to drum up awareness to their forthcoming album (studio) effort. Rappers often refer to this material as being their “throw-aways”. This practice came into effect when a tremendous drop in sales started spreading like wildfire in the rap genre during and post-Napster. It also didn’t help that the genre became oversaturated with artists (and still is) yet the content was of increasingly questionable originality and quality.

          Reply
  9. Pangeran Wiguan

    I’m not sure if this will works for all people.

    But, if I’m a good looking with “that face” and “that body” that my fans are actually not after my audio but also my visuals, yes… I can sell an album for even $1K that come with a package of “Stay with me and follow my tour”.

    But then, it’s not just about music already.

    Reply
  10. Wreck

    All of these people commenting about whether or not his model is sustainable don’t realize that the music industry isn’t sustainable right now (which is why you don’t see any more record stores and even digital sales are mediocre). Ari is at least smart enough to realize this and is exploring alternative. People expect music to be free, it’s as simple as that. Maybe they’ll shell out $1 on iTunes for a few songs they really like, but unless you give them a reason to support you (as Ari is doing here), you’re unlikely to get rich making music unless you’re Beyonce or Bieber or Taylor Swift. I’m sure a lot of musicians wish that wasn’t the case, but unfortunately so it is.

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      People expect music to be free, it’s as simple as that.

      I’m not seeing that or hearing that anywhere… I know a lot of people that pay for their music, because it’s cheap and convenient…

      I think there is still something going on where people want to make it free for other more nefarious reasons…

      Reply
      • Paul Resnikoff
        Paul Resnikoff

        99.9% of music listening is free, or virtually free, to the fan. YouTube is the most dominant platform for listening to music on the planet, a vast majority of Spotify listeners are not paying, virtually all Pandora listeners are not paying.

        etc., etc.

        So yes, that is the reality someone like Nipsey Hussle faces.

        Reply
      • GGG

        Um….have you missed the last 15 years of widespread piracy and hemorrhaging sales?

        Reply
        • Anonymous

          Hey guys, Perhaps you guys missed what i said…

          I’m not seeing that or hearing that anywhere… I know a lot of people that pay for their music, because it’s cheap and convenient…

          I think there is still something going on where people want to make it free for other more nefarious reasons…

          As i said, i’m not seeing it that much… Given the massive marketing and agenda pushes, the huge shift to a digital medium, massive downwards pressure from piracy etc. people are still buying music and seem to be more and more so as time goes on… The hassles of piracy are becoming not worth it to a lot of people and the cheapness and convenience of streaming or downloading is a reasonable option for most people…

          As the last couple generations age and their perceptions, values, morals and attitudes change, they will more and more so pay and buy music…

          As i said previously, i think its more still a propaganda play where certain factions are pushing that paradigm and using numbers and techniques to try and bolster their agenda and angle… Each month my sales goes up, and im not doing any marketing or promo, so if i was touring regularly and playing a more traditional game, im pretty certain id be supported just fine, even midst all the rhetoric…

          Hemorrhaging sales is illusory based on tertiary products and high margins midst a transitional phase where the market was very locked, it was always a blip and never was going to sustain itself, understanding that allows one to not get too down on the realities of the current marketplace… I’m doing zero marketing and promotion with zero traditional pushes anywhere and zero touring or shows at the moment, and my sales mostly go up…

          If you are one to get caught in the illusion of a short blip of this fairly young industry, then yes, it all looks bad, but when you step back for a moment and look at the big picture, man, its incredible, and the paradigm and mindsets are slowly changing and more young people are finding ways to support music, even if its just streaming…

          Free streaming is not free…

          Reply
          • GGG

            No, I read you perfectly. And all that you just said is all well and good, but you can’t deny that piracy has been a major issue for a while now, and sales of music have declined enormously.

            I mean, I think we more or less agree with each other in the big picture, you’re just oddly pretending that the post-Napster age didn’t happen, or at least barely had an impact, which is 100% wrong.

            And the fact that your sales are going up in no way indicates an industry trend. I know plenty of people that buy music, too, myself included, and I know plenty of bands that sell a considerable amount. But every industry-wide graph I’ve seen is just a continuous decline. And maybe it is recovering some, and you’re right, we’ll see. But I don’t think any data backs up that claim yet.

          • Anonymous

            sales of music have declined enormously.

            revenue has declined, sales have actually gone up haven’t they? arent more people listening to more music then ever in recorded history??

            either way, im pretty sure you know enough about me now to know where i stand and where my understanding in general is and yes we mostly agree, buddy, im just getting back to me, positive and optimistic glass over flowing, the constant doom and gloom and negativity, while it doesnt affect me, does cause me to have to fend it off, which makes me act and carry myself in a way i don’t like, which isnt healthy, and which as im sure youve seen, can be far too toxic to and for people, so im choosing to look at things from a different perspective, a better perspective, my usual perspective… so i cant get into that picket sign waiving rah rah rah stuff, because the more i delve into the things im being screwed by, the worse things get, the more unhealthy and toxic it is, the less i like myself…

            i got into the music game after the napster ordeal, so i never tasted the revenues from the great times of vinyl and cd, so for me, im not missing anything or yearning for yesteryear, quite frankly, im just ecstatic the tools have allowed me to do what ive done and the marketplace is open enough to allow me to sell and make some money and get some placements, and while yes, there are inhibiting factors, overall it’s tough to complain…

            its a tough business, always has been, more fail then succeed, but what matters to me is the music, the business is what the business is and money comes and goes, but the music will always remain and overall the whole digital thing has been to my favor, so while i understand how upset some people can get with statements like that, at the end of the day, it is what it is, and while i sympathize with those that are struggling, i assure you, ive had plenty of struggles throughout life and i certainly am in zero need of being pulled down into other peoples struggles in some sort of lesson or commiserating…

            yes my sales going up is in no way a trend, but again, and please dont take this the wrong way, because i was all in raring to go fighting for the industry for the longest time, but it only ever seemed to help get me further screwed and never resulted in anything positive, at least that im aware of and that helps me in this life and in a tangible way, so again, dont take this the wrong way, but its not something im overly concerned with anymore… yes i understand its likely only my fault due to many different things ive done and said and been in control of, but it is what it is… im busy trying to save myself here as no one seems willing to save me very much, so unfortunately i can only help the industry how i can help the industry, which is honestly probably more then they deserve, but never the less, i cant be like a lot of those people, and while i know they are just doing their thing and doing their job and fighting for their survival, theres a certain way i prefer and like to carry myself, and getting too far down that hole makes it near impossible…

            lest we forget, it’s the music i care mostly for and not the industry, and while im a lover and not a fighter and think everyone should be making more money and not have to struggle or anything like that and i can certainly sympathize with everyone in the industry and am the type to want to help people and believe they shouldnt be facing extinction or such drastic supposed decline, i can only be so much and do so much, and again, the industry can keel over and die tomorrow, and music will be fine, there will be more music then anyone can ever listen to in their life, ill be able to make music how i want when i want, and life will go on… plenty of examples in the past where many a person had to pick up their broken dreams and shattered careers and find something else and put something else together, however saying that, of course man, the more money i can make with and from music, the better, same for everyone, but it has to still align to my ideals and lifestyle choices as much as possible, and i understand that is the same fight many others are fighting, not wanting to compromise their lifestyle and have to overwork for way less, so we are on the same page on that note, but again, i have to be concerned with myself nowadays as the whole giving and helping others thing just never worked out well for me in life…

            far too often these discussions just never have any positive substance or progression to them and just become this stone tossing misery commiserating, dreaming of the yesteryears and whining about the young whippersnappers, as its all just kids who are the problem, forgetting that everyone is a kid at some point and also forgetting that the elders are responsible for teaching their kids, so again, if you see me around here, you will see me pushing a different angle, and back to my more happy positive optimistic glass over flowing moving on type and less of that misery doom and gloom…

            if a situation arises where i can make a positive difference to the industry that helps in a long term tangible sustainable way, more then i already have, that works for me and fits into my life and schedule, then im all about it, but im moving on from the doom and gloom, will continue to do my thing and push ahead and get what business i can and freelance here and there and just keep on keeping on, as we all should… besides, ive been far removed from that whole piracy debate thing for quite some time now, as it always just breeds such negativity and contempt and so many bad things that affect not only mental but surprisingly physical health as well…

            so anyways, what were we talking about???

  11. dhenn

    Yet another who doesn’t understand the importance of digital royalties to the rest of us who do music which isn’t based on hype and bs. While I appreciate his right to think outside the box for his own career and music his idea isn’t workable nor sustanable for the rest of us.

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      Yet another who doesn’t understand the importance of digital royalties to the rest of us who do music which isn’t based on hype and bs. While I appreciate his right to think outside the box for his own career and music his idea isn’t workable nor sustanable for the rest of us.

      There’s more then one way to skin a cat…

      What genre are you in dhenn? Urban and Rap tend towards more things that appear like hype and b.s., however understanding the culture and the language will lead to a different and better understanding of it…

      Nearly all music, especially public, is based on some hype and b.s., its just the nature of the world we live in, anyone claiming otherwise is likely lying or else possibly delusional…

      I do love the let’s all come together rah rah rah team spirit think of the rest of us type bravado, unfortunately i’m really yet to ever see any of that in the music game and therefore i think due to that anyone saying as such really falls on deaf ears…

      Reply
  12. jl

    i’m glad to see this rapper/writer has set a realistic price point for his album. More artists should follow suit. i’m not a superfan so i wouldn’t personally buy it, but i don’t think its too much to ask for an album i want to possess. However i don’t agree with contributing to companies like Spotify b/c that type of business model devalues the work of artists. The arts need your support.

    Reply
  13. Versus

    “Hussle believes digital music should be free.”
    +
    “On iTunes it’s $9.99.”
    =
    HYPOCRISY

    Reply

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