Sponsors

Blog powered by Typepad

« Hurricane Katrina, Now In Book Form | Main | Lumumba Carson aka Professor X of X-Clan, R.I.P. »

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d834529bd169e200d83461ceee69e2

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Would You Buy A Free Rap Album?:

» Free rap sucks from XXL
Real hip-hop heads only steal things with price tags on them. ... [Read More]

Comments

i'm the skwidawd

Wow, that's so generous... giving me something for free that I would otherwise have to work hard to download. ;)

Joe Grossberg

"[W]hen a company gives away a product for free they risk making their customers think it's cheap in quality, not just price. That goes double for entertainment."

So then why don't people think free concerts are garbage?

rafi

Good point on the fact that people have to pay attention and time even if they're not paying money. Of course I'm sure RF is figuring that the very fact that they're doing this will prompt some who may not have payed attention before to do so now. Look, we've both already blogged about it so you can't say it hasn't had any value as publicity.

As a frequent freelancer I definitely understand what you're saying on what valuation is placed on paid goods and services. It works out in freelance web work that if you work for free or for too cheap people usually take you less seriously.

On the other hand I think there is a definite value in free for some product. Even the two examples you cited, HBO and the Times both give away their product for free often on a sample basis. AOL built their business giving their software away for free.

Marketing expert Seth Godin gives away all his ideas for free on his blog and in e-books that are free to download. He then sells books which he refers to as being souvenirs. They sell well and I tend to buy almost every one.

Bands like Pearl Jam and the Grateful Dead have long encouraged their fans to create and trade bootlegs. You can't say these bands have got nothing out of the deal. They're building relationships with a loyal fan-base.

Free is a tricky concept but I definitely disagree with the idea that it should be out of the question. The pros of free should be clear: eliminating the cost barrier to a potential listener and creating some buzz through a disruption in the marketplace.

Roosevelt Franklin should be doing more to capitalize on the idea. I'll be writing more on this very topic in a few days. Next week's special subject on OhWord: blog marketing.

Clyde Smith

I'm with Rafi on this one, especially because he's not trying to turn the situation into a binary of good or bad. He's looking more closely at the complexity.

Here are some question for you, Hashim:
Why do you go to free industry events?
Why did you encourage me to write for free for a business that claims to make large revenues?
Why do you go to free websites?
Why are you websites all free?

I'm planning on posting something about the free album if I like it ok, probably at Hip Hop Logic, for a couple of reasons:
I dig Mr. Len and hadn't heard anything about him in a while.
Rafi Kam liked the album.
I like turning people on to free, high quality work.

Since I generally don't do reviews or discuss aesthetics any more, I don't make a point of hearing an album that I have to pay for just because it's well known and I like a single off it. Over the last year, I've listened to more music by people I didn't know anything about because it was free than I have listened to albums that myself or others have paid for.

But, if attention costs, it's not a free album, you just don't have to spend money on it.

Hashim

"Even the two examples you cited, HBO and the Times both give away their product for free often on a sample basis."

Actually, free samples would have been a good idea.

And Eric is right...this gift from RF is a little backwards since fans will already get it from P2P services.

What they lose out on is attracting those die hard fans who want to buy the music to feel that connection with the artists. Those same fans will treat that cd like a rare gem and show it off to others.

Let me also say this - I wish them the best of luck and hope their album does double platinum downloads.

Hashim

"So then why don't people think free concerts are garbage?"

Joe, most free concerts count as "samples". However, if an artist announced they were going on tour and all the dates are free, then the perception of the quality might change.

Hashim

Clyde, in order:

Why do you go to free industry events?
--- Most of them aren't free for everyone. They're either closed to the general public, or the public has to pay. The lower the cost, the less I expect even if I'm not the one paying.

Why did you encourage me to write for free for a business that claims to make large revenues?
--- Is that a trick question? Because they wanted you to work for free, they weren't expecting high quality work from you.

Why do you go to free websites?
--- I hold free websites in much lower regard than the expensive offline books I pay for.

Why are you websites all free?
--- Because I give away my writing people don't take me as seriously as they would if I had a book or magazine to sell. If I wrote a book, even a bad one, I would gain more respect than a quality blogger. Just ask Kris Ex.

da critic himself

So is that like saying, 'I wouldn't buy that with your money'?

kimani

funny how you can't even do something nice nowadays without being criticized for it.

nobody is trying to belittle the quality of the record.

we are 100% behind the record.

fact of the matter is the record has been done since august. we were first talking to raptivism about the record then walked away from the situation. then we were talking to epitaph but they couldn't fit us in there schedule. len's label is/was distributed by studio which closed it's doors a couple weeks ago. instead of sitting on the record forever we decided it would be better to let people have it now. i'm tired of sitting on it.

giving it away for free seems to be a better way for getting more people to hear a record that i worked hard on then trying to press copies and sell them hand to hand. i'd rather the more people hear it the better.

i don't think it sounds crazy. i think our resumes should allow people to respect us as artists. i mean between company flow, the masterminds, the fact that i ran third earth and len runs smacks and the fact that we already put out a record through traditional methods previously should seperate us from joe rap who is trying to get his demo heard.

whether it's a smart idea or a dumb one is obviously up for debate. but it's the decision that we chose to make.

Clyde Smith

Hashim:

"Clyde, in order:

Why do you go to free industry events?
--- Most of them aren't free for everyone. They're either closed to the general public, or the public has to pay. The lower the cost, the less I expect even if I'm not the one paying."

fair enough.

"Why did you encourage me to write for free for a business that claims to make large revenues?
--- Is that a trick question? Because they wanted you to work for free, they weren't expecting high quality work from you."

I dropped you an email on this topic. You realize the implications of what you're saying here, don't you? Have you said this to Jay Smooth?

Hit me back directly on this one if you wish.

"Why do you go to free websites?
--- I hold free websites in much lower regard than the expensive offline books I pay for."

That's sad. I don't fully believe you but I also feel sorry for you if you can't judge content based on what the content carries. Sure, if you were some kid at the mall, that would make sense, but you're supposedly more sophisticated than that.

It also suggests that you aren't able to recognize great new artists if they aren't packaged correctly. Hey, you really are part of the music industry now, aren't you?

"Why are you websites all free?
--- Because I give away my writing people don't take me as seriously as they would if I had a book or magazine to sell. If I wrote a book, even a bad one, I would gain more respect than a quality blogger. Just ask Kris Ex."

I heard that.

Clyde

Mr.Len

Fact of the matter is this. I'm a b-boy. This whole industry has gotten everyone's minds twisted. All the hip hop cats forgot what the point was. WE WANT UPS!!!! I don't do graf, I make music. How much did anyone pay to see Dondi's pieces on the trains? How much did you pay to see Video Music Box? Me and Kimani are among the freshest to make music. It doesn't matter whether you agree or not. I gave you something in a way that no other artist dares to. This is pure. If you want to give me your money thats fine. You can send $9.99 to PO Box 242 Hillside NJ 07205. Otherwise accept the gift. It's given with love from 2 artists that care about this culture and don't need to sap you of your money everytime we have something to say. Let's be even more real while we're at it. Noone actually sells music anymore. They all sell fashion and fantasy.

lynne

with a lot of music being free on p2p networks, torrents, from friends music collections, on mixtapes, and the like - I don't know that I feel that giving away music for free exemplifies that the product is not worth my attention. Marketers and advertisers have used this ploy for years, giving you a sample - so that you by the product. I get this is a smart marketing move, one in which, the artists think highly of their work, but feel that perhaps the intended audiences has not gotten them yet b/c there wasn't a bigh marketing vehicle behind them so people didn't know to purchase their music. By offering a free album - the artist has placed themseleves in an agreement with the customer - though you may not see it as a customer relationship.

1. FREE - always gets people's attention. So now the work they didn't get from the label's marketing dept. has been cut in half and they didn't have to pay for it.

2. People will tell other people about it b/c it's free. And those who like it , will tell even more.

3. Now the artist has your attention and can get you to attend their concert/show and purchase subsequent product.

Plus if they're really smart and ask for my email address or something when I download the album - they have an ongoing relationship with me and can tell me about anything they're doing and any product they're selling in the future.

D-Sooch

Hahim -


You're stupid!


CJ Twice

I don't necessarily agree. All artists, signed and unsigned have to give away copies of their album in order to promote their work. If you sign that million dollar record deal today, you have to sign over a certain amount of "free goods." Does the record label always use these copies to your benefit? No, but they still need that tool to promote you as an artist. It is to the advantage of indie artists, who are smaller operations, to promote their first works in any way possible to establish a name for themselves. You can't sell albums anyway if you don't have a name. The question here should be would you buy an album from "DJ No not." If these guys can afford to give away this album online it only make the access to their music that much easier and establishes a fan base of supporters they can tap into for future sells. Not everything in life can be about immediate gratification.

Check new music out from CJ Twice (FREE) @ http://www.myspace.com/cjtwice

Julien

This is old-world thinking. These artists are relative unknowns. I'm a huge backpack hip-hop fan, and I had no idea who they are. Now I'm about to download their album and, if I like it, I'll put it on my podcast for 1000's of people to listen to. This is long-term thinking.

The system works. Just because it doesn't work for YOU, doesn't mean it isn't valuable.

IB

Good points Hashim. I think you'd be right in the case of an unestablished artist. In this case though Mr. Len is an established artist (the other guy I haven't heard of).

Mr. Len has a fan base and on an underground level is pretty well known. So who may already know and like Len aren't going to assume the album is garbage.

bkswagger

what about myka nyne?

OMANXL1

I agree with Lynne and CJ Twice; a lot of free copies are given away by labels for marketing and promotion. I had a connection with a couple of radio stations and some DJ record pools; I built a library on free music. Roosevelt Franklin (Mr. Len and Kimani
) have been one of my favorites; so I know it's hot. I'll download my copy, then I'll spread the word. They wont have to cut me a check either!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ryan Stockton

yeah really, a lot of recording labels already promote their stuff by handing free albums out to normal people in the street. But every rap artist doesnt make albums just so they can be put out for free. Thats why a lot of rappers leave their labels because of the BS that involves money. But when it comes down to buying a free album, if the artist is good, then i wouldnt mind at all.

FIDOE-CEO

Mr.LOLO

"Get this Money" produced by Won Touch Productions

Already on heavy rotation in Broward County
Hit Single off the
Took Something Album dropping soon.....!!!!

Big in the NightClubs
Big in the Cars
Big in the StripClubs

listen now:
www.myspace.com/lolotooksomething

ch-n

i think its a great idea...might not be the best idea, but its definitely great. People love free. When people see the word free they come in droves. If the product is good, then they will more than likely buy the full or latest edition. I've bought plenty of book online after reading free newsletters..... After receiving the authors newsletters for months, i am force to acknowledge to myself that this person knows what he or she is talking about.

Ant Taylor

I am in the process of recording a 16 song rap album, that I plan to have packaged and given away for FREE. So many times good cds go unnoticed. I am in this to get paid, but above all I am an artist that wants my art to be appreciated.... even if its free. Got to give a lil to get a lil.

Ant Taylor
sfbaylist.com

The comments to this entry are closed.

Code

Hip Hop Bloggers