The case for stealing
One of the benefits, if you will, of not having a quote-unquote real job is having those few extra hours in the afternoon when you're done with your work for the day, but before it's a good idea to start drinking too heavily. Sometimes, lately, I've been browsing the ur-popular video sharing site YouTube, looking for amusing shit like this crazed bastard.
Having seen music videos posted on shitty sites frequented by children, dead people, and the hopelessly unemployable - like MySpace - I figured I might be able to find some videos of my own favorite groups. Turns out I might be a little too old for that sort of thing. Not to reveal too much about myself, but the first group I tried looking up, to no avail, was Better than Ezra.
I'm not sure there's much of a case to be made in defense of Better than Ezra, so I'm not going to bother. But my theory is that if you were in high school from the years '95-'99, then you can hardly help but feel the same way about them as kids today feel about, say My Chemical Romance. And for what it's worth, Better than Ezra > My Chemical Romance. I couldn't even tell you what MCR sings, and like Bun B mentioned, I'm on the Internets all day everyday.
Meanwhile, "Good" still kinda rocks. Don't even get me started about "Desperately Wanting."
But then I'm not crazy. It occurred to me that even though there's something like 8 gozillion videos on YouTube, including the '90s output of another inexplicable favorite of mine, the Moody Blues, it could be the case that no one cares enough about Better than Ezra to even bother uploading their shit onto YouTube.
Of course come to find out these videos were probably on there at some point and have since been pulled at the personal request of Jimmy "Double Fantasy" Iovine. Which brings me to my point: What kind of artist with any sense really gives a shit if some kid illegally downloads their shit?
Take for example the fellow from Better than Ezra (see, you don't even know his name). I can't imagine he's actually making any money from those albums at all at this point. At the very least, having his video available out there for free might increase his chances of scoring with some skank out on the state fair circuit.
When I hear major label d-bags like Lupe Fiasco whining about his album being available for free, I wonder if he's at all familiar with a group like the Arctic Monkeys, who gave their album away for free months before it came out and still went on to sell more records than the Beatles and Elvis combined, Buhweet-style.
Meanwhile, the closest thing similar you can find in the hip-hop community is the group Roosevelt Franklin, who have managed to give away roughly 39 free copies of their album to date. Is it because rappers are too dumb to understand how the Internet works?
Lupe Fiasco seems so concerned about people being able to hear his music now, but what about when he's 40, and can't score quite as easily as he can now? Ask Mr. Len, that shit ain't fun.