When life gives a TI lemons…

If there’s a difference between us bums and these TIs, other than the ability to shape-shift into reptile form, it’s the fact that a TI is gonna get his money, regardless of what happens.

Sure, we’d like to think that, if something bad happened to us, we’d still find a way to get by, but you know how guys like to think all types of shit. It’s the reason why guys watch so much pr0n. Like the staff of the LA Times Beatbox blog, we tend to suffer from delusions of grandeur.

The truth of the matter is: if the vast majority of us lost our jobs, we’d be shit out of luck – at least until we found some other way to get paid. And there’s no guarantee you’re always gonna be able to find a job that pays as much as you feel you deserve.

I remember there was a story in the New York Times a couple of years ago about these guys who had risen to a certain point in their careers and then they got fired all of a sudden. And then they couldn’t find another job that paid nearly as well. So they just said fuck it and took out all of the equity in their homes and hoped they’d die of a heart attack before it ran out.

Obviously, this isn’t as much of an issue for yours truly. I don’t even have any valuable property to borrow against, other than my Nintendo Wii. And what’s that gonna get me? Probably half the people at McDonald’s make more than I do. It’s one of the reasons I’m able to sleep so well at night. The other reason: drinking a lot during the evening.

But I digress.

These TIs are in a way different situation. Every once in a while, they’ll find themselves in a situation where they can’t make any money – because they no longer offer a product that’s worth a shit to anyone, so no one buys it. But rather than learning some sort of new, marketable skill, i.e. the kinda shit we’d have to do, they just go to the government and try to get on welfare, as if they were black women.

And the fucked up thing about it is, the shit usually works. You see this happening more and more often now that the economy is going down the tubes – probably for good this time.

Take for example, the situation with subprime loans. In the past few years now, we’ve seen thousands and thousands of people lose their homes, because they got duped into taking out these bullshit subprime loans. Not because they were poor or anything – I heard the average mofo with one of those loans was pulling down something like $40,000 a year – but because they weren’t very smart, and we live in a country where you can pull down a sizable income without being very smart, provided you aren’t Bol.

Earlier this year, the President announced that he was gonna set aside some money for families that had issues with subprime loans. But come to find out, hardly anyone would’ve actually qualified for that shit. I’m pretty sure he knew that when he signed off on it; he was just doing it to toy with with people’s emotions. Then, to make matter’s worse, he actually did cut a huge-ass check to one of the banks that was giving people these fucked up loans in the first place. As if anyone who worked there was in danger of being tossed out on the street.

What the fuck kind of bullshit is that?

Supposedly, something similar is about to go down in the music industry – which, you’ll recall, was already fucked up before the economy started to get really bad, let alone now that motherfuckers can hardly even afford rice, let alone the amount of gas it would take to get to the one store in your city that still sells CDs. (Best Buy?)

Shit’s so fucked up these days, not only did Lil’ Kim’s Bentley get repossessed on the on the five o’clock news (pwned!), but I see Atmosphere managed to crack the top 5 in Billboard this week, having sold only 35,000 copies of their latest, When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold. It makes me wonder how well the Roots are gonna do next week. Probably not very good, right? Maybe they’ll still manage to crack the top 10. They seem like nice guys. It’s tough to watch them fail like this.

But again I digress.

The music industry’s solution? Their gonna start charging mofos a five dollar surcharge to use the Internets. Why? Because, well, fuck you, that’s why. The recording industry has lost an insane amount of money in the past few years due to the fact that physical media like CDs are basically obsolete. And they’re not gonna be able to make it all back by forcing jigs to shill for shit like body spray and Budweiser Select (what is that, anyway?) and taking the lion’s share of their fee in exchange for a relatively piddly advance – as brilliant as that idea may be. (Leave it up to the TIs of the world to come up with some shit like that. Leave it up to the Jermaine Dupri’s of the world to buy into it.)

The way it would work is, your ISP would charge you an added $5 fee each month, in addition to the arm and a leg you already pay them to access the Internets. That amount would go to the recording industry to help recover the amount of money they’ve lost because they’re a bunch of fuck-ups without a business plan that’s worth a shit. In exchange, you would get to download as much music as you want without having to sweat getting sued by the RIAA, which I guess you could right now. (I couldn’t, because I don’t believe in stealing, and because these labels send me a lot of shit for free, because they respect what I do, even when I offer negative criticism of their artists.)

If you’re wondering how this would be at all different from the way most of you fruits consume music right now, I don’t know that it would be, other than that you’d be getting raped for another $60 a year. As if anyone’s got $60 a year to give away these days. I don’t even think they have a plan to open a store or anything where you could get your $60 a year worth of music that you’d have pay for, whether you want to or not. This shit basically sounds to me like a Goodfellas-style protection racket. Ridonkulous as it sounds though, I wouldn’t be surprised if such a system was actually put in place, knowing the way things work in this country. What do you fruits think? As we say here now, speak on it.

  • http://www.plasticsquirtguns.blogspot.com thoreauly77

    the first thing that comes to mind is this: how can the RIAA have anything to do with the ISP’s? would it be a joint service provider (insert corny weed joke here)? seriously though, how would they be able to justify something like this? wouldn’t that mean that ISP’s would track downloading as opposed to a federal agency? however, the article states that “The plan—the boldest move yet to keep the wounded entertainment industry giants afloat—is simple: Consumers will pay a monthly fee, bundled into an internet-service bill in exchange for unfettered access to a database of all known music.”

    i would be willing to pay this as opposed to buying my music off of itunes.

    • og bobby j

      I agree that it would be easier then buying off itunes…but there is a very fundamental issue with this proposal…who determines the value of this “service”? Thus, controlling the charge and preventing an increase in the charge when the greedy feel like it? Also, how would this charge be redistributed amongst the artist? not that it matters much, but wouldnt it simply lead to no artist signing with record labels? I mean, why would you sign up to a record label and get your (probably miniscule) cut of that 5 dollars…when you could distribute your own music, via your own site, and keep the proceeds? Shit aint gonna work…..

      the problem is that the artist think the fans care about how well off they are, when in reality the fans care about the quality of the music. Good music gets purchased…..bottomline. Maybe the music execs should realize they have flooded the market with trash….thats why no one is buying shit.

      • Detroit P

        the money would be put into a pool..and would be distributed by artist popularity which is determined by number of downloads the artists get on P2P networks..they are also saying that right now this plan would be optional..so you would choose whether you want to download legally

      • The Spaniard

        “Maybe the music execs should realize they have flooded the market with trash….thats why no one is buying shit.”

        Yep.

    • Music Industry Major

      With regards to this idea and its impact on the industry I think its definitely a strong argument for the future of music. Clearly we all enjoy getting something for free rather than paying for it but ultimately the artists aren’t just doing this “for the love of music,” but also because it is a business. If there is no more money in it, artists who can afford to stop (Jay-Z, Nas, Eminem, Dr. Dre, 50 and any other successful artist)would have less incentive to keep recording.

      This might mean that if the business is no longer about album sales, we might see the business evolve into a model based more upon singles being released rather than 12 track albums. Maybe this would mean artists would put out less crap…or maybe more.

      I am definitely in support of this new model of music (along with MySpace Music which has an enticing model as well) but I think we will see a lot of resistance from people who do not download music (old people) and dumbass people who want to get music for free and think that by not paying for it they are just “screwing the man.”

      Anyways, those are my thoughts.

  • Pierzy

    “That amount would go to the recording industry to help recover the amount of money they’ve lost because they’re a bunch of fuck-ups without a business plan that’s worth a shit.”

    Co-Sign. In any other business in a true capital market, they would be fcuked. Fcuk ‘em!

  • http://www.going.com/larrybrite Larry Brite

    You Mean: Taxation without representation?

    Already happens with bridge tolls in the Bay Area

    - In fact the Golden Gate Bridge is going to charge you more to get across the bridge during ‘busy hours’ – less during dead time

    (Rush hours are almost EVERYDAY – weekends too – b.t.w.)

    • og bobby j

      I dont know how much the golden gate cost to cross, but they just bumped up the tolls out here….cost me $18.00 to go from NJ to Brooklyn (less then 10 miles)….8 dollars for the Goethals and 10 for the Verazanno Br. Shit it silly.

  • LA Music Industry Major

    This is my first time posting here but I’ve read for a while. I’m a music industry major at USC (Go ahead and make jokes about it being a rich kid school and whatnot) and we’ve talked about this idea a lot. I personally feel like it is actually a really smart decision though I’m not sure if it will gain traction.

    In response to thoreauly77′s comments:
    1) The RIAA isn’t a government agency, it is comprised of the major labels and thus a private company is already tracking that. They would utilize a system similar to SoundScan for CDs and SoundExchange for Radio play and then distribute artist royalties to the performance rights societies like ASCAP and BMI. Since it is digital they’ll be able to have more exact numbers as to how many times Bol downloaded the latest Hillary Duff tracks.

    2) The RIAA can’t actually force the ISPs to accept this deal but I’m sure they’ll provide financial incentives.

    With regards to this idea and its impact on the industry I think its definitely a strong argument for the future of music. Clearly we all enjoy getting something for free rather than paying for it but ultimately the artists aren’t just doing this “for the love of music,” but also because it is a business. If there is no more money in it, artists who can afford to stop (Jay-Z, Nas, Eminem, Dr. Dre, 50 and any other successful artist)would have less incentive to keep recording.

    This might mean that if the business is no longer about album sales, we might see the business evolve into a model based more upon singles being released rather than 12 track albums. Maybe this would mean artists would put out less crap…or maybe more.

    I am definitely in support of this new model of music (along with MySpace Music which has an enticing model as well) but I think we will see a lot of resistance from people who do not download music (old people) and dumbass people who want to get music for free and think that by not paying for it they are just “screwing the man.”

    Anyways, those are my thoughts.

  • elle

    when life handed atmostphere lemons he painted that shit gold

  • BIGNAT

    tham bol you act like making 40g’s a year is alot how much of that you think they get to take home. shit i make over 40 g’s a year i only take home between 430 and 600 hundred a week. thats fucking chump change. once you factor in the bills and having to pay for food you only got a couple hundred left. shit after i got paid today i going see iron man tomorrow buy that roots cd and hit the supermarket. those devils can have my 5 dollars a month shit thats not to much. if they wanna do that they better set up a website where all the music is. converted to all ways them motherfuckers better work for my 5 dollars. shit milk costing 4.59 gas almost 4 dollars a gallon i am trying to win somewhere.

  • elle

    when life handed atmosphere lemons he painted that shit gold!

  • illness

    man… i hate you but i must say cosign on everything you said especially “Why? Because, well, fuck you, that’s why.” lmfao that shit came out of nowhere it was dope… well… how much do artists get? what about indy artists? freaking riaa aint handed shit down… either.

  • CHICAGO PaPii

    Bol the government is pimpin Americans just like Beyonce is doing Jay(or Papa Mattew is doing B?!), anyways, any money The Evil Empire gives you for “Free” comes with a price so while your rollin down any ghetto block you can bet soon your gonna rollin around town with a Real-ID(North American Union-Style). O.N.E.

  • Music Industry Major

    This is my first time posting here but I’ve read for a while. I’m a music industry major at USC (Go ahead and make jokes about it being a rich kid school and whatnot) and we’ve talked about this idea a lot. I personally feel like it is actually a really smart decision though I’m not sure if it will gain traction.

    In response to thoreauly77′s comments:
    1) The RIAA isn’t a government agency, it is comprised of the major labels and thus a private company is already tracking that. They would utilize a system similar to SoundScan for CDs and SoundExchange for Radio play and then distribute artist royalties to the performance rights societies like ASCAP and BMI. Since it is digital they’ll be able to have more exact numbers as to how many times Bol downloaded the latest Hillary Duff tracks.

    2) The RIAA can’t actually force the ISPs to accept this deal but I’m sure they’ll provide financial incentives.

  • Tray

    I think it’s a great idea. I mean, think of all the very talented rappers who have gotten pushed back by labels or gone unsigned for years now because they can only afford to sign stars, because only stars can even go gold anymore and there’s no money in giving someone a recording budget and seeing them sell 50,000 copies. Then what happened was everyone went to Koch, and what happens, suddenly all the beats suck on all your favorite rappers’ albums because there’s no kind of budget over at Koch for anything. Meanwhile, the few people left on major labels have to scramble to put out garbage singles and do collabos with whatever producer and southern dumbbell is hot at the moment to boost their sales. Then you get shit albums. Why did this all happen? Because nobody’s buying records. The only person who can afford to put a well-produced album together anymore is Diddy. So once the money enters the industry again, wouldn’t many of these problems be solved? Your favorite unsigned rapper gets his deal, your favorite vet gets enough of a budget where he doesn’t have to rap over some kind of cheap Casio preset on every track, people stop calling Lil Wayne for features… sounds great to me.

  • cliff

    shit… as a consumer, I say bring on the $60 all you can eat music buffet. But, as a music fan I say, damn that must suck for artists. They get the shitty end of the stick. So even artists that make an excellent album and deserve to do better than Souljah Boy, will have to settle for the same cut. this is a big dilemma. but since Lil Kim even has a Bentley, and i don’t. FUCK EM!!!

  • jollyrench

    It would set a bad precedent, if music companies got away with this then the movie industry along with the software industry would also try to pass the same tax onto consumers. The problem with the music industry is that most of these rap artists hurt their CD sales as well as their pockets with music videos. By doing music videos the artists are taking money, which would be better spent going towards their advances, to convince people that they only have a few good minutes on their albums.

  • geico lizard

    i dont steal music right now but if they tack on extra money because they assume everyone who gets online is stealing music then ill make sure i star to get as many songs as possible. that is like taxing someone illegaly its crazy. its like that bullshit takeout tax mcdonalds charges on top of the state taxes on your food. i havent been back to mcdonalds since they started that up.

  • chun

    Fuck that. If the database really was ALL music (which it definitely won’t) i would be tempted. The bigger issue is the stit they try and pull with drm or shitty bitrates. 128kb mp3 is shite compared to cd’s and any of you net pimps would know if you didn’t just use your moms laptop or your sisters ipod. If they want to sell their profit, give consumers a proper choice.

    And i’ll still prefer to buy straight from artists. It has really surprised me that no artists have formed a collective to sell their music free from TI’s. Set up a joint download service and cut out the TI’s and their (willing) slaves like that dude sickamore who used to post here. He’s definitely nowhere near 40k a year after all ‘his’ artists flopped. Surprised he’s not been round begging for his old spot back.

  • jonathan

    ill take those stupid charges! please bring them on! your gonna charge me with downloading music! years ago! so this is what you do to my life! goodluck and take care! and the funny part is! i didnt really do that alot! at all! all the songs being sent to me now! I dont control that! you criminals do! ill take that bullshit! and people will see that bullshit for what its worth and say so you sent rappers to kill his folks because he downloaded music! lolol! get real! goodluck and take care! for real for real! but I dont care! make sure you file the papers! we do have an acurate record of everysong I ever downloaded! along with the gazillion other people that do it! but you go after me because why again oh because you destroyed my life trying to be greedy! goodluck and take care! and have the time of your life! it never ends with you idiots! goodluck and take care!

    • Tray

      jonathan (!!) is the blog poster of the year! for real! it never ends! every sentence ends with an exclamation point!

  • Worley

    “It has shrunk to a $10 billion business from $15 billion in almost a decade.”

    Whoopty damn do. How many houses, cars and boats do you want?

    Stop being greedy.

  • R.Friday

    LOL at the T.I. tag for posts.

  • EReal

    But rather than learning some sort of new, marketable skill, i.e. the kinda shit we’d have to do, they just go to the government and try to get on welfare, as if they were black women.
    ^
    Vintage Bol.

    I have a feeling Byron isnt too keen on working for McDonalds Hands Man. lol.

    Speak on it Bol!!

    rofl!

  • http://www.myspace.com/chronikill ROX ONE

    “Budweiser Select (what is that, anyway?)”

    ehhh. It basically tastes like a hybrid Budweiser-Bud light that was dropped on the floor.

    Even when it is 1$ cheaper than Budweiser, it’s pretty diffcult to defend buying at the bar.

    The subprime crisis was actually brought on by the govenment making these mortgage companies relax their lending laws amidst claims that their “standards of lending” were tough for minorities to qualify for.

    Countrywide was actually praise by Fannie Mae (government affiliated company) as being the “leader” in bringing the joys of homeownership to those who were otherwise unable to afford it. They did so by allowing things like self-reporting income, sub-prime rates (with ridiculous penalties).

    This was masked for years, as housing costs continued to rise, allowing the new “homeowners” to stay afloat by taking out second mortgages against the increased value of their homes, which they then used to pay their monthly mortgage. But then the bubble popped.

    I can go into much greater detail, but it’s kinda boring and pretty sad. And clearly not too many people in the comment section would care to actually know the root cause of an issue…

  • http://www.myspace.com/africanemperor EMPEROR

    Yaaow Black people must change the way of thinking and come together on some china-town style of thinking…..One luv all my folks

    p.s check out my music @ http://www.myspace.com/africanemperor

  • Low Key Kid

    The Roots are NOT falling. At all. Rising Down is one of the most poignant and powerful hip-hop records in a very long time…WAY to long. If anything, since Tipping Point, which is underrated btw (it’s good songwriting, not selling out), they have been getting BETTER AND BETTER. Game Theory was kick-ass and incredibly intelligent. And now, Rising Down. The third in a trio of classics.

    Bol, just don’t say the Roots are “falling.”

    Most everything else you say is true.