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Snake oil is the new heroin

I was checking Twitter just now to see if Sasha Grey had made sweet, passionate love to any of my favorite female pr0n stars, and I saw that Elliott Wilson and some people were discussing the fact that literally no one is bothering to download these new Freeway records.

I guess hardly anyone gave a shit about the last Freeway album – which, like the first Freeway album, I thought was the rare LCD rap album that’s actually worth a shit – so he let someone talk him into pulling one of these deals where he leaks a new track to the Internets every day for a month.

I wonder if they’re just throwaways from the sessions for Free at Last, or if he really did go into the studio and record 30 new songs, just for this occasion. Probably not, right? It’d cost a lot of money to record 30 new songs just to give them away for free on the Internets, and if Freeway had a lot of money, something tells me he wouldn’t be bothering with this bullshit in the first place.

I can’t remember the exact amount, but I know it takes having sold quite a few albums in order for an artist to actually receive any money from album sales – enough to where the vast majority of artists never make any money from album sales. And something tells me that last Freeway album didn’t come anywhere near that mark.

Anyhoo, the fact that Freeway is now working the Nah Right circuit (<–note what a Google search proves to be the coining of a new term) just goes to show, a) how clueless and hopeless so many artists are these days; but also, and perhaps more importantly, for the purposes of this post, b) the extent to which these rappers will let marketing professionals talk them into any ol’ bullshit.

Because you know, even if Freeway didn’t let anyone talk him into this pointless stunt (and lord, I pray that he didn’t), he probably got the idea from some poor bastard who let one of these snake oil salesmen talk him into a similar pointless stunt.

I’m halfway tempted tempted to hang out a shingle myself. Shit, I figure I’m about as capable as anyone at getting some of these relative no-talents mentioned on Nah Right and the like, as if it’s really that difficult. Only thing is, born failure that I am, something tells me I’d have a hard time finding very many clients in that line of work.

I’ll admit, I’m somewhat biased against hip-hop marketing professionals anyway, if only on the grounds that I’ve spent the last month combing through my gmail looking for emails I could afford to delete, because the damn thing’s become overstuffed with people’s bullshit press releases and mp3s, and I couldn’t afford the $20 or whatever it costs to buy additional storage.

Meanwhile, I actually went to school for marketing. And I know at least enough about hip-hop to have blogged for XXL for three years now (though admittedly, a lot of that’s been due to my facility with the English language, relative to the rest of the hip-hop blogosphere). Where’s my cushy job spam emailing people about new Rick Ross records? I tell you, it just ain’t right!

But beyond just me being a jealous loser, it’s amazing to me that these guys are actually fucking up artists’ careers. Case in point, last week’s Charles Hamilton kerfuffle. You know what’s gonna be a sad day? The day when, if he ever does put out an album on Interscope, he goes to his accountant wondering why he isn’t receiving any royalties, and his accountant explains to him that he’s still recouping the money they spent on the Hamiltization Process.

It might be enough to make him go back on heroin.

No but really, unless I get even more desperate than I am, which is a distinct possibility, I don’t want a job that involves selling people shit they don’t want anyway. But even if I did, I’d never take money from an artist and use it to do something that’s gonna harm their career.

If I were one of these artists who got talked into working the Nah Right circuit, I’d see about getting my money back from whoever talked me into that shit.

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