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Fuck You Pay Me

Game has been on fire as of late, last week the Compton rapper released his double-disc Purp & Patron mixtape and yesterday he dropped his latest project The Hangover. The 40 combined tracks, which Game offered up as free Internet downloads should be more than enough to satisfy the rapper’s fans until his The R.E.D. Album drops, but not everyone seems to be so excited about Game’s moves.

Yesterday it came to light that the RZA who is the credited producer on “Heartbreaker” a track off of Purp & Patron served a cease and desist to Game, and there is the threat of a lawsuit. Both rappers took to the hip-hop media (and Twitter which is like the hip-hop media these days anyway) and downplayed any sort of beef. Instead it just seems to be a misunderstanding between the two camps. You see RZA gave Game “Heartbreaker” with intentions to land the track on an official release and not a free mixtape. Game— for whatever reason decided not to use the beat for his album and instead give it away as a free download. And therein lies the dilemma. In this new digital era where free-Internet downloads do wonders for an artists’ buzz (but nothing for his pockets directly), I can’t help but wonder what happens to the producer? How does he eat?

In actuality, there can be quite a few people who put work in on a free download. Of course there is the rapper, then you have engineers, producers and graphic artists who design the cover. So who pays those guys? Engineers don’t benefit from a “buzz” and most times mixtapes don’t even have liner notes.

Now, I’m sure Game takes care of his camp, but what about the up and coming artists who are just starting out? How does that work?

I mean I love free music as much as the next guy, but people do deserve to get paid for their work don’t they?— Rob Markman

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