Public Enemy Fans Invest in New Album, Raise $50K in Funds

Seminal hip-hop group Public Enemy plan on releasing a new album, but there’s a catch. They are asking fans to fund the recording process.

According to british music magazine NME, the Long Island-bred crew has signed a deal with SellaBand, a self-described “fan funding engine” based in Amsterdam. Through the partnership, PE is asking its listeners to invest in the album in increments of $25. Depending on the donation, fans can receive a limited edition T-shirt, executive producer credits on the album or even visitation rights as the group record in the studio.

And it looks like the deal is working. Since opening the bidding last month, PE has already raised $50,000. Their goal is to generate $250,000.

The album, which is yet to be titled, follows up Public Enemy’s 2007 disc, How You Sell Soul to a Soulless People Who Sold Their Soul? Max G

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  • donknottz

    Say good bye to your money. I respect P.E. to the fullest but records ain’t selling these days and nobody is checking for a public enemy album. Flav is better off doing flavor of love 15.

  • latino heat

    damn, hitting up your fans for donations just to make a album is a horrible look. isn’t that pretty much the same thing as panhandling? how the mighty have fallen.

  • General

    Seems a little desperate, but why not? Hell, then they don’t have any costs incurred while recording and distributing the project and keep all the profits…

  • Nate

    The whole point is that it’s much easier for a name group like PE to get fans to fund 50-250K, than it is to get a major who is still clueless about music to fork over the money upfront.

    PE doesn’t want to play that game and go through the payold.

    But for professionals it is no big deal going in the booth and knocking out 14 songs if it’s all paid for. All the profit goes to them, because all the cost of recording is paid for.


    i would do it ill check into it but damn if im gonna do this then the fans should get a vote on what features artists no bull all hiphop real cats and they better put hard work into it lol cause it would kinda be like pe working for us! the fans!

  • No Mames Buey

    at a min the “fan investors” should get half of profits, just like a real TI (actual real TIs cop about 99.4080% of the profits)

    but there’s no way this album could make a profit even on 50K already raised. Even if they make after production/shipping cost $7/CD like Fat Hoe or whomever was claiming Koch paid, they’d need to sell over 7K discs to break even.

    Nowadays most indie hip hop all does wood numbers under 10K discs sold. Didn’t MOP just sell like 2K units the 1st week? *smh*

    CDs are advertisements for the live show, merch, other opps. Have a dope show & a small comitted StanBase like The Legendary Roots show, & you can have a hip hop career.

    OTOH random OK mofos like Xzibit will need to find another career, like pimpin rides or some such.

  • AZ40

    Wow exec. producer credits and right to visit them in studio that’s good for people who are really fans of an artist

  • Sleepy Wonder

    It Doesn’t Sound That Farfetched. Oh And I Read This About A Month Ago On A Rock Site.

    Another Fail For XXL.

  • BK’s Finest

    Ok….so they are asking fans for donations to fund the album and then when the album gets released they are expecting them to also buy the album?

    What kind of crazy shit is this?

  • Tony Grands

    Co-sign Sleepy.

    PE isn’t the only group doing it. There’s some company overseas who started it. PE’s the only hip-hop act to do it though, so far & the “investors” do get a perk, like concert tickets or something like that, nothing monetary or executive.

    Plus, you’ve got to be pretty die hard to give them the cash to begin with. Just knowing that they’re part of the process, to those types of fans is probably all worth it.

    Sorry Chuck & Flav, it’s a recession. Don’t take it personal, but No Dice.

    • Tony Grands

      Oh shit, executive producer or visits, skimmed over that.

      So, is it like the highest bid, otherwise how many EP’s is the album going to have?

  • $ykotic/Don McCaine

    Had to read it twice. Now I got it.

    Since most music is “basically” free, sell the merchandise & interactive experience. After all They are legends.

    Cool experiment.


      co-sign $ykotic

      definitely a cool experiment. now the music really belongs to the fans. as it should be. and i think it makes a cool heirloom to show to the kids one day. like, “i had a part in this”.

      my family feeds homeless people during Thanksgiving or Christmas. i donate my money, time and energy because i feel sorry for those who ain’t got it. so instead of being propelled by empathy or guilt, why not contribute to something that makes you feel good? a lot of people make donations every year to various performing rights trusts, who in turn fund the work of artists in various fields. why not the same for music? does visual art have more importance than the recording arts? not in my life. and i’m guessing, not in the life of those who choose to donate to what THEY believe in. in this case, the music and mission of Public Enemy.

      and ask those kids that go to college with funds donated by people who value education, or at least the premise that aybody should at least have the means to have one. i’m sure that they really appreciate that somebody, somewhere gives a fuck.

      • $ykotic/Don McCaine

        Unfortunately most cats are used to donating to the wrong causes.

        After listening to them 3 trax on Sellaband, I could see kicking in a quarter. Chuck and ‘em done held down a whole generation.

        The irony is his support base ain’t the ones he’s going to war for…

        “and ask those kids that go to college with funds donated by people who value education, or at least the premise that aybody should at least have the means to have one. i’m sure that they really appreciate that somebody, somewhere gives a fuck.”

        *rings the town bell*


  • Darth H8ter

    innovative to say the least. 20 years too late