Ras Kass Asks Fans to Pay For His Album—Literally

You have to be creative to survive in a recession. That goes for rappers just as much as consumers. Veteran MC Ras Kass proved that when he recently announced that he’s asking his fans to donate money to help him put out his as-yet-untitled album.

With the goal of raising $3,800 in 60 days, Kass is selling T-shirts, as well as soliciting donations to complete his next independent opus. Studio time for this project has already been paid for by supporters of his last album, The Quarterly, but the virtual fundraiser will go towards pressing up CDs and vinyl records for the almost completed project.

As a bonus, the West Coast rapper has created various incentives to get fans to contribute. Anyone who gives at least $15 will receive a free copy of the CD and a virtual shout out on his website, savetheraskass.com. Fans that donate more than $1,000 will received handwritten lyrics by Kass, signed CD and vinyl copies of the LP, “special producer” credit on the album and a personal thank you call from the West Coast rapper. For more info on incentives check out his KickStarter.com page—Brooklyne Gipson

  • Shoot

    Ras, I will pay the $3,800 as long as you make me an executive producer on your album. I figure I have a 50/50 chance of making a profit. 5,000 albums sold would probably do the trick but, I doubt you would sell that many so the deal is off, never mind.

  • mikel

    i cant decide whether this is more corny or pathetic

    • TheRefriedMexican

      NEITHER HOMEY. CORNY IS THAT POP RAP SOULJAH BOY TYPE BULLSHIT. PATHETIC IS WACK RAPPERS LIKE 50 CENT, FLO-RIDA, LIL WAYNE ETC LIVING GOOD, WHILE SICK M.C’s LIKE RAS KASS STRUGGLE
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      • SLICK. BULLY

        Word up! Refried beans, I feel you on that…

  • Justice4all

    This is the new independant enviroment, struggle, beg and borrow to get CD’s printed. Unfortunatly this happens more than we think, he just decided to take it public. I’m sure your favorite rapper has borrowed against his mother’s house to get the 6,000 cd’s printed and posters made. Balling is no longer an option, it’s all about self preservation. Stat.

  • The real chris

    hell i think its more pathetic then anything,what a goof this clown is,dont this fool get it recession aint got got nothing to do with yo album hell if u decent people will buy yo shit regardless.paying people to buy yo album is plain pathetic in fact he pathetic.p.s dude step yo game up.

    • SLICK. BULLY

      Realchris your real wack, have some respect for the vets of the game… These young cats got the game smelling like bubble gum rap and glitter.. Real mc’s cant even get on anymore, only a few make it through,RassKass is a dope lyricist who got screwed by Priorty rec label..

  • stonyman

    I would rather give my $15 to the artist then going to Best Buy and dropping the money on the album since the artist sees very little of that.

    • http://www.savetheraskass.com STRK

      co-sign. Why is HipHop so obsessed with record labels and so against being independent?

  • http://www.billykincaid.com Billy Kincaid

    Why doesn’t he do a pre-order system? That way, fans can buy the album, then he uses the money to finish the album. He can even put the pre-orderers in the thank-you notes.

    • what

      If I’m not mistaken, that’s exactly what he’s doing.

      • http://www.billykincaid.com Billy Kincaid

        One is business-savvy, the other is panhandling.

        • what

          I would actually argue that it’s the other way around. If it was just a pre-order system, we wouldn’t be talking about it right now.

        • http://www.billykincaid.com Billy Kincaid

          Yeah, but we ain’t talking positive about it.

          Oh well, any pub is good pub anyways.

        • http://www.savetheraskass.com STRK

          What is the incentive to pre-order?

  • mousie

    I would have spent $15 on “The Nature of the Threat” alone amd “Soul on Ice” stayed in rotation. Ras is one MC that I sincerely hope is able to get things in order, way under-rated IMHO.

  • ff1one@yahoo.com

    i think it is a great idea. Why? well first, it gets the money directly to the artist. i mean you can’t do this for just any old artist, but for a Rass Kass and/or artist of that type of intellegence and intergity, it is worth it. second, it cuts out the middle man. you got fans who always say “i want real hip hop” well this give fans the chance to be apart of the movement. truth is, ur average hip hop fan don’t even know who rass kass is. in addition, they wouldn’t buy his cd. for the percentage that request his service…help the man get his product out.

  • The Notable L Majesty

    damn.. does ne1 else feel like a grown man should be able to afford this for himself? 3800 bones is a lot, but it aint THAT much for his passion..

  • http://www.savetheraskass.com STRK

    this mixtape is about to be a classic… wait till the details come out

  • NotoriousAGC

    *shudders of the idea of “rass kass” calling a 23 yearold fan saying thank you for his 15 dollars. “Hey young’n it’z ya boy rass kass thanks for your 15 bucks….Can i have some more?, Im Hungry as hell”

    SMH….

  • http://www.bboycult.com $yk!

    stonyman says:

    I would rather give my $15 to the artist then going to Best Buy and dropping the money on the album since the artist sees very little of that.

    STRK says:

    co-sign. Why is HipHop so obsessed with record labels and so against being independent?

    ^ For real. Most artists don’t even make 5 cents per copy.

    This is how ass backwards sh*t is now…if Puff or Drake tried this it would work…

  • BIRD

    Ras,

    You seem like a real person and for the people who LISTEN you are smart and a top lyricist. I appreciate the give and take idea. We will put our money to support because what I care about more than a artist being the top seller is the availability of the art. I’ll contribute because I consider you in that upper tier of top MC’s, and I know that you don’t create filler.

    Can’t find the quarterly in Amoeba here in SF but I’ll put down the cash if I can get a copy of that and the new album. I’ve never donated 1,000 but $50 isn’t a big deal. That’s sometimes what bullshit artists charge for their garbage concerts and t-shirts. I’d rather hear you spit over 15 fire tracks from up and coming producers than NOT put out a album solely because you don’t have 6 figures for big name beats, and 5 figures for guest verses. Fuck all that and make a album. And if you did put a Bay artist on a verse, It would be cool if you let Locksmith do 1.

    I like that you are taking the game into your own hands instead of allowing the jackals to hold you back.
    BIRD

  • gerald n. the birdman

    Only white people listen to Ras Kass, and Ras Kass hates white people, so I don’t think this is going to work.

    • SLICK. BULLY

      Your ignorant, dont waste our time with your foolish talk…

  • what

    If Ras Kass really needs the cheddar, he should start slanging guest appearances on random obscure albums. I bet you some rich kid somewhere would pay a G or two to get Ras Kass on his vanity project. No one would ever even hear it.

  • http://www.xxlmag.com MyGameJustRewind

    I been thought that was a good idea. Sending cash directly to the artist. How many people gotten shelved by the record labels b/c they didn’t do the songs the label wanted them to do. This would do wonders for creativity and the suck-ass no talent sell outs will have to find a new hustle outside the music industry b/c the labels won’t have the cash anymore to shove their corny asses down our throats thru radio and club DJ’s. BTW I like Rass Kass I’m sending $15 and sharing this on FaceBook.

  • edon

    Why he’s even wantin’ money from fans, I don’t get it. Why he ain’t usin’ his own 3,6k.
    LOL never mind. I actually never heard of this guy’s music.

  • Joe

    3800? Really?

    1)If u want 3800, u should have asked for 10k.

    2)If u think its ‘smart’ you havent broken down the math. Let me break it down.

    $3800/60 days= 1900/30 days= 500/week = 500/40hrs = 12.50/hr

    12.50/hr.

    This shyt is pathetic, he askin for what evryday people w/ regular jobs do everyday.

  • Krispo

    Ras Kass needs to get a job.

    This is insanely pathetic.

  • Anonymous

    Don’t this man got money left over from his past record sales? Rass Kass is a legend, especially out west, but damn, this is thirsty as hell joe! I’m from Chicago, we got love for that man, I fucked wit him on those Twista collabos and wit Vakill, imagine how they view this man; you jagged all your money like that? how is you eatin’? I understand the objective, but the plan has me thinkin you might as well get a job or sell cd’s, Dvd’s, white-t’s, i could just imagine him out there,lol. shit, it’s ugly out here, but you better than this Rass, you just made a joke of yourself in public.

  • http://www.bboycult.com $yk!

    @ joe

    Nice breakdown. Now the masses can see it’s not that hard to achieve this goal, it’s normal CD $ spent anyway. It seems like he low-balled the amount to actually make it work, the quarter mil that Public Enemy was asking for was too steep, even though they raised about 70K.

    The only person who would lose is Ras, no? The backlash because he couldn’t raise four stacks for an album in 2 months?

    All I’m saying is check out Kickstarter.com anybody and peep how it’s working for some people. It’s a personalized commemorative CD/LP for the fan, better than an in-store signing.

    Will it work for rap? Apparently not if you judge by the comments, and it’s our fault because we look at said artist’s wealth, and the artist’s fault for constantly talking about wealth. Now if it was strictly about music and it’s the right artist, it could work. Think of a campaign like this for ke$ha (probably a bad choice for comparison, but yet a good example).

    This is something Drake and his people could’ve tried for the So Far Gone re-release. THAT would have been ushering in the change of the game. They would have raised the funds, especially when dude’s promo was on 10,000, did the thing and would have had bidding wars up to 10 mil and better, if he really wasn’t signed. This is what I’m saying.

    I’m interested in seeing the results in the Ras test run. PE asked for too much. If any of you are thinking about getting into the game then keep an eye on this.

  • newyawk631

    I like da idea.If Uncle Murda(East New Yawk),or some of my other favorite mixtape rappers said this(Pappoose,Max B,etc) said this shit,I would say hell yea son.I’ll give u $15 and $300 to hop on a track wit ya…..Good idea,i’m feelin it..

    • js416

      LOL max b…forget about that guy hes done his career is over along wit his life

  • The1987Kid

    I think this is a great ideal, the major lables will take the money they give you for your project & if anybody knows about Rass Kass’s career you would know that he has had his first 3 albums shelved by his former lable Priorty Records cause he made songs that were demeed inflamatory, anti white & anti semitic (Most industry people are jewish, Check out the classic records Nature of The Threat, On Earth As It Is.., Ordo Abchoao (Order Out Of Chaos)& Interview With The Vampire) So for him to make an album independent of the majors hes going to the street to the people for support, hes ones of the greatest mc’s so i think if people want to do it, it would be a good thing to show some support for good music & quality..

  • Anonymous

    funny how if u pay AT LEAST $15 then u get a so called “free copy”

    last time i checked, a cd is about 15 bucks..whut a fckin coincidence

  • http://blendz72.wordpress.com dj blendz

    Aint Public Enemy doing something similar to this? I know i read about it somewhere

  • The real chris

    man this dude is point blank sorry like i said before and all yal who saying its a good idea is stupid cause all he doing is making himself look like a damn begger,like the ones that be at the gas stations.if he step his game up people will buy it regardless of the price.

  • TheRefriedMexican

    RAS IS ONE OF THE SICKEST RAPPERS OUT HERE. DR DRE, DJ QUIK, DAZ, ALCHEMIST, MUGGS SOMEBODY, ANYBODY! PICK HIM UP. I WISH THERE WAS A WAY iTUNES FOR EXAMPLE, COULD GIVE A STRUGGLING ARTIST LIKE RAS A BREAK. MAYBE PUT HIS ALBUM OUT IN THE iTUNES STORE AND THEY GET A PERCENTAGE OF SALES
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  • http://www.bboycult.com $yk!

    @ blendz

    “the quarter mil that Public Enemy was asking for was too steep, even though they raised about 70K.”

    ^ answer

    @ chris

    Let me put it this way. Why would Warner Bros want this to work? It’s the total opposite of the way they sign (MAKE MONEY OFF OF) artists. Do you understand that this formula CUTS THE LABELS OUT OF THE EQUATION? And I said this above:

    “Will it work for rap? Apparently not…it’s our fault because we look at said artist’s wealth, and the artist’s fault for constantly talking about wealth. Now if it was strictly about music…, it could work…”

    You proved me right. I bet if this was Coldplay or Gorillaz there would be NO PROBLEM, their fans would do it.

    @ Refried

    I’d say don’t even sign him. Donate the bread so he can meet the goal, so we can see if this works for a rapper. Cats need to see that this may be the only way they can sell units or get a project out, NEW JACKS & OLD HEADS.

  • jerry hab

    this thing is happening everywhere, and many artists are doin the same but RAS just put it in public. honestly this industry is dead thank GOD i no longer listen to hip hop, i have no respect for anything called music that came after 2001,

  • http://MYSPACE.COM/KINSNSPACE KiN CAMELL

    RAS KASS’S “SOUL ON ICE” = ONE OF THE BEST ALBUMS,EVER!

  • Redd Foxx

    Ras Kass is not sorry. I think this is a very innovative technique and if it works then more power to him. I d/l the Endangered Lyricist mixtape and it is sick. The reason why he’s having to do this in the first place is because of all those rich Illuminati fucks who won’t give an artist a shot on “having it all” if they don’t play by their rules. At least their are some real artists still out there who care about the music they make instead of the back masking laced into their songs and the occult symbolism they display in their life, music, and videos. Just ask Chuck D…

  • DAS

    The truth of the matter, there is NO artist anywhere, or producer (which I am), musician, or whatever that can do anything for free, no matter what anyone tells you. Unless you stealin everything. it costs money to pay for gear (MPC, Triton, Fantom, whatever), software (Pro Tools, Logic, Cubase, Reason, etc.), blank cd’s, cd printer, pro art cover design, promotion, marketing, even something as simple as a professional website.

    Normally, a major label pays all of this. well sort of, because in the end it comes out of your advance. But any way, money has to come from somewhere. So if you don’t come from a rich family, hey don’t hate the hussle. I think its brilliant.

    What’s the difference with supporting an artist like this verses paying for cookies from The Girl Scouts? You still helping a worthy cause! LOL!

  • 6ix

    Get a job and save up for your CD I have a couple. So can you damn bum.

  • Jhon da Analyst

    Razzy!!!

  • twoholla

    the last album institutionalized 2 was BLAH…and the last 2 leaks of new material have been ultra-whack due to the corny beats…with Rhettmatic aboard…this should be good..but you’re forgetting one thing bruh…i’m more broke than you are…the MOST you will get from me is 15.00 bones…no more, no less…of course i will download the project for FREE…if the album’s FIRE I will gladly drop you the duckets…but it’s not my responsibility to support you with DONATIONS…are you starving? Are you homeless? Are you living in Haiti??? you’re the artist, who’s been signed before to priority, you’ve recieved advances from Babygrande…& your institutionalized 1 & rap or die were SOLID & since those were independent…you made sum decent change on the 3,000-5,000+ people who supported those lp’s…are you smoking the pipe???

  • http://www.bboycult.com $yk!

    @ twoholla

    You may not know this but the $ doesn’t go directly to Ras. It goes in an escrow (kickstarter.com) account.

    We the fans are usually broker than the artists but we pay anyway, why not this way? Cats like Jay have mucho bread and tell us to f*** off they got loot and are “home”, and we the fans still give Hov more money right?

    I just don’t understand the I ain’t gonna give a ‘broke’ n*gga my money, I’ma keep giving it to a rich n*gga mentality. Not specifically you twoholla, but just saying. That sh*t is kinda backwards.

    And no I’m not affiliated with the company or Ras.

  • http://www.myspace.com/jaefatal Jae Fatal

    I’m sorry, but how long has Ras been spittin? And you’re tellin me dude doesn’t have some type of currency saved up?

    The idea is cool, but idk if imma give money to a dude who had various oppurtunities to capitalize off of his talent.

    The game is changing…aint nobody gonna benefit from this shit but him…tell dude to sell the album independently, go buy an mbox and have an engineer mix and master his shit. buy a cd burner and press up the copies himself. thats what all of us newcomers gotta do.

    it aint the fans fault he fucked his money up!

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