Blogsmacked: Mixing Up Reactions To The Mixtape Crackdown

Jan 18th, 2007 // 4 Comments

- Jay Smooth’s videoblog calls out the boneheaded reporters at Atlanta’s Fox affiliate, redefines the word “snitch.” [hiphopmusic.com]
- “The fact that record labels CAN NOT break music without mixtape deejays is a problem for some in power. The fact that A list artists are dealing directly with popular mixtape deejays is a problem for those in power. With the advent of new technology, the DJ in 2007 has all but perched to move to higher levels and seriously change the game.” [Davey D's Hip Hop Blog]

More reactions after the jump.

- “This raid is the first time the RIAA has gone directly after a big-name mixtape DJ, and they’ve gone after probably the single biggest name in that world. So maybe I’m just being naive here, but I don’t think the raid represents a sea change in the music industry’s tolerance of mixtapes, mostly because the music industry doesn’t employ any evil masterminds smart enough to orchestrate a sweeping change in policy like that. More likely, it’s just another example of the industry’s staggering incompetence and disorganization, a case of the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing.” [Status Ain't Hood]
- “If you think all this shit is wrong, don’t spend your time decrying the RIAA, or loudly proclaiming that music should be free when bands ask that you please not post the music they have made, or pretending that all your disclaimers and justifications make what you’re doing legal. Pressure labels that support mixtapes and MP3blogs and mashups and all those sorts of mutually beneficial uses of copyrighted material to lobby to have the laws changed. You have a relationship with labels? Great. Write them an e-mail and tell them to support copyright reform. Tell them that the double standard they’ve supported lets them have it both ways while sending mixtape makers to prison.” [Clap Clap Blog]
- “DJ Drama himself is signed to Atlantic Records, so its not like they weren’t aware of what he was doing. Many artists even have “underground provisions” in their record contracts that explicitly allow them to work with third parties to put out promotional mixtapes. This isn’t a case of an employee running off with company property and making a fast buck off of it on the black market, this is an employee being told by his company that part of his job is to go out and sell that property on the street corner. ” [33 Jones]

  1. musette

    Why are more people not outraged by every element of this raid on what is generally understood and accepted as a legitimate business by a legitimate practioner of mixmastery?

    Are the kids too wrapped up in their zune/pods to see the writing on the wall?

    Are they just relieved it’s not (yet) them being served?

  2. Mike Barthel

    People need to remember that the music industry is made up of a bunch of individuals–people and departments and entities–who don’t necessarily get together and coordinate strategy. It’s far from monolithic. What looks beneficial to the promo department might not look beneficial to the legal department. More importantly, the RIAA is not the labels–it was created by the labels, but it’s clearly become its own separate entity. As everyone’s pointed out, the labels didn’t want Drama busted. The RIAA has a policy that it’s pursuing regardless of the wishes of its constituents, because by pursuing that policy it justifies its existence as an independent organization.

  3. SordidPuppy

    The RIAA really does seem to be missing the point of what DJ Drama and Don Cannon do. I don’t envy their lot, though — people aren’t buying records these days, and I’m sure that has a lot of folks seriously paranoid. Short of coming up with ingenious ways of revitalizing the industry, attacking those that make money in borderline-legal ways probably appeals to the people in charge. A big part of the reaction to Drama and Cannon’s arrest has revolved around the assertion that mixtapes help sell albums, and while I’d like to believe that this is true, I’m not convinced that it is. Maybe some serious fans peep mixtapes and buy albums on the strength thereof, but I’m sure just as many would rather chill with their $6.99 tape (if anyone actually buys these things from their source) than throw down $15 for a CD that’s probably got a bunch of ill-advised guest appearances and diluted material on it. As far as the general public, I’m pretty sure that most people who listen to T.I. and Young Jeezy probably don’t know what a mixtape is, and they’re downloading and/or buying albums on the strength of videos they see on MTV/BET or singles they hear on the radio. Maybe I’m wrong, but judging by the ease with which dedicated online fans download and share leaked music, I’d be surprised if the people that care about this make a really significant financial contribution to the music industry, an industry that is in trouble and needs saving. We can keep talking about the RIAA being oppressive and grouping them with Rupert Murdoch but unless we choose to buy records like we did 5-10 years ago , pretty soon there won’t be an industry to be regulated. There will, I guess, but don’t be surprised if it’s one that caters only to people to young, old, or uninformed to care about Soulseek or DJ Drama. Imagine Nickelodeon as the industry’s frontrunner in sales, in heated competition with companies pushin’ that New Age, Standards, and Adult Contemporary. That ain’t too gangsta.

  4. janine

    tell that to 50 Cent, S.Puppy.

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