Mixtape Raids Spread To Nashville

Aug 27th, 2007 // 1 Comment

Earlier this month, two record stores in Nashville joined the ranks of stores that have had their supply of mixtapes raided; the shops, Platinum Bound and Key 2 Music, had more than $21,500 worth of CDs and DVDs confiscated in anti-piracy raids, which has resulted in local DJs pulling their own mixtapes from stores around the region:

After the Aug. 16 raids, Newlin asked every local retailer still carrying his CDs to remove them from shelves. Nashville-based chain Cat’s Music enforced a chainwide ban on mixtapes after the raids. Jason Herndon, manager of the Cat’s in Hermitage, says the company’s vice president is waiting to hear back from the recording industry association about the material before deciding whether to restock the CDs. “We were under the impression that these types of mixtapes were sanctioned,” Herndon said. “The labels kind of turned a blind eye to them. There are record label reps in our store every week from every major label.”

Losing their access to mixtapes means local hip-hop fans have lost their direct, personal tie to the artists. A mixtape “was a way for artists to give back to the very loyal core audience,” said Bryan Deese, a hip-hop listener and publisher of Concrete, a local urban culture magazine. “They said things and did things on mixtapes that major labels just wouldn’t let them do. It’s kind of like hip-hop’s Fan Fair or Music City Fest. They don’t have a city they go to every summer and set up booths in a convention center and sign autographs. They put out mixtapes with different DJs from different regions to give back to the fans.”

Among those CDs confiscated in the raid, according to the owner of Key 2 Music: about 200 legitimate releases from local hip-hop artists that didn’t infringe on copyrights at all and had all of their samples cleared. (The Key 2 Music owner claims that those legit CDs made up about 25% of the seized haul.) Why these two stores were targeted by law enforcement isn’t clear, nor is whether or not the stores have been brought up on any charges. (If you want to check out something really depressing, though, be sure to catch the comments at the story’s end, which features diatribes against the “plagiarism” that is sampling.)

Record store raids rattle hip-hop fans [Fairview Observer, via ProHipHop]

  1. OingoBobo

    “By any means necessary”… I heard that somewhere…

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