Did you know shrimpy hip-hop mogul Jermaine Durpri was a blogger on The Huffington Post? Neither did we! Yet there he was yesterday with his second post already, wherein he praises Jay-Z for his “decision not to let iTunes break up his American Gangster album and sell it as single tracks.” And it seems JD is already taking swimmingly to the blog format, penning an impassioned (and totally bullshit) 1,300 word rant-cum-manifesto about how the record labels can (and should!) take back control of the industry from both evil Steve Jobs and his hypnotized minion, the music consumer.
Jay made everyone realize that iTunes taking what we give them and doing what they want with it isn’t the way it has to be. He put the light on and made other people realize, “Oh these guys are just selling our music, they ain’t making it.” If anything, WE made iTunes. It’s like how we spent $300,000 to $500,000 each on our videos and MTV and BET went ahead and built an entire video television industry off of our backs. We can’t let that happen again. These businesses exist solely because of our music. So if we as artists, producers and label executives stand up, those guys at Apple can either cooperate, or have nothing for people to buy and download on their iPods.
Apple thinks that’s never gonna happen. They think that we as the record industry will never stick together. But Universal sells one out of every three records. All it’ll take is for Warner Music to say, “You know what, I’m with you,” for us to shut ‘em down. No more iPods! They won’t have nothin’ to play on their players! We can take back the power if we’re willing to sacrifice some sales to make our point.
Well thank God someone finally made that argument. Apple may hold the copyrights and be cashing the checks, but a first-year business student (or blogger) knows it’s consumers who power iTunes, where full albums are also available 99 percent of the time, determining what format sells in Steve Jobs’ store. And it’s long been obvious to everyone with head removed from ass (i.e. not invested in selling albums) that said consumers have voted in favor of singles, and laughable to argue that if labels suddenly yank all product from iTunes there will be a brief period of grumbling followed by consumers returning to the full album with tails tucked. But you all already know this. So why does a man who has spent most of his adult life in the record industry find it so hard to understand? The problem might be that, like most multi-kazillionaires, JD has lost touch with the people.
We’d cut the single off a few weeks before the album came out to get people to wait and let the excitement build. When I put out Kris Kross we did that. We sold two million singles, then we stopped. Eventually we sold eight million albums!
Did consumer complain? Maybe so. But at what point does any business care when consumer complains about the money? Why do people not care how we – the people who make music – eat? If they just want the single, they gotta get the album. That was how life was.
“These peasants will take what we give them and like it! Why do they not think of the health of their king before their own?” Man, you can’t teach the nouveau riche anything.
A Good Album Is More Than Just A Collection Of Singles [Huffington Post]