Teh Raps - mixtape explainer

DuderonomyDuderonomy Haut de la Garenne 7,091 Posts
edited March 2 in Strut Central
So once in a blue moon there's a new rap track that I want to buy, and it's almost (or totally) impossible to purchase. Can somebody break down the mixtape sales model for me? To avoid copyright they limit releases to streaming only and hope to make money from tour bookings? Or... what? Is there some super-duper top-secret website that physical OR digital is actually being sold?
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  • ketanketan Warmly booming riffs 2,260 Posts
    It's just promo, no?  Most of them can be downloaded for free (legally in most cases) from one of the main distributors (datpiff n dem).  Just trying to build their value for a label to buy into or do whatever.



  • RhythmGJRhythmGJ Buffalo, NY 169 Posts
    Copyright is in effect whether it is a physical release or not.

     GJ 
    Duderonomy

  • JuniorJunior 4,853 Posts
    So once in a blue moon there's a new rap track that I want to buy, and it's almost (or totally) impossible to purchase. Can somebody break down the mixtape sales model for me? To avoid copyright they limit releases to streaming only and hope to make money from tour bookings? Or... what? Is there some super-duper top-secret website that physical OR digital is actually being sold?

    I can normally find the stuff (legally) through some distribution site.

    Any examples you can think of where you couldn't find it to purchase it?


  • DuderonomyDuderonomy Haut de la Garenne 7,091 Posts
    Been unable to purchase Spark Master Tape - Kaptain Baseball Bat Boy. I have a 320mpfree which is a lot better than nowt, but would be happy to buy a legit Lossless file, not sure I've even seen it for sale as a CD either. Which distro sites you go to?

    Btw, Datpiff was a good shout for mixtapes Ketan, cheers!
    RhythmGJ

  • JuniorJunior 4,853 Posts
    Hmm yeah, I missed Ketan's Datpiff recommendation. I was going to suggest there or LiveMixtapes. Otherwise, for rap, yeah, they tend to make it available on Soundcloud and often with download but that's always only 320.

    One of my pet gripes is that there's been a number of Soundcloud/vine/youtube rappers who have been signed to a label and then put out nothing but dross - never releasing HQ versions of those first tracks that got them noticed.

  • DuderonomyDuderonomy Haut de la Garenne 7,091 Posts
    RhythmGJ said:
    Copyright is in effect whether it is a physical release or not.

     GJ 

    Going back to the legal aspect, I always thought for promo purposes artists were allowed to be much more flexible with the law. Limiting the run of a release and distributing it for free etc.

    This doesn’t work?


  • RhythmGJRhythmGJ Buffalo, NY 169 Posts
    I'm trying to understand both your question and your thesis. Can you explain differently?

    Are you talking about a track that a new artist recorded over someone else's beat (unauthorized)?

    GJ

  • DuderonomyDuderonomy Haut de la Garenne 7,091 Posts
    I’m making an assumption that not all music needs to go through copyright if there’s no commercial intent. I could be completely wrong, but, for example, if DJs on tour give away mix CDs to concert-goers as a promo, would they be liable for something they weren’t selling? If an artist sold an album and gave a download code to a free set of material with it, does that need to be cleared?
    i don’t know how strict the law is anymore, but it seems that it used to be easier in the past to either sell licensed or give away unlicensed music.

    All of this is with a view towards sample-based music (hip-hop etc) or DJ mixes.

  • RhythmGJRhythmGJ Buffalo, NY 169 Posts

    It's always been an issue, but sometimes it is not pursued legally due to lack of knowledge, resources, or time, or-- because some groups and artists encourage a more "open source" approach. But the law is clear-- profit or no, unauthorized use and distribution of someone else's intellectual property is illegal and actionable. The fact that the law is routinely ignored, or that various rationale or legally-incorrect stretching of the "fair use" doctrine is out there on the Internet only serves to confuse the matter. But copyright laws apply to any intellectual property (in this case, music) that comes out of one's head and is put into a "fixed form" (record, CD, cassette, sound file, written chart or lyric sheet, etc.).

    Copyright issues and understandings, sample clearance and proper attribution (and $$$) have been a part of the parlance of Hip-Hop/Rap since at least the Biz Markie case in 1991.

    I'm saying this coming from a songwriter's/artist's/publisher's/indie label owner's perspective, not just a fan, if that lends any credence to my comments...

    GJ


  • DuderonomyDuderonomy Haut de la Garenne 7,091 Posts
    Pfffffffffft. Well, thanks for the reply. It's a shame in some ways, but understandable. From a consumer point of view, the DJ mix CD game has fallen off - now that they're only done for free (as in "Hey, I can play techno - book me at Berghain! Please!") and nobody seems to sell mix CDs, the quality has dropped to shit imo. And as Junior mentioned, a lot of good hip-hop never seems to even get released or once they're signed, perhaps due to label influence, the legit releases bare little resemblance to the material they were doing before they were thinking about copyright constraints. Or maybe they just try harder before they get signed, and phone it in once the mortgage is paid.

    Basically, it seems to stymie creativity.

  • RhythmGJRhythmGJ Buffalo, NY 169 Posts
    For so many reasons, the mainstream music biz is __________ (insert your own negative epithet here) these days. Orrrr, I'm just getting old. Or both.

    But thankfully there is still so much undiscovered music to get to, sometimes I hardly notice the negative state of things!

    GJ
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