Occaisonally tech news site Tech Crunch will let an entrepreneur, CEO or celebrity plug their digital wares through a guest blog post on the site. Over the weekend they published a post by Nas called “Being More Accessible” in which he pumps his new shopping site 12Society.com and talks about using the internet to become more accesible to fans and promote music. It’s a cool piece, but I’m thinking it was probably ghostwritten:
I truly believe we are at an incredible inflection point in the consumer retail experience: Just how Amazon and eBay opened the railways to a new universe of available products, and Groupon allowed for the discovery of local activities to become accessible and affordable, new resources are changing the entire game once again.
You’re gonna tell me that thought came out of Nas’ head? I’m guessing that part was written by one of his more tech-savvy partners in 12Society. At the very least, somebody slid the Little Homie some talking points. Either way, I don’t care, because at least whoever wrote it is saying stuff like this:
When piracy hit the entertainment industry, artists were distraught and began distrusting their own fan bases. In truth, it was a response borne from confusion rather than logic. The passion the fans had for what we were creating never went away; we just had to evolve to survive in the new digital world.
A huge aspect of that evolution is offering a glimpse into your lifestyle — being more accessible. The power that Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram offer is immense. Being an artist today is not only about being creative in what you produce, but finding creative ways to show people what you’re doing. Artists everywhere took notice when Louis C.K. sold his stand-up special and show tickets without a network backing him on the promotion and distribution. That truly was innovation at its best.
Wow, a Louis C.K. shoutout huh? Somebody has been doing their homework. If you’re gonna pander to the nerds who read Tech Crunch, a name drop like that goes a long way.
So all of that talk about embracing social networking and connecting with fans and redefining retail sounds good, but like much that comes out of Nas’ mouth it’s riddled with contradiction. Nas is of course signed to one of the largest and most confused music conglomerates on the planet so when I read shit like that it comes off as lip service.
If you’re so impressed by what Louis did with Live at the Beacon Theater, what’s stopping you from doing the same? Why don’t you, Nas, one of the most recognizable Rap artists in the world, put out an album indepently on the internet? No label, no big promo budget, just you, your fans and social networking. A move like that by an artist of your caliber could literally change the game.
As a matter of fact, as long as we’re daydreaming let’s go all in. Remember the tweet that dream hampton was replying to when she set off the whole ghostwriting controversy?
@dreamhampton Is Jay really that concerned with losing $ that he cant just say “Fuck my image” and make an Untitled (Nigger album) like Nas?
— Keith N. (@JusAire) August 13, 2012
I think that’s a fair question. I’d sure like to hear that album from Jay. But let’s not sit here and act like Untitled was so fucking revolutionary. The content was adequate, but the fact that it dropped on a major label that wouldn’t let him release it under it’s original title contradicts the whole spirit of the project. What if Nas would’ve said fuck that, the title is gonna be Nigger and sold the shit on Bandcamp? That would’ve been some revolutionary shit.
So here’s my fanboy dream project: Nas and Jay-Z, Black Republican: The Album (bear with me, that’s just a working title). No singles, no radio songs, no guest appearances and no tailoring tracks to large arenas, just Nas and Jay, exchanging verses about real shit over hard beats. Produce it out of pocket and sell it on the internet for 10 bucks. That shit would be a game changer on a couple of different levels. Those two are big enough that they could get the word out without a corporate marketing department and it would not only show other artists that they have options, it would introduce the consumer to a new retail model.
And what is there to lose? Jay already has more money than he can spend in a couple of lifetimes and I’m sure Nas isn’t doing too bad himself. I guess Jay would be risking his #1 album streak by skipping the standard promotional circus, but I think that with all of the buzz something like this would create, that #1 spot would be theirs regardless. It’s probably safe to say something like this will never happen. There’s too much money and ego involved, nevermind the creative challenges that would arise while doing a project like that with two MCs of their stature. But Nas can totally do that shit by himself when his Def Jam contract is up.
Previously: Nas – Hate Me Now (Live @ vitaminwater uncapped)