Jay-Z's Favorite New Rapper: Free Music Is The Future

from the more-artists-getting-it dept

Haggis points us to an article about a guy who's been called "Jay-Z's favorite new rapper," who seems to be working with all the big names in the music business these days. But, Olubowale Victor Folarin, who goes by the name Wale (pronounced wah-lay) understands the importance of "free" within a business model. After all... it's how he got discovered:
Initially, he gained attention by making mix tapes available for free on the internet. Immediately they caught the eye and ear of musical magpie and producer Mark Ronson.
But, wait... wasn't the RIAA telling us that mixtape makers were criminals who needed to be thrown in jail while having their homes raided by SWAT teams? Looks like Wale understands the lessons of free music:
"Free music is the way for the future. To get your music off the ground you've got to give it away for free at first."
And apparently it's the way of big popular bands as well. So, who is free music bad for again? Oh, right. The folks who bet their entire business on selling plastic discs and refused to embrace what technology allows.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2009 @ 5:26pm

    "To get your music off the ground you've got to give it away for free at first."

    How can you read this and not see the words "at first"? Jay-z ain't saying give away your music forever, he is saying at first, when you are nobody, and when nobody is going to pay for it anyway.


    Just as importantly, you didn't mention this:

    "Ronson signed the young rapper to his label Allido Records"

    Without which, he would likely still be a stiff pushing free mix tapes on the internet. Damn record labels, always holding new artists down!

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2009 @ 5:49pm

    Re:

    Apparently Interscope Geffen A&M is also involved, with the noted album arising from a venture between it and Allido.

     

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  3.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Aug 19th, 2009 @ 5:55pm

    Re:

    Without which, he would likely still be a stiff pushing free mix tapes on the internet. Damn record labels, always holding new artists down!

    I don't know why you keep saying I am anti-record label. I am not and have said so many times. In fact, I pointed this out to *you* in a comment just last night.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2009 @ 6:02pm

    Music business vs record business. I never thought of them as different before.

     

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  5.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Aug 19th, 2009 @ 6:03pm

    And you can pretty much guarantee that the beats on those free mixtapes were built with plenty of unlicensed samples. But apparently making completely original songs using bits and pieces of others doesn't count as "transformative", somehow.

     

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  6.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Aug 19th, 2009 @ 6:06pm

    Re:

    You sum it up perfectly AC. Record co's have made themselves synonymous with music in the eyes of a lot of people, and that misunderstanding is at the core of all their "moral" arguments.

     

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  7.  
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    DJ (profile), Aug 19th, 2009 @ 6:11pm

    Re:

    In case you haven't noticed:
    There isn't a single person who regularly posts on this forum who is anti "money-making". What people talk about is the fact that the RIAA, and supporters thereof, seem to be anti "make-money-the-way-you-want-to", and instead are pro "make-money-the-way-we-tell-you-to-because-if-you-don't-we-won't-make-any-for-ourselves".

     

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  8.  
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    DJ (profile), Aug 19th, 2009 @ 6:24pm

    Re:

    Oh yes, because there is not now, nor has there ever been, any such thing as an original artist.
    And before you go and make some ill-educated claim about there not being any more possible original scores, you need to go educate yourself. Musical combinations are infinite. Infinite: immeasurable, unlimited, unbounded, etc.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2009 @ 6:55pm

    So the general public has no say in what the government does because the corporations pull the strings. Fair enough. If the government has its way copyright would last forever minus one day. Instead, why doesn't the general public come to a compromise with artists and record labels. We decide, as consumers, how long we think copyright should last. Say I decide 7 years or less. The date is Aug 19th 2009. Then I refuse to buy a CD unless there is a provision on the front of the CD cover that says something to the extent of "this CD is released under a creative commons license after Aug 19th 2016" or some sooner date. That way the artist/record label can create the work for the public and in return they get something in return but the deal is mutually beneficial and fair for both parties. If the CD says that the copyright expires in 20 years I simply won't buy it. If it says 5 years then I may buy it. No one buys a CD unless there is an explicit provision on the CD itself (and on the cover where everyone can see it before even buying the CD) that says exactly when the CD will be released to the public domain and if you think the time is within the scope of a fair time. No copyright extensions apply to these CD's or works of art whatsoever, the agreement was between the buyer and the seller and the agreement is not to be broken by any court or copyright extension later on. If everyone absolutely refuses to buy CD's unless such a provision exists for, say, 5 years or whatever we think is reasonable, the record labels/artists would have no choice but to comply.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2009 @ 7:00pm

    Re:

    and the same thing should apply to video games or anything else that's copyright. There, I solved our copyright problem assuming enough people participate. Now we just need to figure out a way to solve our patent problem.

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2009 @ 7:56pm

    Re: Re:

    You aren't "anti-record label", you are just against record labels making money or having any control over their investments.

    Effectively, you want record labels to exist but you don't really want them to get paid.

    Yet, right in front of your face, is exactly the reason record labels exist: Mark Ronson find a new talent, and before investing a PENNY in developing this guy, he makes sure his investments are going to be somewhat secure. How much is Mark Ronson's time worth? Studio time? Getting all those other name singers to appear?

    If the record labels weren't doing what they are doing, this guy would likely be pushing mix tapes on the internet to this day. Who would be paying all the money to get this guy going?

    Mike, what do you want to record labels to do?

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2009 @ 8:42pm

    The shills that can't even be bothered to read other posts are the most amusing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Aug 19th, 2009 @ 10:32pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    You aren't "anti-record label", you are just against record labels making money or having any control over their investments.

    I have explained, quite clearly (directly to you, in fact) that this is totally untrue. What I'm talking about is helping them embrace business models that help them make MORE money.

    Yet, right in front of your face, is exactly the reason record labels exist: Mark Ronson find a new talent, and before investing a PENNY in developing this guy, he makes sure his investments are going to be somewhat secure. How much is Mark Ronson's time worth? Studio time? Getting all those other name singers to appear?

    Exactly. It's worth a lot. That's why record labels will continue to exist. You seem to be arguing my point.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2009 @ 12:14am

    THEM STEALERS ARE DESTROYING FREE MUSIC!!!

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2009 @ 5:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "I have explained, quite clearly (directly to you, in fact) that this is totally untrue. What I'm talking about is helping them embrace business models that help them make MORE money."

    Sorry Mike, but the parts of the business that you suggest will make "more money" are not parts that the record labels are in (live shows, merchandise). Record labels aren't into that, and the groups that are (like Live Nation) will likely be targets for Mike Masnick Junior in 30 years, who will bitch that "the conglomerates" are holding artists down and making them work slave contracts for pennies on the ticket.

    "Exactly. It's worth a lot. That's why record labels will continue to exist. You seem to be arguing my point."

    Exactly, I and no, I am not arguing your point. If you take all of the potential income out of the record labels, exactly how do they afford to do any of this? Answer, they don't.

    You have yet to put forward a single idea that will help the sellers of music make money money, unless they change to a completely different business (not business model, but business).

     

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  16.  
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    dilbert rocks, Aug 20th, 2009 @ 6:14am

    So what about this quote?

    "Free music is the way for the future. To get your music off the ground you've got to give it away for free at first"

    Mike, why is your headline so misleading? Jay-z didn't say "free music is the way of the future" alone, noticed the huge qualifier "give it away for free at first". It would appear he is saying only that giving away your music is like running a poster campaign for your next bar gig or whatever, something that is done "at first" to "get your music off the ground"

    I don't see him suggesting for a second that free music if the future, period.

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Nick Novitski, Aug 20th, 2009 @ 8:17am

    Re: Infinite Music

    There are infinite musical combinations only for certain restrictive values of "musical." Many combinations of tonal noise are effectively unusable. And human music is, sadly, quite bounded by finite human upper and lower limits on frequency, volume, and speed. And that's all without limiting yourself to entirely unique songs that at no point repeat any two second or longer segment from any other song.

    On the discussion in general, there's nothing that says the various businesses of:

    • Producing music
    • Promoting music
    • Distributing music
    ...all have to be done by the same people. If someone invented some kind of crazy super-cheap "publish it yourself and everyone in the world can see it" platform (perhaps it could be called the "Internet"), then distribution would go away, but that wouldn't stop the other facets (and forgive me if I'm missing any) from continuing to deliver value and make money.

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2009 @ 8:27am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Hey, it's not Mike that's saying the current business models aren't working, it's the Record Labels complaining that they're losing sales.

    And it's the artists that are complaining about restrictive contracts, and the customers complaining about restrictive DRM and prices.

    You really think that Mike has anything to do with Record Labels going out of business? It's the Record Label's job to stay relevant, not anyone else's. Mike just reports on their own complaints, and provides possible explanations and alternatives.

     

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  19.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Aug 20th, 2009 @ 10:10am

    Re: So what about this quote?

    Mike, why is your headline so misleading? Jay-z didn't say "free music is the way of the future" alone, noticed the huge qualifier "give it away for free at first". It would appear he is saying only that giving away your music is like running a poster campaign for your next bar gig or whatever, something that is done "at first" to "get your music off the ground"

    I don't see him suggesting for a second that free music if the future, period.


    Um. Let me quote him: "Free music is the way for the future."

    We're not even talking reading comprehension at this point. Just reading.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2009 @ 12:11pm

    Re: Re: So what about this quote?

    Mike, nice try, but fail. You are taking the quote without the qualifying statement right after.

    Again, nice try, and nice avoidance of all the other questions in my post.

    Excellent how you just try to dismiss anyone that doesn't agree with you.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2009 @ 12:59pm

    "There isn't a single person who regularly posts on this forum who is anti 'money-making'."
    -----------------

    You must be typing on a braille keyboard. There is often someone espousing collectivist, socialist, anti-capitalist tripe. There are often quips about people "making too much money" or "it shouldn't be about the money" or 'greedy this, greedy that" or the near constant insinuation that "REAL artists don't care about profit". Credit where it's due, I will admit these sentiments are less infrequent here than some of the other places.


    "What people talk about is the fact that the RIAA, and supporters thereof, seem to be anti 'make-money-the-way-you-want-to', and instead are pro 'make-money-the-way-we-tell-you-to-because-if-you-don't-we-won't-make-any-for-ourselves'."
    -------- ------------------

    LOL

    If only that were true, I would have no problem with any of you! Unfortunately, you have it completely backwards. The Freemunism crowd does not subscribe to a "live and let live" philosophy in regard to business models. They are not content to do their own thing and prove they're right by example. Instead, they want EVERYONE to adopt free no matter what. They push to repeal long-standing copyright laws (even though anyone can voluntarily opt out of them), to legalize infringement or neuter the policies that define it as such. If the Freemunists were ACTUALLY confident in what they preach they would be willing to simply sit and wait for the free content to slowly and naturally overtake the proprietary content as it ultimately would if the quality/value between the two was perceived as the same. If the Freemunist ethic is correct than there is nothing to fear, nothing to rally against, it is simply a matter of time.

    But apparently they are not confident and there is something to fear because they are very much against the studios and labels making money by selling copies and choose to voice this opinion on websites like this one and indirectly by partaking in industrial-size levels of piracy the inverse-equivalent of which would be if the studios and labels were to unlawfully sell the creative commons stuff for their own personal profit which of course is not happening.

    Nice try though.

    "Um. Let me quote him: 'Free music is the way for the future.'"
    ----------------------

    Not accurate reporting. There was no period after the word "future". You are conveniently omitting the second part of the quote that disagrees with you.

    Also there seems to be some confusion as to who actually made the quote you're misquoting. It wasn't Jay-Z.

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    batch, Aug 20th, 2009 @ 1:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The record industry brought this upon themselves and no one has to help you out, especially after all the ill-will you've managed to engender with your customers. Lower prices, quit reinvesting customers money into garbage, auto tuned music, drop all lawsuits and refund all settlements. All you leeches are just in it for a quick buck yet get all self righteous when customers return the favor? Here is how you will make money: put out a product I want to buy. If you can't figure out what people don't want to buy (hint: its the garbage you're currently selling) then you are completely unreasonable in expecting to have a paying job.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2009 @ 1:53pm

    "Credit where it's due, I will admit these sentiments are less infrequent here than some of the other places."
    --------------

    Errr, "less frequent" rather.

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2009 @ 2:26pm

    Re:

    Thanks for the support there fellow coward. Yes, Mike wrote a somewhat misleading headline that sort of implies that Jay-Z might feel a certain way, when it fact it's Wales saying it. Jay-Z has nothing to do with the quotes at all.

    Amazing isn't it?

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    Ben Zayb, Aug 20th, 2009 @ 6:34pm

    Re:

    "You must be typing on a braille keyboard. There is often someone espousing collectivist, socialist, anti-capitalist tripe."

    Whoever told you that collectivism, socialism, and anti-capitalism are anti-money-making?

    If everything else you wrote is based on that assumption, then you just wasted a lot of your time typing and overheating your small brain.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Aug 20th, 2009 @ 11:43pm

    Re:

    Not accurate reporting. There was no period after the word "future". You are conveniently omitting the second part of the quote that disagrees with you.

    Um. First there was a period. Thanks for playing. Second, I did not omit the second sentence. I included it.

    Again, we're not even talking reading comprehension here. We're talking reading.

    Also there seems to be some confusion as to who actually made the quote you're misquoting. It wasn't Jay-Z.

    Not by anyone who can read. I never said Jay-Z said it. I said "Jay'Z's favorite new rapper" which is how he was described in the original article.

    You can't really be that clueless can you?

     

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  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2009 @ 6:50am

    Re: Re:

    Mike, seriously: You quoted a single sentence, but not the thought. In doing so, you gave a very large misrepresentation of what he said. Yes, you did post both quotes later, but the headline as a result is terribly misleading.

    "Again, we're not even talking reading comprehension here. We're talking reading."

    Again, we are talking writing ability here.

    Mike, one of the major mistakes that most amateur writers (including myself) make is that we forget that people cannot read out minds. The way your wrote this article is very misleading, the title doesn't tell the truth, the structure misleads as to who said what, and the quote is taken out of context to push your own agenda.

    Simply the title could have been "Wale says you 'got to give it away for free at first' ", which would have been a much more accurate quote, and would have reflected his true statement. You chose to take the other half of the thought, and attempt to twist it into another "free music free music" chant.

    "You can't really be that clueless can you?"

    That's the problem you are having - plenty of us posting here AREN'T the clueless, and we aren't swallowing the pap you are trying to shovel on the masses. You can twist it as hard as you like, some of us saw the truth and it wasn't anything like what you were trying to push off in this article.

    Mike, you need to step back just a little bit and think: "does this article really say this?" and "Am I explaining accurately and completely what I am thinking?". In this case, you misrepresented what the artist was saying (completely thought), and you did a very poor job of explaining who said what.

    Might I suggest some remedial journalism lessons? ;)

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2009 @ 11:10am

    "Um. First there was a period."
    -----------------

    really? I see a comma after the word "future" not a period as you've reported. This indicates that the sentiment is not yet completed, otherwise there would be a new paragraph. So when you say:

    "Um. Let me quote him: 'Free music is the way for the future.'" (which is what I was responding to)

    It then becomes pretty clear you're trying to play an angle.

    And given that the ENTIRE sentiment boils down to "free at first, then make them pay next time" I don't see how this news item is, in any way, congruous with the things you're proposing. Rather, it seems like you just wanted the name "Jay-Z" and the phrase "Free Music is the Future" next to each other in big bold letters.

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2009 @ 11:29am

    The original quote in the news report:

    ""Free music is the way for the future," says Wale, real name Olubowale Victor Folarin. "To get your music off the ground you've got to give it away for free at first." "

    Sorry Mike, you punted this one into the weed. Perhaps you can turn down the dismissive and arrogant attitude just a bit and admit you are wrong? Can you admit you are trying to stretch a story to meet your ideals?

    Come on Mike, man up. (notice the comma)

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2009 @ 3:12pm

    *crickets*

    Mike? Knock knock?

     

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  31.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Aug 21st, 2009 @ 3:18pm

    Re:

    Heh. Can't believe I'm responding to this, but one little lesson in basic English writing. Note that the next part of the quote starts with a capital letter? Uh huh. Right. See, that's because the previous sentence was a complete thought. It finishes with a period. The BBC author included who said it, but it was still a complete sentence that he said.

    Free music is the way for the future. PERIOD. Then, he noted that it was a good way to get your music off the ground, which was a second sentence.

    Ok. Fun trolling with you.

     

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  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2009 @ 4:05pm

    Re: Re:

    The masnick brush off strikes again.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2009 @ 4:41pm

    Re: Re:

    Too bad you don't answer the other questions.

    It is also too bad that you are reading words and not the guy's expression. The second part of the quote is a significant qualifier that changes the first part dramatically.

    You quote out of context, you are misleading as to who said it, etc. It looks like you were just desperately trying to Jay-z's name into the title, no matter how confusing. I suspect you are looking for SEO for "Jay-z" and ""free music in the way of the future".

    One day Google will figure out your pattern, and boom, gone.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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