El-P Embraces Early Leak Of New Album, True Fans Vow Support

from the that's-how-it's-done dept

I had a nice moment when I saw this and hesitated to write about it. As we see more and more and more artists (even Metallica!) embrace early leaked copies of their albums, it's getting less and less newsworthy—which is fantastic. Still, I was pleased to see that rapper/producer El-P (one of my personal all-time favorite artists, who I was lucky enough to interview briefly years ago) had a great reaction to the leak of his much-anticipated new album, expressing his support and offering up some reasons to buy:

elephant in the room: i know a lot of yall already got the album. im ok with that. if you enjoy it and can afford to support me doing more music hit up www.definitivejux.net and pre order. there are dope deals on there. love, el

The pre-order packages include some cool, if somewhat basic, extras like signed posters and limited edition colored vinyls. Judging from the reaction in the comments of the Facebook post, plenty of fans have downloaded it but still want the official copy, and some are even vowing to wait for its release rather than listen to the leak. One states that even if he didn't like the new album he would still buy it "as a thank you for your sonic contribution to my life". Now that's what true fandom looks like—and artists who cultivate it don't have to worry about leaks and piracy.

Filed Under: el-p, leak, reason to buy, true fans


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  1. icon
    el-p (profile), 1 May 2012 @ 11:46am

    first off, thanks to leigh for emailing me today and thanks to everyone here for your ideas and comments. its clear he (and all of you) care about this subject. the truth is i really don't fully know how i feel about it all and i'm not sure that i'm smart enough to fully tackle the subject. it's tricky.

    all i know is that i believe in operating within the realties that exist now and treating fans with respect within the context of those realties. i don't agree with the draconian and aggressive manner in which the RIAA and others have reacted to those realities and i wont be caught trying to put band aids on cracks in the dam. i'd rather let that bitch flood and build a boat. that said, i cringe a bit when people disregard how tough it is for working musicians to deal with the new paradigm. cut us some slack. its all relatively new and we are trying our best to navigate choppy waters.

    i want to trust that if people like my music they will support me. my heart tells me thats the case. i also know for a fact that many of the people that say they will support or even genuinely intend to may not, being that they have the finished product (or at least the most important piece of it) in their hands already. its just common sense.

    so how do i feel? whats the right way? fuck if i know. but i'll adapt and i'll do it with respect and class and not kicking and screaming. theres a hell of a lot i could say about both sides of this particular subject, but honestly does it matter? you all have formed your opinions on it already and in the end people like me are still out here trying to make a living no matter what those opinions are... right, wrong or in-between.

    i will say (and this is a portion of what i wrote to leigh today):

    in these debates (no matter what venue) the artist almost always seems to be treated/viewed as a child. either we dont understand whats good for us, cant control whats happening to us, cant comprehend whats bad for us or we are not wise enough to be grateful for what we are handed. its a debate that rages on almost exclusively without the input of the artist themselves.

    and maybe thats how it needs to be. at the end of the day we are trying to make a living doing what we love and it's on us to determine how we handle it. im not sure any artist owes any explanation to anyone about the nuances of that, and im not sure anyone else can really understand what its like as an artist to negotiate all this unless they deal with it in the same way. everything takes on a different tone when paying your rent enters in to the debate. but don't make the mistake of treating us condescendingly or with pity. i am not "begging" for anything by asking people to support by pre ordering if they enjoy the record. i'm trying to solidify and encourage the relationship i have with the people who i make the music for in the context of todays reality. simple as that.

    i for one am determined to make the realities of todays music business work for me as best i can. i do not see the point in blaming the fans for a technological (and now cultural) reality that we all are involved in. they are my fans. they are my supporters. i think if i do my job and make something passionate and good then they'll be motivated to engage with me. between me and them i'm sure we can figure out how to give each other what we need so we can continue to have a relationship. i'm not too worried about it.

    for now i think we are finally settling in to a decent place with it all. of course if when my record drops and i don't sell shit i might end up with a bit of a different take on it all. i reserve that right, but i doubt it.

    anyway thanks for reading and thanks for taking the time to talk about all this. i'm going to drink some coffee and eat a bagel now. also, my cat won't stop meowing.

    best, el

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