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Hip-Hop Fridays: Napster Revisited

The ruling against Napster this past week had our minds reflecting over a lost opportunity for Hip-Hop artists. To this date, with notable exception of Chuck D., no Hip-Hop artist of major popularity has embraced the paradigm shift that Napster and MP3 technologies represent. The death knell really wasn't sounded by the court ruling against Napster this week but by Napster's recent agreement to partner with BMG - one of the major labels/distributors - as opposed to a partnership with a group of artists to market and sell downloaded music.

Napster did what it did for survival and one can understand why they are beginning to partner with major distributors as opposed to major artists. Quite frankly, the slowness of Hip-Hop artists in embracing the Internet, as well as their fear of offending the record labels to whom they have signed long-term contracts is as much responsible for Napster's move for self-preservation as anything else.

We looked back at some of our earlier coverage of the Napster issue and today have decided to dust off our rough outline of how Hip-Hop artists could have and still can profit from selling their music over the Internet. As one can see, the success of the plan depends more upon the unity of Hip artists than it does expert understanding of technology.

Here it is How Hip-Hop Artists Could Marry The Internet

We still hope that artists will unite and move forward on this initiative...

Cedric Muhammad

Friday, February 16, 2001

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