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Recent Headlines
(from May 2000)


5.28.2000  Chuck D/ Tom Silverman Speak About Napster
(from Davey D's website)

Yesterday there were big doings in the nation's capitol as everything from normalizing trade with China to downloading music was discussed. The House Committee on Small Business tackled the the issues surrounding the Internet. The four main figures who spoke included Chuck D of Public Enemy/Rapstation.com, Tom Silverman -CEO of Tommy Boy Records, Peter Harter-Vice President of Emusic.com and Ric Dube-the senior editor of Webnoize. After the hearing, Chuck squared off with Metallica lawyer Howard King on CNN. I didn't get a chance to peep that particular conversation, but I do know last night Rapstation.com was flooded with a ton on email from all sorts of people singing praises for Chuck. We got letters from everyone from hardcore rockers who hate rap but appreciated Chuck's passion and keen insight to Jimmy Castor of the Jimmy Castor Bunch who also gave Chuck two thumbs up. Folks weren't really feeling Howard King.

As for the hearing on Capitol Hill, the arguments came down to the main issues we have already discussed in previous issues of the FNV. The industry folks feel Napster and other operations will unfairly suck profits from artists. This assertion was supported by a new study that was released yesterday which showed that record stores near college campuses where Napster is mostly used had dropped by 4% while overall music sales were up 12% during the first few months of this year. Tommy Boy CEO and Hip Hop record pioneer Tom Silverman spoke passionately as he explained that many of his artists no longer trust leaving him copies of unfinished work for fear of it leaking out onto the Internet. He noted there is a 'culture of infringement' where people who would never dream of stealing from a record store now somehow got it twisted in their heads that its not stealing and in fact is ok, when illegally downloading songs. Now I'm not one to point fingers or anything like that and Tom's a good guy and all- He's definitely made his mark within Hip Hop. However, when I heard about his remarks I immediately went to the radio station's music library and looked at the two Sony MP3 Sticks Tom surprised us with when he graciously sent them to us the other week. Certainly Tom didn't intend for us to use the Sony Sticks to illegally download music. That's why upon hearing his remarks, I told our music directors Glen Aure and Larry Jackson that they shouldn't have illegally downloaded that ----- album to start playing on air :-).

Chuck D and Peter Harter, advocated for new ways of doing business. Chuck continues to see the Internet as a great equalizer that offers access to an overly controlled and stifled field. He feels the music distribution is in the hands of a precious few who rarely have the best interest of the artist or consumer in mind. He's looking for more and more artist to by pass the music industry middle man and connect directly with fans. Harter, who's company is the largest online retailer of authorized MP3 files suggested that a business model of subscriptions to online music sites where music is swapped be developed. He feels there's plenty of room for growth.

Overall everyone agreed that there should be no additional anti-piracy laws and that folks should seek to find creative, mutually beneficial business models. Unfortunately a Washington Think Tank called the Progressive Policy Institute wants to change federal copyright laws so that judges will have more power to punish music pirates. They also want to require Internet companies to collect more detailed personal data on users which will make it easier for the RIAA and others within the industry to track folks down for prosecution. This particular think tank has been a key policy shaping body to the Clinton administration. The tone of the new proposals will be seen as many as a way to trample over people's privacy but then again this is rapidly becoming a Clinton hallmark [see the next story]. We'll keep you posted as this unfolds..


5.28.2000  Chuck D Speaks to Congress
(from Vibe website)

Chuck D testified to Congress' Committee on Small Business yesterday supporting downloadable music on the Internet from companies such as Napster. Chuck D said about Napster, "I can get my music out this way, but more importantly, guys who don't have a record deal can be heard worldwide. So many artists don't get a chance to be on the radio or MTV or be on a major label. This is how they get heard. Why would you want to deny them that?"

Opposing Chuck D in the debate was Tommy Boy CEO, Tommy Silverman. He compared downloading music as a "culture of infringement." He said, "Perfectly reasonable people who would never walk into a Tower Records and steal a compact disc because they believe it to be wrong are doing the same thing on the Internet when they seek out and download illegal copies of music."

In related Tommy Boy news, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Silverman is speaking with potential investors and partners regarding the possibility of buying back 50% of the label from Warner Music when their joint-venture deal expires next year. Silverman said in a statement, "Tommy Boy's relationship over the last 14 years with Warner Music Group has always been a great one filled with mutual respect." Tommy Boy said that they may continue their joint venture with Warner.


5.28.2000  Congress Welcomes The Enemy
(from NME.com

CHUCK D described MP3 as "the radio of the new millennium" and said the record industry must "start from scratch" while speaking to a Congressional Committee in WASHINGTON.

The Committee is studying online music sharing and distribution, and the Public Enemy singer, a fierce defender of MP3, told them on Wednesday (24 May) the role of sites like Napster was important to established artists but was vital to bands without record deals.

US website www.sonicnet.com reported him as saying: "I can get my music out this way, but more importantly, guys who don’t have a record deal can be heard worldwide. So many artists don’t get a chance to be on the radio or MTV, or be on a major label. This is how they get heard. Why would you wanna deny them that?"

He added: "The big four [record companies] control so much of the business, that as an artist, I get major beef. This system needs to be eradicated and we must start from scratch."


5.25.2000 17:41 gmt   Chuck D Throws Support Behind Napster
(from music365 website)
CHUCK D
praised Napster at the Congressional Hearing at Capitol Hill, Washington DC yesterday (Wednesday, May 24).

The rapper, who was there to promote business on the Internet, called downloadable music "the radio of the new millennium" according to American web site Sonicnet.

In the testimony Chuck told the congressional committee studying music sharing and distribution online: "So many artists don't get a chance to be on the radio or MTV, or be on a major label. This is how they get hear. Why would you wanna deny them that?"

Critics of Napster, for example Metallica and fellow rap star Dr Dre, claim that the MP3-trading software allows users to get their hands on music illegally. Napster links users online, allowing them to search each others MP3 collections and download good quality copies from users' hard drives without having to pay for the songs.

Tom Silverman, the CEO of hip hop label Tommy Boy Records, testified as an opponent of Napster. During this testimony he said: "The current culture of the Internet can be described as a culture of infringement. This culture of infringement is based on the notion that used of the Internet - because it is new and exciting and makes copying and distribution easy, fast and cheap - somehow makes the copying and distribution of copyrighted material acceptable. It's not."

Meanwhile, Chuck championed the web site for what it can offer to unsigned artists. He said: "I can get my music out this way, but more importantly, guys who don't have a record deal can be heard worldwide." He dismissed record companies concerns about loosing money declaring: "The big four control so much of the business, that as an artist, I got a major beef. This system needs to be eradicated, and we must start from scratch."

The findings of the hearing may be used by the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Courts and Intellectual Property, as they are currently preparing legislation on e-commerce and copyright-protection.

Now see the 365 Guide To Napster.

Why are Metallica suing Napster? See 365's exclusive News Interview with Lars Urlich and James Hetfield.


5.24.2000 11:18 pm edt 
Chuck D Praises Napster At Congressional Hearing:  Informational committee session intended for e-commerce, copyright-protection legislation.
(from SonicNet website)
contributing Editor Bob Margolis reports:
WASHINGTON — Rapper and Napster supporter Chuck D called downloadable music "the radio of the new millennium" in testimony Wednesday (May 24) before a congressional committee studying online music sharing and distribution.

"So many artists don't get a chance to be on the radio or MTV, or be on a major label," Chuck D said. "This is how they get heard. Why would you wanna deny them that?"

But Napster critics — such as heavy-metal band Metallica and rapper Dr. Dre, who are suing the San Mateo, Calif., company for copyright infringement — claim the MP3-trading software allows users to acquire music illegally. Napster links users online, allowing them to search each others' MP3 collections and download near-CD-quality songs from users' hard drives without paying for the songs.

Napster proponents view the service as a way for unknown bands to be heard. Napster opponents, such Tommy Boy Records CEO Tom Silverman, contend it facilitates intellectual-property theft.

"The current culture of the Internet can be described as a culture of infringement," Silverman testified. "This culture of infringement is based on the notion that use of the Internet — because it is new and exciting and makes copying and distribution easy, fast and cheap — somehow makes the copying and distribution of copyrighted material acceptable. It's not."

But Chuck D said he champions the site for what it offers signed and unsigned artists. "I can get my music out this way, but more importantly, guys who don't have a record deal can be heard worldwide," he said.

The rapper dismissed concerns about artists' or record companies' revenue lost to MP3 trading via Napster.

"The big four control so much of the business, that as an artist, I got a major beef," he said. "This system needs to be eradicated, and we must start from scratch."

But Silverman said many Tommy Boy artists are afraid even to share their works in progress with label representatives who regularly work with them, fearing their records will be traded on Napster before the final product is on store racks.

Others testifying before the Committee on Small Business hearing included Emusic.com Vice President Peter Harter and Webnoize analyst Ric Dube.

The committee has been looking at e-commerce issues for several months. Its findings are expected to be used by the House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Courts and Intellectual Property, which is preparing e-commerce and copyright-protection legislation.


5.24.2000 8:25 pm edt  Chuck D Takes the Congressional Mike
(from Yahoo Daily News)

Chuck D grabbed the mike for an unusual audience--terminally unhip lawmakers--but politicos are listening intently to the rapper's thoughts on Internet music piracy.

The Napster-MP3 debate finally hit Capitol Hill today, as musicians, execs and Internet policy wonks made their cases both for and against music-swapping on the Internet. It's a debate already raging in courtrooms and among music fans, thanks to high-profile lawsuits against Napster by Metallica and Dr. Dre.

Today's arguments before the House Small Business Committee were no different: Pro-industry forces say Napster and its brethren will suck profits from artists and hobble the industry, while pro-Internet folks like Chuck D say Napster will simply keep record labels in check. Public Enemy frontman Chuck D has been a vocal proponent of the Internet revolution, launching his own site, Rapstation.com, and expounding on the wonders of MP3 song-swapping.

But already, there's proof that music downloads have hurt the recording industry's business. According to a study released today by the digital rights firm Reciprocal Inc., music sales dropped considerably at stores near college campuses--where Napster is most popular, thanks to speedy network connections.

Music sales were up 12 percent during the first three months of 2000, but they've dropped 4 percent at stores located within five miles of college campuses. Those retailers usually account for half of all albums bought.

Tom Silverman, chief executive of rap label Tommy Boy Records, told lawmakers that Napster's popularity shows a "culture of infringement," in which "perfectly reasonable people who would never walk into a Tower Records and steal a compact disc because they believe it to be wrong are doing the same thing on the Internet when they seek out and download illegal copies of music."

Both sides, however, seem to agree that new anti-piracy laws are not needed...at least not now.

But the idea has come up. A think tank called the Progressive Policy Institute is now pushing its own Internet "compromise," saying copyright laws should be changed so companies like Napster will have to collect personal information about its users. That way, judges can grant injunctions against Internet pirates more easily.

It's a new idea (and probably equally scary to invasion-of-privacy watchdogs), but lawmakers say they're just trying to get a handle on the whole Napster debate.

"We're still seeing what the courts are doing with the current laws," Representative James Talent (Republican-Missouri) tells the Associated Press. "What I wanted to with this hearing is law the groundwork for whatever action we may think is appropriate."


5.24.2000  Chuck D Testifies to Congress Over Internet
(from music365 website)

CHUCK D
is due to testify before Congress in Washington DC, USA today (Wednesday May 24) promoting business on the Internet.

The Public Enemy frontman takes on the role of "star witness" at the House Committee on Small Business hearing which is being held to consider the possibilities created for entrepreneurs on the Internet.

Chuck will speak on behalf of the Internet businessman as his web site Rapstation.com includes the availability of free MP3 downloads. He has also been affiliated with several other Internet ventures.

He will be joined by several music industry and small business experts who will testify positively about the prospects of small record labels and unknown musical acts using the Internet as a tool to sell their music. The House Committee on Small Business will then debate whether these emerging technologies will be an advantage or disadvantage to the music industry.

Rapstation.com was launched last year and features a radio station with original programming, a television station, interviews, news and a forum for political expression and discussion as well as the opportunity to download new and exclusive tracks.



5.24.2000 5:18 am pt  E-music: Chuck D goes to Capitol Hill
(from ZDNet website) by Marilynn Wheeler, ZDNet News

Listen up, Congress. The rapster and other digital music insiders make a case for online music to the House Committee on Small Business on Wednesday.

An Internet policy expert is chiding Napster Inc. for not seizing its chance to shape the future of online music.

Peter Harter, a lawyer and lobbyist who has specialized in Internet issues since 1993, is scheduled to testify Wednesday before the House Committee on Small Business. Rap star Chuck D, an outspoken advocate for the free flow of music online, is also on the docket.

Chuck D has said he supports Napster in its fight to allow music sharing. Lawsuits filed by the Recording Industry Association of America, Metallica and Dr. Dre have accused Napster of encouraging music piracy by allowing its users to share copyrighted music.

"It's hard for startups to pay attention to government regulation," said Harter, the vice president for public policy at the downloadable music retailer EMusic. "They don't have the time or the money -- they're focused on growing their company. But when you're in a situation like Napster, you have to have your voice out there."

Whatever the company does will affect the future of the digital music industry by setting new precedents in the areas of copyright and intellectual property.

Napster's time is now
"By its action, Napster is creating a record of events that people will refer to, and those actions may have unintended consequences," Harter said. "Unless Napster gets involved in the public policy process in Washington -- and attempts to shape the regulation of copyright in its favor -- it may not be long for this world."

Harter said he hopes his testimony will make it clear that companies selling music legally over the Internet are succeeding.

"The Big Five record companies have such a tight grip on music distribution and marketing that independent artists and small labels have been left in the shadows," Harter said. "The Internet has enabled independent labels to garner a new market share and increase their revenues -- EMusic has demonstrated that in its two years of existence."

Wednesday's informational hearing is a chance for the committee to explore the business models that exist for online music, according to Dwayne Andrews for the House Committee on Small Business.

Specifically, he said, the committee wants to know how small music labels and artists are faring as file-sharing software, such as Napster, makes it easy for fans to freely access copyrighted music.

Focusing on the little guys
"A lot of the focus has been on the big labels," Andrews said in a prepared statement. "What about the smaller labels and online businesses?"

Wednesday's hearing is strictly informational, although Andrews said committee members can spread the knowledge they gain to other House committees.

"More and more, artists and labels believe in downloads as a way to deliver music online," Harter said. "The big issue is when the major recording labels will put all their content into downloadable music and make it available at affordable prices."

The Progressive Policy Institute, the think tank for the Democratic Leadership Council, has proposed reopening the Digital Millennium Copyright Act in an effort to shift current penalties on service providers like Napster to the people who use it to engage in music piracy.

"The copyright community and the Net community worked for years on the careful compromises in the DMCA, and Napster breaks those compromises," Harter said.

Can't toss copyright law
But changing the law is a dramatic step -- and one Harter is not yet prepared to support.

"Copyright law has been around for 200 years or so and has worked pretty well. You can't just throw it out," he said.

Some people in the digital music industry maintain there's no longer any need for commercial copyrights. But Harter said it's too early to judge.

It is, after all, a young industry, he said. "I think it's naive to think you can do without copyright law after the experience of only a few years."


5.23.2000 12:36 bst  Public Enemy Announce More Dates For Europe
(From Music365 website)
PUBLIC ENEMY have added an extra Dublin gig to their list of shows in the UK and Europe this summer.

The band will play their first shows in the Irish Republic for four years at the Dublin Red Box on June 2 and 4. Tickets are on sale now.

As previously reported on he legendary rap stars will also play:

UK Bristol New Trinity (May 26)
Winchester Homelands (27)
Italy Sardinia Olbia Festival (28)
Cech Republic Prague venue tba (31)
Austria Vienna venue tba (June 1)
UK Glasgow Homelands (3)
London Stratford Rex (5)

They will be supported by Slum Village at the London show.


5.23.2000  Flava Flav Still Flavor Full :  P.E. hypeman is back on the scene
(from Manhunt website) Words: Eurweb

*Yeeeah Boyeee. Ha, ha! That's right y'all. FlavaFlav is up in this motha.

OK, that's enough of that. We ran into Chuck D's hypeman while at a recent event, and he told us what he's been up to. "Well right now I have a solo single that's out in stores. It's called 'Get On Down,' and I'm on the other side of that as well with a song called 'Hot One.' I got a bonus beat on there too. You get three singles for the price of one. My first album will be out in June so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. The name of my album is 'It's About Time.' It's 8 1/2 years late, but it's finally here." Well, if you've been checking for Flav, there it is. He's also online at www.flavorflav.com


5.15.2000  Mom Gun Protest Under Fire From Professor Griff
(from NME.com)
PUBLIC ENEMY’s PROFESSOR GRIFF has slammed yesterday's (May 14) anti-gun protest, the Million Mom March in Washington, which was supported by Hole‘s Courtney Love.

The protest, which saw 750,000 women converge on the city, called for a tightening up in America‘s gun laws.

The star, real name Richard Griff, said: "I'm not sure what it will achieve. It doesn't address the real issue, which is that we live in a gun society. Address that and then you start to look at the problems."

Griff, who admits to owning 10 guns, felt that a previous parade in Washington, 1995's Million Man March, which was organised under the auspices of Nation Of Islam, meant more.

He admitted: "Sure, I was part of that. That was a special thing. One million black men gathered together, laying down the drugs and the beer and any old prejudice. It didn't matter that it was Nation of Islam - it could have a nation of Mormons, but we were together. It was the start of the healing process for all the wrongs that had been done. It made me a stronger person."

Speaking days before Public Enemy return to the UK for a series of dates, including two as headline acts at Homelands Scotland and England (May 27 and June 3) the Public Enemy Minister Of Information, who landed in hot water almost a decade ago for alleged anti-semitic remarks, also revealed that the band had been in the studio working on new material.

"We have a lot ready," he said. "We should have the album ready for the summer. It's real heavy, back to what we were before. We have to continue making people aware. Its that KRS-1 thing - educainment."

Griff would not be drawn on a possible title for the album, claiming the name of the follow-up to last year's 'There's A Poison Goin’ On' had not yet been decided. However, he did reveal that one of the tracks would be called 'Elvis Killed Kennedy', adding: "Just the name alone is enough to get you thinking."

Griff also said that he and PE main man Chuck Dwere hard at work on their Confrontation Camp side project "rap meets metal crossover, a little like Rage Against The Machine".

Griff also claimed that rest of the band fully supported Chuck D's stance on downloadable MP3 files and the ongoing debate over the rights and wrongs of the Napster website. However, he refused to comment about last Friday's live television debate on the subject between Chuck D and Metallica's Lars Ulrich.

For tickets to the Homelands shows, go to the nme.com Ticketshop - click here

Or call the NME 24-Hour Ticketline on 0870 1 663 663. Calls are charged at national standard rate.


5.15.2000 3:45 pm edt  Metallica's Lars Ulrich Vows To Keep Fighting Illegal MP3s: In TV debate, drummer goes toe-to-toe with rapper Chuck D, who comes to Napster's defense.
(from SonicNet website)  Senior Writer Chris Nelson reports:

Outspoken Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich vowed to battle illegal MP3s to the end, while Net-savvy rapper Chuck D came to the defense of such controversial file-sharing companies as Napster, during a music-piracy debate on PBS' "The Charlie Rose Show" Friday night.

Metallica's copyright-infringement suit against Napster Inc. should serve as a warning to other software makers, Ulrich said.

The hard-rock vets aim to "show to other upstart companies out there that provide similar services that if you're going to do this, people like Metallica — who have very deep pockets, who are very tenacious and very emotionally involved in trying to fight this — [will be] on your back all the time."

Napster links its users online, allowing them to search for MP3s on other users' computers and download them for free, often without permission of the copyright holder. Other programs, such as Gnutella and Scour Exchange, have sprung up in its wake.

During the courteous half-hour exchange, the two artists made many of the same points they've been asserting since Metallica filed its case last month.

Chuck D, leader of Public Enemy and founder of the Rapstation.com online music site, described Napster as a valuable promotion tool that shifts the balance of music-industry power back to music fans, after being controlled too long by lawyers and accountants.

Ulrich made the point that if people get used to having music for free, it will toss the notion of commerce and copyright on its head — a condition already too late to halt, according to Chuck D.

"The former rules are out of the door like an old baseball game," he said.


5.12.2000  Lars and Chuck D: Celebrity Deathmatch
(from Spin website)
Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich and rapper Chuck D will engage in what can only be called a "cat fight" today (Friday) on The Charlie Rose Show on PBS. Charlie Rose is a peach, and there is no one in the world I would rather see moderate a debate on our darling little Napster. Metallica-boy, as we all know, is decidedly anti-Nap, while Chuck D has come out in defense of our Little Buddy. They will debate. Now I will give you that obligatory background paragraph that I am so sick of writing: Metallica and Dr. Dre have already filed copyright infringement suits against the controversial MP3-trading company (the Nap), alleging that the software encourages users to download unauthorized tracks of their material. Metallica even went so far as to hand-deliver the user names of more than 335,000 Nap-lovers who have used the software to illegally download Metallica tracks. In related news, the Metallica lawsuit against our love bug will continue as planned, even after the company did as he was told, and shut off access to all those hundreds of thousands of people. Funny thing is, if you go to Napster now, you can still get Metallica songs. Ha! So anyhow, this Charlie Rose thing is going to be so completely great, there is no doubt in my mind. Unfortunately, I will be on an airplane. Please, tell me how it was.


5.12.2000  Head-to-Head Music
(from NME.com)

PUBLIC ENEMY’s CHUCK D and METALLICA’s LARS ULRICH are set to meet head-to-head in a live US TV debate on the ongoing Napster copyright controversy.

The pair will trade arguments tonight (May 12) on The Charlie Rose Show, a heavyweight American news and current affairs programme that airs every weeknight and is syndicated to over 200 local stations throughout the country. The broadcast starts at 11pm (EST) on PBS and affiliated networks.

Chuck D and Ulrich have been the most vocal of any major music stars in their stance over the MP3 file-swapping software that Napster produces.

The Public Enemy leader has been an outspoken advocate of music availability on the Internet, arguing that far from sounding the death knell of the music industry, such file-swapping devices as Napster provides serves to open up new possibilities for both breaking and established artists.

Ulrich however has made no secret of his desire to put Napster out of business. Metallica are suing the website for some US$10 million for a breach of copyright. They have accused Napster of stealing from them. This week the company were forced to block access to previously available Metallica tracks to over 300,000 of their users. Ulrich had delivered the names to the Californian company's office in a very public publicity stunt last week.

Such is the intensity of the debate that it has now reached the US government. Chuck D has been called to testify on the issue in front of a senate congressional hearing on May 24.

Joining Ulrich and Chuck D on tonight’s show will be a collection of authors and journalists, including Malcolm Gladwell from The New Yorker.


5.12.2000  Chuck D Goes Before Congress
(from Rolling Stone website)

PUBLIC ENEMY's CHUCK D, Napster's most vocal supporter, will testify about online music copyright issues before the House Small Business Committee in a Congressional hearing on May 24. In other Napster news, the site took home two Webby Awards on Thursday night at San Francisco's Grace Cathedral. Napster won the sole Webby (awarded for excellence on the Internet) for best music site as well as taking home a People's Voice award for music as well . . .


5.12.2000 
Chuck D To Testify For Public Enemy No1
(from Dotmusic website)

Public Enemy's Chuck D will take part in a congressional hearing that will address the issue of music availability on the Internet.

Chuck is expected to speak out in favour of the controversial Napster software which allows Internet users to trade MP3 music files and has prompted a high profile legal case fought out between the company, the Recording Industry Association of America, and artists like Metallica and Dr Dre.

The rapper recently voiced his opinions on Napster in an editorial in the New York Times in which he argued that the legal action against the company illustrated the archaic nature of the American music industry.

Chuck has long been an outspoken supporter of Internet based music distribution and this time last year made the band's last album, and their first not to be released by Def Jam Records, available online.


5.11.2000 12:00 pm  Chuck D Vs. Lars Ulrich
(from Allstar News website) by Carrie Borzillo

Public Enemy frontman Chuck D and Metallica's Lars Ulrich will go head-to-head on the Napster.com controversy on The Charlie Rose Show on PBS this Friday (May 12). Ulrich, anti-Napster, and Chuck D, pro-Napster, will debate the different sides of this issue.



5.11.2000 1:16 pm edt  Chuck D To Testify Before Congress On Napster, Online Music: Small Business Committee meets May 24 to examine business models in era of free music.
(from SonicNet website)
Senior Writer Chris Nelson reports:

Rapper Chuck D will testify before a congressional committee this month on Napster and online music, a committee spokesperson said.

"One of the issues that committee members have is with this whole new model of music being shared on the Internet for free — how is it that musicians and small music labels are going to make money?" House Small Business Committee spokesperson Dwayne Andrews said.

The informational hearing is slated for May 24 and will be open to the public.

While the meeting is not centered solely on Napster Inc.'s namesake MP3-trading software, Chuck D has been an outspoken advocate for the program so it will undoubtedly be discussed, Andrews said.

Last year, Chuck D's band, Public Enemy, released There's a Poison Goin' On ..., which includes "Do You Wanna Go Our Way???" (RealAudio excerpt) in MP3 format at a time when most of the music industry was fighting the format.

More recently, Napster has become the epicenter for the debate over online music piracy. Hard-rockers Metallica, rapper Dr. Dre and a music industry trade group all have sued Napster, alleging its program enables copyright infringement by allowing users to trade near-CD-quality MP3 music files without permission of the copyright holder.

Peter Harter, vice president for global public policy at MP3 retailer EMusic.com, and several industry analysts also will testify, Andrews said.

The Small Business Committee already has held several hearings on various facets of e-commerce, he said. "The music industry seemed like a natural because it was something that was at least a little more interesting for the committee members to digest."

Among the committee's members is Rep. Mary Bono, R-Calif., widow of late pop singer and Congressman Sonny Bono.

Online music activist Nina Crowley said she was encouraged by the hearing.

"If they listen to Chuck, they'll understand that small bands and small labels are at a great advantage with new business models," said Crowley, executive director for the anticensorship Massachusetts Music Industry Coalition.


5.11.2000  Chuck D To Testify
(from Spin website)
Rapper Chuck D has announced he will testify this month, before a Congressional committee, on the state of online music and also probably the Nap. Members of the House Small Business Committee have said that the current issues surrounding online music sharing are crucial because it affects how musicians and smaller labels make their money. The meeting, which will be open to the public, is slated for May 24. And though it will not hinge solely on issues surrounding controversial and beloved MP3-trading company Napster, we have no doubt that the issue will be raised. Chuck D has been quite vocal in his support for our little Nap, and for online music in general. Here's proof! Last year, amidst the lofty industry debate over MP3s, Public Enemy released There's a Poison Goin' On ...in MP3 format. That takes balls, yo. And as we all know, the fuzzy little Napper has also been the subject of harsh persecution by the industry, especially the likes of Metallica and Dr. Dre, who both recently filed a copyright infringement suit against our baby. It has been reported that Peter Harter, vice president for global public policy at MP3 retailer EMusic.com, and various a sundry industry analysts also will testify at the informal hearing. Oh, and this is kind of cool--one of the committee members is Rep. Mary Bono (R., Calif.), widow of late pop singer and Congressman Sonny Bono. Chuck man, that's my peeps right there! Word.


5.10.2000 Chuck Chill Out DJ'ing Bringthenoise.com
(from aka.com)
New York DJ Chuck Chill Out Brings His Legendary Hip-Hop Voice To The Online Universe On Sunday Nights At www.BringTheNoise.com
- BringTheNoise.com, the leading online hip-hop radio show, founded by hip-hop and Internet visionary Chuck D and longtime Public Enemy producer Gary G-Wiz, today announce a new Sunday night radio show from legendary New York DJ, Chuck Chill Out.

“BringtheNoise.com has been setting the standard for net radio and they continue to break the traditional boundaries of hip-hop radio. I am excited to join them in making a difference in Internet radio in 2000 and beyond,” said Chuck Chill Out.

The Chuck Chill Out show will cover the hottest, newest and latest sounds in hip-hop and R&B with new music exclusives and interviews from some of your favorite established and up and coming new artists. The Chuck Chill Out show will premiere on Sunday, May 14, streaming on Sunday nights from 11:00 PM EST through 1:00 AM EST, following renowned rap DJ Wildman Steve’s Countdown Show.

“Chuck Chill Out has been a trendsetter in hip-hop since the early ’80s and Bring The Noise gives him the opportunity to have his show reach hip-hop fans all over the world,” said Bring The Noise co-founder, Gary G-Wiz. “Our goal is to continually bring the best of underground hip-hop to the masses, and Chuck will expose people to his influential take on the best of what’s out there. ”

Chuck Chill Out began his illustrious career on 98.7 KISS FM in 1982, and helped introduce some of the most influential artists in early hip-hop, such as Run-DMC, LL Cool J, Salt-N-Pepa, Whodini and Slick Rick. After leaving KISS FM, Chuck broke new waves at 107.5 WBLS FM for two years before becoming a VJ for the top rated hip-hop video show in New York, Video Music Box. Chuck continued to expose new audiences to the power of hip-hop music, eventually forming Full Blast Promotions/Record Pool in 1999 when he saw a need for a premier record pool in New Jersey. Now, Chuck is back at 98.7 KISS FM, still going strong, with an old school R&B flavor.

In addition to Chuck Chill Out’s new show, BringtheNoise.com features daily radio shows, streaming at 9:00 PM nightly. Each show is archived and accessible for two weeks from the original airdate. Chuck D hosts two weekly radio shows, “When The Shit Hits The Fans” (the hottest unsigned and indie label music), which he programs or broadcasts live from a suitcase he takes with him on the road, and “Beats, Rhymes and Life” (Chuck D’s commentary on the week in hip-hop). Additional shows include “2 Angry Listeners” (average listeners reviewing signed and unsigned music), “The Hip-Hop Spot” (veteran New York Rap DJ Wildman Steve spins hip-hop classics), “The Strictly Hot Shit Mix Show” (DJ Kamron’s mix show) and “1/2 Pint’s Hot Spot” (the hottest new underground jams, old school flavor and artist interviews).

BringTheNoise.com is part of the Atomic Pop Network and can also be accessed through www.AtomicPop.com/radiobrain/.


5.2.2000  Chuck D Criticizes RIAA Lawsuit of MP3.com
(from Blaze website)  compiled by Richard Louissaint
In the Saturday, April 29th edition of the New York Times, veteran rapper / activist Chuck D of Public Enemy addressed RIAA's 60 billion dollar lawsuit against MP3.com. On Friday, April 28, a U.S. Federal Court ruled that the San Diego, California-based company violated copyright law when it created a database of over-80,000 albums and allowed users to store and access the music via the Internet.

In the Times article, Chuck D expresses his support of internet services like Napster and MP3.com. "I believe that artists should welcome Napster. We should think of it as a new kind of radio -- a promotional tool that can help artists who don't have the opportunity to get their music played on mainstream radio or on MTV."

Chuck D also discussed how major labels have made it hard for unsigned and independent artists to put out music. He accused record companies of upping the ante on the financial costs of producing records and "totally squeezing the small, independent entrepreneur out of the distribution game" with the advent of music videos in the 1980s. "Now, with most radio stations playing popular favorites, and with the high cost of making and distributing music videos," said Chuck, "it is almost impossible for an independent record producer or an artist to get music to fans."

Regarding characterizations of MP3s as a form of piracy, Chuck expressed skepticism. "I believe this structure has hurt the artist more than someone passing a song around free of charge- not that most artists ever have much say about how their work is marketed and sold anyhow," he argued. "Most contracts only guarantee artists a few cents in royalties from each record sold. And if a song doesn't become a hit, the label can cease selling it but still own rights to it forever."

Chuck D concluded his comments by pondering what new rules and regulations will be formed in the wake of the ruling against MP3 technologies and services, asking, "Will corporations that dominate concede to sharing the musical marketplace?"


5.2.2000  In D-Fence of Napster
(from NME.com website)

PUBLIC ENEMY'S CHUCK D has again rallied behind MP3 software provider Napster and made the most spirited defence yet of the under-fire website.

In a lengthy editorial in last Saturday's New York Times (April 29) the hip hop legend, who has become a nominal figurehead for the benefits the Internet can bring to music fans, claimed the era of the traditional music industry was at an end.

"I believe that truly another parallel music industry will be created alongside the one that presently exists," he said, "And that’s the bottom line stake that traditionalists fear. Right now, companies like Napster are creating new fan interest in the acquisition of music, as well as establishing an infrastructure that previously was non-existent for unknown artists. Napster's gonna revolutionize music and redefine what a song can and should do."

He dismissed the high profile lawsuits being brought by Dr Dre and Metallica against the site for copyright infringement as nothing more than "cases used to support yet another lawyer looking to preserve the prehistoric existence of contracts past" and claimed that they could not win.

He said: "The fans are getting back. Napster has turned music into baseball cards and the consumer base of kids are leading the pack, ENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT MUSIC."

Chuck D has been vocal in his support of the file swapping software since its inception. He has now teamed up with Napster through his www.rapstation.com website in offering visitors the opportunity to download 'Power To The People And The Beats', based on Public Enemy's 'Power To The People' track, and add their own Napster-themed lyrics.

Fans can then upload their versions before May 14 and the best track will then be made available as a free download on the rapstation site from May 15. The winner will also receive US$5000.

As Chuck D explained in a statement separate to his New York Times article: "We want to draw attention to the positive aspects that Napster has to offer artists. They need to realize that they can benefit infinitely from what it has to offer."

Last week Limp Bizkit and Cypress Hill threw their support behind Napster, agreeing to take part in a free North American tour, the costs of which will be covered by the Napster website.


5.2.2000  Napster & Rapstation- Power To The Beat
(from SOHH website)

After continual legal attacks, Napster is finally gaining support from the hip-hop community. Rapstation.Com and Napster have come together to giveaway $5000 to the best emcee. Aspiring emcees will write lyrics on why they support Napster, and drop their rhymes over PE's "Power To The People and The Beats" track, giving them a chance to win 5Gs.

The deadline for the contest is May 15th, so head on over to the MP3 Jamz Section at Rapstation, peep the rules, listen to the beat and start writing. The winner will also have his/her song featured on BringTheNoise.Com as well as Rapstation.

Chuck D also chimed in his support for Napster in a New York Times editorial: "I'm in support of the sharing of music files. I believe that truly another parallel music industry will be created alongside the one that presently exists, and that's the bottom line stake that traditionalists fear. Having been connected to the genre of hip hop and rap music for 22 years, I've witnessed the lack of proper service areas to fully support the majority of artists, songwriters, producers and labels in getting the music to it's fan base.
As far as the lawsuits from METALLICA and DR.DRE are concerned, they're nothing but cases used to support yet another lawyer looking to preserve the prehistoric existence of contracts past. They are the exception to the rule, almost adopting the principals of the masters that pay them."

Peep the entire editorial in Chuck D's Terrordome at Public-Enemy.Com.


5.2.2000  Chuck D gives a shout out to Napster
(from Rolling Stone website)

Chuck D is down with Napster. In an April 29 column in the New York Times, the MP3-cheerleading rapper claims that Napster and similar companies are "creating new fan interest and establishing a new infrastructure for unknown artists to attract an audience." Mista Chuck plans to issue a more thorough statement on his Napster stance in an upcoming issue of "Terrordome," his newsletter on www.public-enemy.com. Meanwhile, D's Rapstation.com has joined Napster for a songwriting contest. The gist of the contest is that aspiring writers must write a set of lyrics on the topic of Napster support to the tune of Chuck D's "Power to the People and the Beats." Contestants must download the music to the track, rap over it and then load it onto Rapstation.com. Entries must be received by May 14 at midnight (EST) and online voting will determine the winner, to be announced on May 26. The winning track will receive free MP3 posting and a cool five grand . . .


5.2.2000  Chuck D's Nap Rap
(from Spin website)
Here at Spin.com, we always knew Chuck D was the bomb. But now that he is teaming up with The Nap (Napster), he could very well be the Shiznit. According to Billboard, Chuck D's hip-hop Web site www.rapstation.com has officially joined forces with the controversial MP3-trading company...for a contest of sorts...hmmm...contests...yummy. Here's how it works: You can go to the site, download the instrumental "Power to the People and the Beats" (taken from Public Enemy's "Power to the People"), and then, get this, pen your very own Napster-themed lyrics to the track! Napster-themed lyrics! Napster-themed lyrics! Do you people even begin to understand how long we have been waiting for this? We will be famous! We will immortalize The Nap in glorious song and all will be right with the world! All will be right! With the world! Breathe...I am breathing. Anyway, once you've completed your lyrics, you must upload the track back to the site by May 14. The winner will be chosen by online voting the week of May 15, and the winning track will be posted as a free download on Rapstation. In a statement released by Chuck D, the rapper said he wanted to highlight the positive aspects of The Nap. In related news, nobody else does! Metallica and Dr. Dre are presently suing sweet Napster for copyright infringement. If I had my way, I would curl up every night next to Napster. I would stroke his horned head and allow him to nuzzle against my bosom. We would be happy, Nap and I. (sniffle...)


5.1.2000 2:02 pm pt  Straight talk from Chuck D: Count on Chuck D to tell folks the unsettling truth.
(from ZDNet website) by Charles Cooper, ZDNet News

Taking issue with fellow musicians Dr. Dre and Metallica, the Chuckster has come out foursquare behind Napster Inc. What's more, the rap entrepreneur on Monday also announced a songwriting contest -- a joint event sponsored by his own Rapstation.com and Napster -- as part of his PR campaign on behalf of freely shared music.

The record companies have come out foursquare against technologies that let people swap largely pirated music via the Internet. Its special ire has been reserved for Napster, a tool that lets users search for and download MP3 files.

It will be interesting to watch which position his fellow musicians decide to support. Pardon me for my inborn cynicism, but I suppose a lot of the more successful musicians will opt to maintain the status quo. After all, these are good times -- why risk living in Fat City for the sake of a cause? Singing about rebellion and striking a pose is one thing. But that's a world away from stepping behind a barricade and putting everything on the line.

The fact is that the recording industry is making a mighty effort to stamp out a parallel music industry because it understands the revolutionary threat to the existing order posed by digital distribution.

In coming months we're likely to see a very artful interpretation of prehistoric laws to make sure the challenge goes away.

Although too early to tell which side will triumph, one thing is clear: This won't be the last time you'll hear Chuck D holler, "(Microsoft) Word."


5.1.2000 4:30 pm edt  Chuck D Raps For Napster
(from Billboard website)

Public Enemy's Chuck D's hip-hop Web site rapstation.com has teamed with embattled MP3 file-swapping software company Napster to offer fans a unique contest opportunity. Visitors to the site can download the instrumental "Power To The People And The Beats" -- based on Public Enemy's "Power To The People" -- and add their own Napster-themed lyrics to the track.

The new track can then be uploaded back to the site before the May 14 contest deadline. The winning song, which will be chosen via online voting during the week of May 15, will be posted as a free download on the rapstation site.

"We want to draw attention to the positive aspects that Napster has to offer artists," Chuck D said in a statement. "They need to realize that they can benefit infinitely from what it has to offer."

Other artists beg to differ, particularly Metallica and Dr. Dre, who are both currently suing Napster for copyright infringement. However, Limp Bizkit last week tapped Napster as the sponsor for its free summer tour, expected to begin in Chicago on July 4.

"We're aware that our fans use Napster. We wanted to do a free tour, and they stepped up," said Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst, who is also a senior VP at Interscope Records. The tour is the topic of this week's Billboard Online poll question.

Chuck D has long been an advocate of the Internet's benefits to artists. In late 1998, Public Enemy split from longtime label Def Jam in a flap over music downloads. The band then signed with Internet label Atomic Pop to release the album "There's A Poison Going On."

5.1.2000 1:55 pm pt  Public Enemy's Chuck D Speaks Out For Napster
(from Allstar website) by Donna DeChristopher

"The day of the one-dimensional na´ve artist is over..." and so begins Chuck D's defense of Napster. The Public Enemy frontman expressed his pro-MP3 views in an editorial published by the New York Times Saturday (April 29).

The outspoken rapper says downloading music has caused a much-needed revolution in the music industry. He writes, "Companies like Napster are creating new fan interest in the acquisition of music, as well as establishing an infrastructure that previously was non-existent for unknown artists." He goes on to say, "This is a prime opportunity for artists to understand that they can operate beyond the na´ve slave or limited employment positions of the old music business templates."

Chuck D calls the copyright infringement suits filed by Metallica and Dr. Dre "nothing but cases used to support yet another lawyer looking to preserve the prehistoric existence of contracts past. They are the exception to the rule, almost adopting the principals of the masters that pay them." The full manifesto can be read at publicenemy.com.

Last July, Atomic Pop released Public Enemy's There's a Poison Goin' On on MP3. Meanwhile, Chuck D's Rapstation.com has partnered with Napster for a songwriting contest. Aspiring lyricists can write their own words for the Chuck D track, "Power to the People and the Beats." It's suggested that the lyrics support shared music.

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