9.21.2000 Dotcom - Believe the Hype!
The controversial rapper was flown over as the guest of financial services firm JP Morgan & Co to advise its City clients on the likelihood of success among the new dotcom companies and their impact on the music business in general.
Speaking from Londonís glitzy Savoy Hotel, where he was staying for his visit, Chuck told nme.com: "I was over here giving my take on the digital revolution and how music is going to be distributed. The panel talked about the future of music, and whether investors continue to keep their faith in the major record companies or do they spread the gospel - and I'm hoping that they spread the gospel."
As previously reported on nme.com, the rapper is a staunch supporter of file-sharing on the Internet and has been outspoken in his defence of companies like Napster and MP3.com that offer free downloads. When asked about the incongruity of such an anti-establishment icon as himself jumping into bed with the British banking fraternity, he added: "Well, if they're gonna get anybody, they're gonna have to get me, because I've been dealing with this issue heavily for five years."
The rapper revealed he was
also hoping his trip would attract investment from the City for his new Internet
label Slam Jamz, in the same way former Creation boss Alan
McGee used the London stock market to raise £15million in capital for his
new Poptones venture.
I take an outspoken role on everything I think is progressive for art. And I think this is progressive for the arts because the industry and corporations have always dominated and monopolized the outlets for art, whether it be radio, television, or even the skewing of the price factor. The dominance of record companies dominating over retail and other outlets--why should I care about that?
Hurts Musicians More Than File Sharing
File sharing is the process that Napster specializes in, and you have tons and tons of situations that are going to join the process. We at Rapstation.com have Gnutella, and Gnutella does file sharing as well. So my whole thing is that the government is looking at file sharing like they can stop it, and they just can't. They're stopping one company, and I think that's shortsighted of the industry, but I don't really give credit to the industry for being too smart anyway.
Take Judge Patel (who's presiding over the Napster trial), for instance. If Patel was the key judge at the last turn of the century, we'd still be relying on horses and buggies and trains to get around. Stopping the process of file sharing is like trying to control the rain: You just can't do it.
What you will see now is a third tier of the music industry that is cropping up, and a lot of people think it's a threat, but I think it's a service to the big tier. I think you have majors and independents. Now you have the Internet, which I think is almost akin to high school sports (in comparison) to college (indepedent labels) and professional (major labels). So I think there'll be a great big talent pool, but you'll have smarter musicians who have a better understanding of their terrain rather than being locked outside the musical game.
I think the copyright laws that were created in the last century are definitely going to have to go through a revision period. And what applied last century doesn't apply in this century. But I think copyright will be reformed to mean a whole other thing. I think the Internet might be more like a situation where BMI or ASCAP increases the performance situation and almost ignores the mechanical royalties. But the question remains: Will the corporations that dominate concede to sharing the musical marketplace? We'll see. Until then, we will slowly see formations of new rules and regulations that will eventually support many more artists than the record companies of yesterday. The Internet has created a new planet for musicians to explore, and I'm with that.