Wednesday, January 24, 2007

DJ Drama drama--collected stories about his arrest for violation of copyright

VH1 reporting:

What's Next For The Mixtape World After DJ Drama Raid?

'The movement is stronger than ever right now,' says DJ Sense, one-third of Drama's embattled Aphilliates crew — but others see tough times ahead.
by Shaheem Reid and Jayson Rodriguez

'Play The Game Fair': Lil Wayne Responds To DJ Drama's Mixtape Bust

Diplomats' DukeDaGod, mixtape DJ also weigh in on the raid's impact.
by Shaheem Reid
-this piece addresses the tension that exists between the street-based DIY culture that the recording industry makes it's money off.
" With us it's a little different; we only do Diplomat mixtapes, we don't promote other artists. But still, I want to know all the guidelines so we don't have to run down this road anymore. We're gonna follow the guidelines and fall back and see what it is. If they had a mixtapes seminar, that would be hot. Have the RIAA come in and say what you can and what you can't do."
Here we have a label afraid to use their own recordings and uttering the most non-street thing I've ever heard. Seminar?

RIAA Speaks On DJ Drama Raid: 'We Enforce Our Rights'

'We don't consider this being against mixtapes,' spokesperson says.
by Jem Aswad, with reporting by Joseph Patel

hip hop mixtapes -MTV 2003 report

In the wake of DJ Drama's arrest I thought I'd collect some of the excellent reporting that exists on the web about hip hop mixtapes.

In 2003, MTV put together this report, Mixtapes: THe Other Music Industry by Shaheem Reid.

Worth noting:

-the existence of mixtapes preceeded rap records. People like Grandmaster Flash and Kool Herc made customised tapes (charging by the minute and adding customised shoutouts) and distributed recordings of their djing performances at parties. A real corner stone of hip hop culture.

-DJ Clue's tapes mark a shift in mixtape culture: his were less about turntable skills and more about finding new talent and new music. Tapes are crucial entry for young talent based entirely on merit. Also mark the continuation of DJs being at the forefront of tastemking

-mixtapes may be outselling official albums. Artists say they like them because they can say and do what they want. They also capture the more collaborative nature of the culture eg arists freestyling over beats they like. The energy is palpable.

-also nice description about how easily and quickly the mixtapes can spread around the world and the animosity about the distribution (it being the crucial element of illegality.)

Michelle Kuo on Invader

Nice piece by Michelle Kuo about Invader in the January 2007 issue of Artforum(See p.57).


"Vandalism, then, emerges as a mode of public address--as one of the last remaining collective activitioes taking place in urban space."

"Of course, what could be closer to the pervasive drift of global consumerism than a ubiquitous logo liek Invaders? Graffiti meets branding in a partnership that is by now familiar: Increasingly, urban art's yen for self-multiplication has transitioned from hand painted signage to the easily reproduced stencil or sticker. The collaborative procedures of the postwar avant-garde return as viral marketing."

"Like this absurd sortie [refering to the potentially endless warfare of Space Invaders], Invaders project entails a bombardment without limit, an occupation without real conquest."

"The grids resemble less the gestural script of graf writer than the "monocromes" resulting from police painting over graffiti itself." (Sydney artist, Mickie Quick, worked with this idea directly in his piece at Mays last year.)

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Real fakes

"Imagine the consequences if lots of people started creating “fake” art without acknowledging what they were up to?"

Last Chance | Lester Hayes
A Promise That Never Bloomed, a Post-Minimalist You’ve Never Heard Of

Published: January 16, 2007
New York Times