I’ve noticed recently that I may be a bigger hypocrite than I used to think. But first things first.
What am I doing here anyway?
One of the reasons why I run this blog is because my yearning for new and exciting music by far exceeds my budget. And while I grab a lot of music from the other blogs out there, I figure that he who taketh shall also give. If it hadn’t been for the countless fantastic bloggers and file sharers who keep digging up old and new gems for the world to enjoy and find out about, I wouldn’t even know half of the artists I consider my favourites nowadays. And about three or four times a year, i.e. when I happen to have a bit of cash left in the bank, I splash out and buy those CDs that I’ve enjoyed the most, even if I’ve nearly played them to death on my mp3 player already. Despite lots of GBs of music on my computer, I still prefer leafing through a well-made CD booklet and reading through the lyrics, checking out the production credits, the artwork and whatever else the artist has packed onto the CD or record inlay. Also because I really see it as a sign to tell the artists to keep doing what they’re doing.
What is this all about?
Having said that, I’ve tried to stick to some kind of moral code and focus more on older or hard-to-find material than on the latest major label release by MC Bigdeal. I try to talk a bit more about the cats not everybody sees on MTV all the time. Believe it or not, I like to think that this will actually benefit them through the additional exposure. By giving the downloaders the entire thing to listen to so they can take their time to decide if it’s really that good. I’m sure that a truly dope album will stand both the test of time and the test of frequent replays. For every couple of dozen freeloaders, there are a few cats who will keep an eye out for the artist’s legit album, or maybe his next one, or go check him out when he comes through on a tour leg. In other words, underground cats or those with poor distribution will profit from the extra promo the blogs generate and in the long run, the artists will also end up selling more of their work or be able to hit up more cities on their tours, which is what really earns them the skrills to pay the bills.
“Representin my hood”
Then again, to come back to my initial statement, I find that I’m reluctant to post stuff by artists from my country, partly, because most cats rap in their local German dialects which even Germans have problems to understand. (This does not apply to the French-speaking Swiss who tend to sell quite well in other francophone countries as well or to the very few artists who rap/sing in English.) But it’s also because here in Switzerland, among the many dozen groups and solo artists that are releasing 12″es and albums, only a small handful can actually make a living on their work. Even the highly respected old-schoolers keep their dayjobs, at least part-time, to be able to make ends meet. And since I know a few of them, and seeing they still ride the bus to work, I think it would be unfair to spoil the market for them. And this is where I contradict myself, it seems. However, I think it’s mainly to do with how big the potential market for an artist from Switzerland is. An album that sells a few thousand copies nationwide is doing fine already, and there is only so much more that artists rapping in a local dialect can aim for outside their own language region. (Should this blog become the massive success I plan it to be, I’ll probably consider boosting the odd artist through the roof and give them a career on the stages of this world, cos I’m nice like that. :) )
Luckily, the local stigma can be overcome by the DJs and producers who speak with their hands. DJ Def Cut or Claud are probably the best known producers of them, making beats for major German artists as well. Let’s hope that cats realize their international potential, kinda like Underclassmen do who have landed distribution deals in the US as well as Korea and other countries. Me, I’ll probably try to figure out a way of introducing you to the many noteworthy cats here in my neck of the woods without posting the entire albums. At least not the brandnew ones, I guess.
And one last thing for the copycatters…
I’ve noticed that there’s a bunch of bloggers out there who make it a habit to rack file links from other blogs and forums, so their own blogs look like they’re the shit. What’s more, some of them don’t even make the effort to write a few lines themselves, but they copy entire blog posts as they are from others and put them on theirs. I’ve found a few of mine on others, without even the slightest mention of me, or a little link back to the “source”. That’s just plain disrespectful. If you’re gonna use my links, go ahead, but you could at least say where it’s from. That’s all I ask for.