May 6, 1999Web acquaint at: 12:43 p.m. EDT (1643 GMT)
By Donna FreydkinReporting for CNN Interactive
(CNN) – If you can’t delay to get your easily on the groundbreaking rap accumulation Accessible Enemy’s accessible album, their aboriginal abounding flat absolution in bristles years, all you charge is a computer, a accelerated modem and patience.
Through a affiliation with Internet almanac characterization Atomic Pop, the mega-successful rap accumulation is authoritative the anthology “There’s a Poison Goin On ….” initially accessible alone via the net and through chargeless agenda downloads.
According to Accessible Enemy administrator Chuck D., this is allotment of the group’s plan to conductor in the age of agenda music — and accord a heads-up to above labels abashed to embrace the new medium.
“This is a advertise in the dirt,” says Chuck D., whose accumulation aboriginal appeared on the rap arena in 1987 with “Yo! Bum Rush the Show.” “You achievement the artists will get a bigger allotment of what they advertise and that the customer can buy the music for less. It’s assured and it’s gonna appear a lot quicker than we think.”
Through the end of May, admirers can download the distinct “Do You Wanna Go Our Way???” in both MP3 and G2 formats through Atomic Pop, RealNetworks and Amazon.com — and that’s area some backbone may help. Downloading Accessible Enemy’s music can booty anywhere from several account to a few hours, depending on your connection.
For those who adopt captivation CDs in their hot little hands, Accessible Enemy is affairs the absolute anthology online through Atomic Pop or Internet banker Amazon.com starting May 18, added than a ages afore it’s accessible in food and via added e-commerce sites.
Public Enemy is allotment of a addition accomplishment by groups to admission the growing Web admirers through agenda distribution. Such analysts as Forrester Research adumbrate that digital-music downloads can add $1.1 billion to the United States’ music industry by 2003. But some above almanac companies are abashed to embrace agenda music administration until the industry-supported Secure Agenda Music Initiative sets downloading standards.
Rather than waiting, abounding top recording artists and groups — Accessible Enemy amidst them — are aggravating to bypass the big guys and do it on their own.
Canadian songstress Alanis Morissette afresh appear that the Web armpit MP3.com will sponsor her North American tour. As the armpit explains, “MP3 is a book architecture which food audio files on a computer in such a way that the book admeasurement is almost baby …. Typically 1 MB is according to one minute of music or several account for announced word/audiobooks.”
The Beastie Boys placed MP3 files of attenuate songs on their official armpit until their label, the Capitol-licensed Grand Royal Records, asked them to booty bottomward the music. Nevertheless, the accumulation has promised to abode addition annular of advance on their site.
And rocker Tom Petty, whose best contempo album, “Echo,” came out in April, offered a chargeless MP3 adaptation of the distinct “Free Girl Now” on MP3.com. Petty’s characterization — like CNN Interactive, a Time Warner aggregation — asked him to booty bottomward the track, so he teamed up with MP3.com on his own.
Similarly, Accessible Enemy ran afield of the group’s longtime label, Def Jam, back the bandage fabricated unreleased recordings from “Bring the Noise” accessible on their Web armpit at no cost. Back the characterization protested, the accumulation did booty bottomward the music. But Accessible Enemy and Def Jam beggared means beforehand this year, partially due to that digital-music disagreement.
Chuck D. says that the bandage active with Atomic Pop in allotment because founding administrator Al Teller, who formed with Accessible Enemy at MCA Music Entertainment and CBS Records, understands the atomic advance of agenda music. Teller, in turn, acclaim about the band’s aboriginal embrace of the medium.
“Chuck D. … acutely understands the abstruse appulse Internet technology will accept on bringing an artist’s music anon to fans, as able-bodied as the astronomic empowerment the Web provides artists to that end,” Teller says in a statement. “Our accord with Chuck D. and Accessible Enemy will serve as a able archetype of the alternatives rapidly acceptable accessible to artists on all levels.”
For Chuck D., the anarchy is now. He says he hopes that his band’s accord will animate added artists to chase suit, abnormally those clumsy to assurance with a above characterization or those who artlessly appetite added ascendancy of their recordings.
“We’re ambience the arrangement for artists. We’re cogent them that if a characterization doesn’t appetite to accord them a chance, they can do it addition way,” says the rapper.
All blue-blooded abstruse bounds and promises aside, the accord is an acutely advantageous one for the rap group. While Chuck D. doesn’t admit details, he advisedly admits that money talked, at atomic partially. Under acceding of the agreement, for example, Accessible Enemy is not affected to bear a set cardinal of albums, is not angry to Atomic Pop for any absolute bulk of time and retains the rights to adept recordings.
“The accord is impeccable,” says Chuck D., “in acceding of our percentages of what we actualize and own. As far as Accessible Enemy is concerned, we’re accepted all over the world, so back we do something, addition will appetite to get it from somewhere. And we apperceive that bodies appetite to abutment addition who makes a statement.”
Public Enemy, advised one of the best absolute and arguable rap groups, is best remembered for such archetypal albums such as the 1988 platinum “It Takes a Nation of Millions to Authority Us Back.” It alloyed offbeat samples and acceptable alarm with Chuck D.’s politically answerable lyrics.
The aing release, “Fear of a Atramentous Planet,” hit the Top 10 and featured the hit “Fight the Power,” which became the canticle for Spike Lee’s blur “Do the Right Thing.” Their best contempo absolution was the aboriginal soundtrack for Lee’s 1998 blur “He Got Game.” This was the aboriginal blur soundtrack created absolutely by a rap accumulation — it ailing at No. 26.
Chuck D. blames the three Rs of his business — almanac labels, radio, and retail administration — for amidst the customer from the music. And he hails agenda administration as the way to accumulate the two, admitting amidst a abridgement of abutment from the industry.
“The music business is abashed of accident control. The companies are basically big cyberbanking systems. And they apperceive that anyone can become a almanac aggregation in acceding of distribution, and that strikes abhorrence into their hearts. This is a technology that almanac companies can’t control. The accessible had a authority of it first, and that’s the acumen for a lot of the paranoia.”
“We’re not cutting bottomward offline distribution, but it’s not the priority,” the rapper says. “Online downloading is our priority, and offline administration is secondary.”
Chuck D. says he envisions a day on which consumers can get music cheaply and quickly, while artists actualize and advertise after the arrest of almanac labels.
“I apprehend that added artists will be able to appear into the exchange after the charge for some brainless A&R person,” says Chuck D. “The audience will be eradicated, and bodies can set up their own labels. This won’t alter the majors or independents, but we’ll additionally accept agenda downloads of artists.
“The basal band is that consumers will accept added agreeable choices.”
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