Hip Hop producers selling beats has long been a common practice, so why can’t Rock artists sell off their old riffs if they aren’t using them? Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich revealed to The National that his band has so many unused guitar riffs laying around, they’ve discussed selling them on “an eBay kind of thing” for people to do with as they please. Classic Rock says Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi and Queen’s Brian May have talked about doing the same thing. If true, it sounds like the makings for a new “Riffs for Sale” website. Or the worst episode of Hoarders ever.
The debate over whether streaming services like Spotify are hurting musicians continues.
Artists have been releasing their streaming numbers and corresponding payments to show how they’d have to garner a gazillion listens before making any significant money or chart moves. Now, some cheaters have found a workaround. Music tech blog musicmachinery.com noticed Pop vocal act Fifth Harmony was experiencing an unusually high spike in its streaming numbers. A quick survey of Twitter accounts affiliated with the group revealed that there was a hardcore campaign going on to get fans to stream Fifth Harmony’s music on various sites and leave the stream running on repeat to inflate the numbers. It’s like modern day payola, except it doesn’t cost Fifth Harmony anything but their dignity.
In Brooklyn, N.Y., a local resident proposed renaming a street corner in honor of one of the borough’s most famous sons, rapper Notorious B.I.G. (aka Christopher Wallace). Many residents showed support for renaming the corner Christopher Wallace Way, but there was also backlash from those who believe Wallace’s life was nothing to celebrate. Detractors cited Biggie’s pre-fame history of dealing drugs, his misogynistic lyrics and physical heft as reasons to not rename the corner in his honor. People who do have Brooklyn streets named for them — Malcolm X (whose early life makes Biggie look like a Boy Scout), Martin Luther King Jr. (whose infidelity was allegedly chronic) and womanizing Reggae star Bob Marley, who has undoubtedly inspired countless young people to try marijuana (and, worse still, countless frat boys to start Reggae bands).