Another Marquee Musical Giveaway
Amazing spoken world/musical artist Saul Williams is following the lead of Radiohead and is giving away his new album. The release should find Williams a bigger audience, not just because of the wallet-friendly price tag, but also because it was made in collaboration with Trent Reznor (whose Nine Inch Nails are also going the "pay what you want" route with their upcoming album). The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of NiggyTardust is conceptual, made as a means to further the dialogue surrounding racial epithets (in a way similar to Nas, who chose the way more blunt Nigger as the title of his next album). As for Reznor, he drops a few more hints about the future of NIN releases in a press release, where he is quoted as saying, "After my own recent dealings with record labels we decided to release it directly to the fans. There are obvious similarities in how Radiohead just released their new record and the way we've chosen to. After thinking about this way too much, I feel we've improved upon their idea in a few profound ways that benefit the consumer." Those ways include different file formats, all DRM-free, and a PDF download with artwork and lyrics.
Those choosing to donate $5 to the artists can obtain the higher quality downloads; those downloading the album for free will receive the more basic version. The latest artist rumored to be going the online, D.I.Y. route is Soul/Pop singer Jamiroquai, much to the excitement of dozens.
Diddy Says "Uh Huh" to Vodka
While a shrewd businessman, P Diddy as a "Pop star" has always baffled us. A mediocre producer and a bad rapper, he's kinda like the Paris Hilton of Hip Hop -- why exactly is he famous again? Perhaps realizing it's time to branch away from a field with which he has no real business being in (other than his ability to count money and get in the tabloids), Diddy has been brought aboard to develop the high-end Ciroc vodka brand. Going into the vodka and booze biz appears to be the new trend for celebrity rappers (much more preferred than the "grillz" phenomenon, but not quite as cool as the new "get arrested buying an arsenal of weaponry" fad started recently by T.I.). What's Diddy's secret recipe? Based on his music, the drink will probably just sample a couple of vodka flavors from the '80s and be placed in a diamond-encrusted bottle.
Dismayed In China
Foxy Brown, Kid Rock, Prince and, well, about 90 percent of today's American recording artists should probably keep China off their tour itinerary (though it's doubtful they'd ever get in anyway, remember that Wham! -- featuring noted homosexual pot-smoker George Michael -- performed in the Commie haven). Ironically, Republican-boosting, freedom-lovin' acts like The Oak Ridge Boys and Gatlin Brothers would probably be welcomed into the country with open arms (as long as they censor out all that freedom stuff). According to Reuters, a group of Chinese songwriters recently called for a boycott of "unhealthy" online music and promised to fight it by being even more self-righteous, er, uh, more "outstanding" with their own work. Censors in the country haven't been able to figure out how to stop Chinese artists from spreading their music using the Internet. The petition says artists must "resist the incursion of unseemly content, abandon vulgarity and work hard to compose outstanding online works that the people, and especially the broader youth, love to hear." The most scandalous, "offensive" lyric singled out: "That one night you didn't refuse me!/That one night I hurt you/That one night you were all tears." Saucy!