Music is NOT Devalued by the Internet
by Winston "Stone" Ford
So there is something that has been bugging me for the past few weeks and I decided that I needed to rant.
See, since physical music sales are declining, and acts like Radiohead are giving their music away for free on the Internet, people have been talking about how music is somehow devalued since kids these days don’t have to pick up a CD or a record like they did back in the day. Jay Smooth (whom I really admire, so no beef) brought this up in an Ill Doctrine video a couple days ago, and again, Saul Williams brought this up in New Yorker magazine, when he said, “I’m truly saddened because I think music has been devalued, so that it’s just a file on your computer, and it’s usually free.”
Sorry people. The value of music has not diminished just because you downloaded an MP3.
Case in Point: I’ve been listening to Radiohead’s In Rainbows a lot lately. Honestly, its probably going to be my top album of the year at this point. I’ve had the same reaction listening to this CD as I did when I listened to OK Computer on CD or Midnight Maurauders on vinyl. My jaw dropped to the floor, and I was just like damn….
And to think, In Rainbows was an MP3, and at a crappy bitrate at that.
So, no, music isn’t devalued if you don’t have it in your hand. Music is devalued because the record companies, have been steady producing disposable ringtone ready crap over the airwaves to the point that the album is an afterthought. Think of Shop Boyz, “Party Like A Rockstar,” or “This Is Why I’m Hot.” The album is an afterthought so much to the point that most people don’t even know who the artist is.
So my point is….if YOU, the artist, don’t place value to your music, the consumer won’t either. If you make great music, people will recognize the value of it…whether they paid for it or not.
Music won’t die because of the internet. It will flourish. Right now, I”m listening to a DJ Mix of underground tropical dance music from Ghana, thanks to the internet. (Also, props to DJ Eurok for putting me onto this.) The internet will continue to knock down doors for music of all kinds to find its audience.
So please, STFU about music getting devalued by the Internet. Please?