The Internet Age: Producing Garbage?

The internet is the most powerful source to gain information thoroughly and quick. The internet has giving many un-heard voices an opportunity to be heard within several communities and some un-heard voices reign their community they are a part of. Thousands of starving artists littering links throughout social networking, amateur models photo happy trying to get a quick like on their newest post, inspiring film makers putting hours in to produce creative skits for YouTube mixing in with all the B-Rated producers out there polluting the nets of their work. Without the internet, would some still have the fan base or fame? Without the internet, would some still have the same networking connections? For the average working man and woman probably not. I can speak for myself, I’ve been able to network with artists across sea’s and without the internet- I honestly don’t know where I would see myself today.

With the quick fast pace of internet it makes it easier for anyone to upload anything to the net within a few seconds. Our American culture has evolved into such a fast moving production system, it seems like everything has to be produced now, released now, have the product available to our consumers before they get to us first. One could say this about the music industry, especially the rap/hip-hop community now a days, it seems as artists are required to release monthly/yearly mixtapes to even stay relevant. An up coming artist can loose a lot if they aren’t keeping up with the trends and daily motions of hip-hop.

Such artists that have had success in keeping up with the mixtape circuit and rose to success because of the quick releases consist of artists like: Big Sean, Mac Miller and Wiz Khalifa. Mac Miller broke to success with his “K.I.D.S” mixtape which went double platinum on the free mixtape site Datpiff is an official mixtape website that allows artists of any kind to post their music on the site; the site has a reputation for hosting live some of the biggest mixtape releases in hip-hop music. Big Sean and Wiz Khalifa both have shared the success through mixtape hosting sites as Khalifa’s “Kush & OJ” mixtape went several times platinum and landed with a “Diamond” status on meaning over a million free downloads. Big Sean’s “Detroit” mixtape surpassed Khalifa’s and went on to be “2x Diamond” status on concluding to over 2 million free downloads.

Now the world is a big place, with a population of 7 billion plus, you would say it is imaginable to get a million downloads for posting a mixtape online. The only question is, are these mixtapes truly quality music compared to the albums these artists release? Some of these artists see more success in releasing free mixtapes than actual album sales such as Rick Ross who release “Rich Forever” on Datpiff in 2012 reaching over a million downloads and his “God Forgives, I Don’t” album release only received gold status in record sales- far from Diamond status. Are we just taking free music for granted? Cause the music is free, does it make it better and or more interest/risk is invested in the artists? Is the release of all this free music in rap/hip-hop hurting the record industry? It seems like many artists can win the jackpot on free releases but when it comes to actual record sales, you can talk to Drake, sales fell down 80% after the first week of his release “Nothing’s Been the Same”. Though Drake has seen more success in previous releases; is the demand for new music and the expectations for artists to release more music daily taking a toll on artists careers?

Mixtapes have been a major part in the rap/hip-hop community and culture, originally mixtapes were available for sale or free pickings at Mom and Pop shops; but the internet has opened up a new venue for more than your local artists to showcase their talents. The internet even took the money out of “mixtape” and replaced it with “Free downloads”- now artists are required to release the twice amount of music for half the pay- does this recognize more competition in the rap/hip-hop industry? Are mixtapes the source now a days to determine whether an artists has the potential? Or are mixtapes a form of “hold over” music, To keep dedicated fans patiently waiting for the next big release and or catch the listening of new ears? Who knows, but is the industry producing more quantity than quality now a days? The question to ask, is for the audience receiving the media, do you think we are being delivered quality by the artists and celebrities we so admire? As a fan and listener yourself- do you expect more from your favorite hip-hop artist now a days?

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