Monthly Archives: August 2012

Awareness Cool

Wax Poetics

Wax Poetics magazine, a quarterly and impressive publication, has just announced that it is now available on iOS and Android devices.

While subscriptions and back issues to Wax Poetics are quite expensive at the moment, I think this is an extremely positive step. Music and culture magazines stand the most to gain from tablet and electronic publication. It allows the reader to view links and videos, preview tracks and check out pictures in full, beautiful colour.

The more magazines adopt this, the cheaper (hopefully) they become. Plus, maybe the tech behind it will improve.

Music

Rhymecca – Your Best

 

Geek Music

Will.i.am debuts his track from Mars

CTVNews reports that Will.i.am, the Black Eyed Peas frontman, is going to debut his new track from Mars.

Literally.

The Mars Curiosity Rover is going to beam his song back to Earth, which is how the world is going to first hear it.

While a technological marvel, it’s an embarrassing use of the rover and the tech behind it.

Members of the team overseeing Curiosity’s work on Mars will be on hand too, to explain how the song was sent from the Martian surface to Earth, as well as other details of the rover’s mission on the Red Planet.

I guess that’s the useful part.  NASA is using Will.i.am to get people interested in the technology, and will hopefully actually explain the science behind it.

Let’s hope this song is better than the last BEP album.

Awareness Cool

Hip-hop stars shift on homophobia

Hells yeah.  It’s about time someone started to talk about this.  Ever since Frank Ocean came out, people finally began to discuss the shift in the hip hop landscape and their treatment of homophobia.

It’s by no means as graduated and accepting as it should be yet, but progress is slowly being made.  When you have some of the biggest names in hip hop on your side (Not to mention Tyler the Creator’s furious underworld hype), it doesn’t really matter what anyone else says.

The article, Hip-hop stars hit pause on homophobia in rap, covers some pretty wide-ranging territory.  It features quotes from many big names.  One of the most interesting notes comes from D.M.C., who states

D.M.C. is skeptical about some of hip-hop’s recent support of Ocean, since he believes homophobia is still rampant in the culture. Still, he is sure a homosexual hip-hop act will emerge: “Of course there’s going to be a gay rapper.” He said that a rapper’s success would be determined not by his sexuality, but by the quality of his raps.

Baby steps.

Geek

The Impact of Music Downloads

A few years ago, Birgette Andersen and Marion Frenz of the University of London published a study (available through Industry Canada) titled “The Impact of Music Downloads and P2P File-Sharing on the Purchase of Music: A Study for Industry Canada“.

It’s a short and fascinating read, and found  that, contrary to popular belief,  peer-to-peer file sharing increases purchases of CDs.

Here’s a short quote from the study:

Our review of existing econometric studies suggests that P2P file-sharing tends to decrease music purchasing.  However, we find the opposite, namely that P2P filesharing tends to increase rather than decrease music purchasing.

Among Canadians who engage in P2P file-sharing, our results suggest that for every 12 P2P downloaded songs, music purchases increase by 0.44 CDs.  That is, downloading the equivalent of approximately one CD increases purchasing by about

half of a CD. We are unable to find evidence of any relationship between P2P filesharing and purchases of electronically-delivered music tracks (e.g., songs from iTunes).

The fact that this focuses mostly on CD purchasing, and discerned no impact on electronic purchasing is demonstrative of how dated the study may be.  I would be interested to see an updated survey and study, since iTunes/electronic purchasing is rapidly expanding.
Underreported News

Livin like Mr. Thug

The Globe and Mail, a national Canadian newspaper, ran an article titled “How to be thrifty like a rap mogul”.  It’s actually kind of an interesting read, and focuses mostly on one artist known as Slim Thug.

Pieces of advice such as

“Going into the strip club to make it rain 5Gs ain’t ever profited my pockets,” he writes. Nope. This guy would rather make $5,000 trickle.

or

“Never spend all your money to get high or drunk…. It ain’t worth it, unless you’re trying to spend your money to flip that [excrement] and get it back plus some.”

This may end up making surprising amounts of sense to the newly rich.  Despite how easy it is to laugh at a sentiment like that, it’s actually accurate.  And it’s something that belies a more basic principle.  There’s no reason to live beyond your means.  Especially if you come from little, the best thing you can do is make sure you never wind up with little again.
Still, it’s hard to take an article seriously when they quote from a “Mr. Thug”.