Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Strong Advocate of Piracy

As a long-time Itunes user, I've been noticing more and more often now that the price to download a song has been going up to $1.29 (from 99 cents) and it's starting to tickle my mustache a bit. On one hand, I can understand why musical "artists" want to earn the money they deserve for the songs that they create. They spent a lot of time and thought and, hell, it's their creation. Right?

But are most of these artists really "artists"? When I turn on Kiss 108 radio, just about every song I hear is about going to the clubs and checking out the girls with the fur boots and taking them into the bathroom or riding a "disco stick" and "see you at the hotel, motel, Holiday Inn" and "you spin me right round" and "going down-down" and "sucking it like a lollipop".

And if it's not sexually explicit lyrics, you get some rapper talking about how 'gangsta' he is and how he's the king of New York and God's gift to the world and Jesus Christ himself, not to mention any names Jay-Z, Kanye and Lil Wayne.

Don't get me wrong: I like most of these songs (so doesn't my money-maker), and I don't consider myself to be a conservative prude who gets all flustered by sexually explicit material. However, I think the hip hop/dance industry (i.e. whatever's played on Kiss) has gone a little overboard with all this sexual stuff. It's almost been done to the point of getting REALLY annoying. You can just see the managers of these musical artists gathering in a conference room and trying to come up with the most sexually provocative dance song they can devise.

I don't know about you, but I wouldn't want my teenage daughters exposed to all those songs...or teenage boys, for that matter. When you have Britney Spears singing about threesomes in her new song "3", I don't find it surprising that parent groups have been giving her a lot of guff. I think they should be. (As an aside, I doubt Britney's even having threesomes. I think she's just singing about them in attempt to be "bad-ass" and because that's the kind of thing everybody else is singing about these days.)

But, more importantly, I think it's a bit stupid that these musicians are considering themselves to be such great artists and that their songs are worth the $1.29 people have to pay for them on Itunes. I think that's ridiculous! I would experience no guilt in ripping these shallow songs off for free. Yes, I would take great pride pirating a song that says nothing but "evacuate the dance floor" over and over again (again, great tune, but stupid as anything).

I recently saw Lil Wayne's "Behind the Music" special on VH1 and he said at the end of the program that - first and foremost - he was an artist and "if you give an artist a canvas, he's going to create art." What a bunch of horseshit. Maybe I'm judging him in an oversimplified manner, but writing a song that's about having your garbage sucked like a lollipop is not art. It's a commodity manufactured with the thought in mind that SEX SELLS.

The next college student who gets fined for downloading free music could probably present a good case to the judges that he didn't feel he should be paying money for music that is about NOTHING. After all, there shouldn't be an issue of protecting "artistic property" when you're not dealing with art to begin with. Maybe once the "artists" actually start making actual works of art (not commodities) the music will be worth a little money. Until then, I'm not paying $1.29 for that crap. No way. No how.

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