Grade A Certified

Camp Leaks: Tha Bizness Edition (by J. Tinsley)

Posted by T. Adeyemi on January 18, 2010

Viral marketing has led to the rise of the self-made superstar and introduced an entirely new grind to today’s artists. Seeing as how very few labels have ever mastered the concept of promotion, the world wide web afforded instant access to the consuming public. For all the positive reinforcements the online world provides, there remains one pitfall. The rise of the Internet has ultimately led to the death of surprise in Hip-Hop.

In today’s landscape, songs leak so frequently we, the listeners, often hear it through each stage of completion. First leaks a snippet. Then the tagged version. Then the clean version. Then the dirty version. And after all that, the mixed/mastered/final version. Sometimes this takes places over the span of months or as short as a few days. Regardless, it serves as a slap in the face for the producer and artist whose sole job is to create a product the public can artistically enjoy. It’s hard to do this when unfinished versions are made available. The latest example of this centers around Seattle-based producers Henny and Dow Jones, better known as Tha Bizness.

Since the start of the new year, records produced by the duo have found themselves as “exclusives” on several mixtapes. After several T-Pain and Lil Wayne records appeared online earlier than expected, the nail in the casket came with a Drake record entitled “Love & Gunz.” After catching word the track would be released the next day, Hen and Dow let go of the snippet themselves. Not without venting some frustration, however.

E-mailing songs/verses back and forth, while incredibly convenient, just doesn’t work. In today’s climate, hackers are too skilled and the majority of mixtape DJ’s are too obsessed with obtaining an exclusive, regardless of quality. So by now everyone in the industry needs to secure a back up method. My suggestion? Exactly what I’ve been saying for months: Face-to-face workings in the studio with an external hard drive to save the entire session. Not only do the artist and producer thrive off being in the studio together, but it drastically decreases the possibility of premature leaking. It’s old school and not always possible, but it is seemingly the only method to slow down music’s most notorious epidemic.

Listening to unfinished records equates to moving into a house while the contractors are still doing construction. Driving a Bentley which is only have through the assembly line wouldn’t make much sense either. So why hackers continuously leak songs nowhere near completion will continue to baffle me. Unfortunately, it’s a penalty to the game and we’re all being charged. Until the problem is eradicated, the surprise element in Hip-Hop will remain a urban legend and a fantasy of the music world which, at this moment, is too far out of reach.

Grade A Download – Drake “Love & Gunz” Produced by The Bizness

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