“We was able to go into these labels and secure three and four million dollar album budget checks, brother. That’ll never happen again.” – Busta Rhymes
So, there’s been a lot of talk in the local and national media recently about file sharing and the future of the music industry. Much has been made of Radiohead’s “pay what you feel” model for downloads of their upcoming album. In my opinion, this is of secondary importance, and the real story is that the band is releasing this album without the support of a record label. Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor likewise announced this week that he has severed ties with his record label, and it appears he is unlikely to enter into another recording contract any time soon (his distaste for the record industry has been well publicized in recent months).
The video clip embedded above provides another take on the evolution of the music industry in the form of an R-rated rant from hip hop cameo king Busta Rhymes. In the clip, Busta discusses the impact of home recording, the absurdity of ringtone pricing, and the power of YouTube and PayPal to disrupt the traditional relationship between artists, labels, and radio.