News: Lupe Fiasco Tackles Internet Piracy Dispute, "Who Are You To Tell Me I Shouldn't Demand Payment?"

Thursday, Dec 9, 2010 9:27AM

Written by Biz Jones

Grammy-winning rapper Lupe Fiasco has expressed his thoughts on Internet piracy and why bloggers should be held responsible for their actions if they are posting or selling unauthorized music.

According to Lupe, there are various costs he pays out of pocket in order to make new music.

"People are trapped in the culture where music needs to be free and you don't need to pay for it," he told The BoomBox. "I was just at Princeton, speaking at Cornel West's class, and someone asked that. They asked about the relationship between blogs and artists. I told them, at a bare minimum it costs me, literally out of my own pocket, it costs me $3,000 to $4,000 to make a song. It costs me about $700 to $800 to make a freestyle. I'm giving you that." (The Boom Box)

Fiasco also said he feels obliged to receive some sort of compensation for music illegally taken from him.

"Just imagine if I work with The Neptunes, including studio time and everything that goes into it -- flying people around -- it gets up into the hundreds of thousands of dollars to make a song like 'I'm Beamin' or 'I Gotcha.' So to kinda see it on the Internet and, for some instances, for sale, who are you to have the right to tell me that I shouldn't demand payment or feel a certain way for seeing people put my music out there like that? If I chose to do that, that's one thing. But I didn't choose to do that. That music was stolen." (The Boom Box)

In light of the United States government beginning to shutdown popular hip-hop websites like OnSmash.com due to piracy accusations, artists like Jim Jones have spoken out.

"This is bad enough that the climate of the industry is cold. Using viral outlets such as OnSmash makes us hot, once they take that away from us what outlets are we going to use to help feed our families." (VIBE)

Rapper N.O.R.E. released a statement on the situation last week and offered his thoughts on what alternative decisions could have been made for the seized sites.

"In light of the recent shut down of these great websites that I admire I wanted to speak. I remember having talks wit my partner Tito about only posting iTunes/amazon links of artists music of militainment and others. For the record I don't agree what the goverment is doing planning and plotting it's terrible. But I do see why the record labels are snitching. The Internet is so wonderful for asap attention,but perhaps no one has figured out how to get to make dollars and cents. I feel wit all the power that's these great websites have we can flip this into something good.FOR example when a artist drops a video or song I think it would help had the websites also post the iTunes/amazon links right next to it. I love giving away free music but if there's is a way for a artist to eat of that I am all for it.I am a partner in a website but I'm also a artist so people let's try and make it work ESP for those independent mother f*ckers who don't got corporate America behind them pause peAce hanghang hood chicken good morning good afternoon and got night." (57th Ave)

Check out some past Lupe Fiasco footage down below:

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