Rap veteran Nas recently shared his input on the impact illegal Internet leaks have had on hip-hop sales and if artists should solely blame hackers for their poor retail success.
From Nas’ perspective, the music industry has always suffered from illegal practices getting unauthorized music out.
“Before [Internet leaks,] the mob was hijacking trucks with albums,” Nas explained in an interview. “Shiploads of albums were going to the warehouse and getting hijacked by the mob or the sh*t would just leak. Somebody would make a cassette copy or a CD or whatever they was doing back then, sh*t was always leaking, the black market. The Africans would be out there with the fake joints on the sidewalk. It’s always gonna leak, no matter if it’s the Internet or what. It was always leaking before the Internet. It is what it is. I don’t like saying [the Internet takes away the sales.] When it first happened, yeah, it was a lot of music being stolen, it still is, and at first it was such a new thing that everybody blamed the Internet but it’s the new world. It’ll balance out eventually.” (LIFE Files)
Lupe Fiasco recently said he called off plans to drop a new mixtape due to his popularity amongst hackers.
“I was plotting on doing the follow-up to [Enemy of the State: A Love Story],” Lupe said in an interview. “Simply because [it] was short. And I felt like it was space to do another one. I was gonna do another one called Friend to the People, but I started to get wind that people had songs they shouldn’t have had. I was like, ‘This is just gonna open the floodgates if I come out with another record. I know these dudes are threatening to leak records and do crazy stuff.’ Sometimes I feel there may be too much Lupe music out there — whether it be old stuff or new stuff or freestyles. I don’t want to have a ton of music sitting out. I made the decision to fall back from it and really focus on the climb. We were a couple of weeks away from doing that.” (MTV)
In the past, Lupe has also resorted to legal action in hopes of handling the situation.
“The track ‘I’m Beaming’ that was leaked last night was NOT authorized or intentionally leaked by myself or my company,” he wrote Christmas Eve. “Plain and simple its STOLEN property. And this goes for ANY record or track that leaks or is made available for illegal download from this day forward. Actions are being taken and the authorities have been notified. As a personal plea to all my fans PLEASE DO NOT share, stream, or download any unauthorized or stolen Lupe Fiasco music. A lot of time and energy goes into the creation of this music, not to mention large sums of money, money provided by my record company as well as from my own personal finances.” (Lupe Fiasco’s Blog)
Speaking through their blog, production duo Tha Bizness previously responded to their T-Pain/Lil Wayne “U Know What It Is” leak by forcing out a new Drake track.
“This Is What Yall Want Well F*k It Will Leak It Ourselves This Time… Drake “Love & Gunz” Produced By Tha Bizness THEY SAID IT WAS GONNA LEAK TOMORROW, WELL F*K THE HACKERS WE WILL LEAK OUR OWN SH*T… AND YES THIS SONG WAS NEVER FINISHED, SO THANK US LATER!!” (Tha Bizness)
Check out Nas’ interview below: