Grand Hustle CEO Jason Geter has stepped forward to reveal a current industry battle his crew is experiencing against digital retailers, such as Amazon, off mixtape profits.
According to Geter, the digital outlets such as Amazon, iTunes, etc., are banking off unlicensed music.
A version of T.I.’s single “I’m Flexin'” has sold 2,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The song, which features Def Jam artist Rick Ross, has been available in the iTunes store since Jan. 24 as part of the DJ Cortez and DJ Ransom Dollars mixtape “F*ck the Competition Vol. 3.” But something isn’t right: T.I.’s Grand Hustle camp has never licensed this version of the song for retail, and hasn’t seen any revenue from these sales. It’s an issue that’s plagued rappers who often use mixtapes as promotional items, rather than product for sale. Grand Hustle CEO Jason Geter speculates that DJs partner with distribution companies to mutually profit from major mixtape releases. “F*ck the Competition Vol. 3,” distributed by Green Light Records through SongCast, is also up on Amazon and Rhapsody, where the “Flexin'” remix is available for purchase. “No one should be seeing money off of a T.I. record if we’re not seeing money off of that, period,” says Geter, who co-founded Grand Hustle with T.I. “With Amazon or iTunes or any major distributor, they should be held accountable.” (Billboard)
There reportedly is a loophole which allows music to be re-added after its initial removal.
Both iTunes and Amazon have copyright infringement policies that allow anyone to lodge complaints. (ITunes vows to “terminate the accounts of users who violate others’ intellectual property rights” in its copyright policy.) Rights-holders must specifically request that a song be taken down, yet despite this safeguard, tracks often reappear in the digital stores shortly after their removal, requiring artists and management to constantly track the use of their music. Neither iTunes nor Amazon responded to repeated requests for comment. (Billboard)
While the digital battle has yet to be won, Tip was granted more travel freedom last month.
T.I.’s probation officer submitted the request to extend the rapper’s out-of-state travel allowance from 7 to 12 days — and yesterday, a judge signed off on it. According to the probation officer’s letter, T.I. has been a model probationer — staying on his best behavior the last few months … even completing his required drug/alcohol counseling program. T.I. has approximately five months left of supervised release — after spending several months behind bars for a probation violation last year, stemming from his 2009 gun conviction. (TMZ)
With more flexibility to roam, Tip may continue piecing together his upcoming new album, Trouble Man.
The expanded freedoms come at a convenient time, as T.I. is nearing the release of his eighth full-length album, Trouble Man. “The album is about 75 percent done. We got a lot of hot, old-school, vintage T.I. records on there,” Tip told MTV News back in December while promoting his F— Da City Up mixtape. “We got those over-the-top crossover records as well, big features and whatnot that we plan on putting into play. I got one with Akon, did a few records with Rico Love. Man, I got records with just about everybody,” he said. “We just putting it together, we done did about 70 records.” (MTV)
Check out a recent T.I. interview down below: