The Listener 2.0


Morning…Coffee…Google news…mediatakeout…billboard…interesting story…headline reads T Pain’s Digital Label Unveils New Artist…feeling…not so sure.

I tried to write a Haiku but wasn’t really feeling it so that’s what I came up with. So I read this morning that T Pain has signed three new artist to his digital label. I haven’t heard any of the new music but I was surprised that T. Pain had his own label. It seems like artists these days get their own labels like children pick up toys from the grocery store. They just throw them into the shopping cart because they know they’re parents will buy them and they really have no intention on doing anything with it, they just want it because it’s there. If I hear another rapper or R&B singer plugging their label on the next hit single I just may scream at the top of my lungs (even if I’m in the library). Is it really that easy?

Ok so my point in this article is to talk about digital music. Here you have an artist who is very successful but decides not to adopt the traditional label with the distribution of physical copies. He believes that there will be no more records stores in the next 10 years and he wants to be ready for the transformation. I agree with his position but it made me ask myself is digital music really taking over our lives? iTunes, Amazon, and illegal downloading site (which I will NOT break the code of the streets by giving names) are all the rave now. You can download your music and send it directly to your MP3 player. Gone are the days when people actually put on some clothing, drive, walk , or bike down to the local record store and purchase a CD or in the 80’s and 90’s tapes. This saddens me…so much to the point that I have decided not to buy any more albums from iTunes or any digital websites (you heard me right).

Why you ask? Well besides that fact that I already owe them like $30, the decision came when I ordered Janet’s latest album Discipline back in April. At the time my iPod was stolen and I (being in denial) just KNEW I was going to get it back and being the true Jackson fan that I am I thought I would support her by paying the extra money and buying the tangible copy of her new record. So when it came in the mail I quickly speed walked up to my dorm room, tore off the plastic (which took forever) and popped the CD into my computer. As soon as the first song kicked in my head began to bob uncontrollably and I instantly realized my excitement for listening to new music. But it wasn’t just the music that contributed to such excitement…it was the packaging, the plastic, the waiting three days for Amazon’s slow asses to deliver it. It was all of the elements of a true music lover’s lust for new sound. I looked under my bed and found two boxes filled with old CDs from high school. I began to revisit the feeling I got when I purchased my first CD, Busta Rhymes E.L.E. 1998. As my mind began to race I thought about the new Herbie Hancock CD that I purchased on iTunes and said to myself in a sad tone…”I haven’t even listened to it yet”. I had indeed forgotten that I bought it. And that’s when it hit me. I missed the excitement, I missed reading the liner notes, (this is where the tone of my voice is rising) I missed the smell of a new CD and the extra effort it takes to get it out of the case for the first time. I then decided that from that day forward…I would no longer order digital music. After shedding a few tears I took my Janet CD stuffed in it my backpack and went about my day.

So I said all that to say…Digital music is great but don’t you miss the excitement of having your own physical copy? It’s the difference between seeing and believing. I’ll never forget rushing to the store on October 31, 2001 to buy Michael Jackson’s Invincible or how I felt when my high school Jazz teacher borrowed me Coltrane’s A Love Supreme (which I still have to this very day). All I’m saying is that music was meant to be enjoyed and for people like me the only way to truly do that is to have it in our physical possession. I wanna know what you think? Is buying digital music killing your love for the art?


June 6, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Me personally. I see CD sales fading away sooner. The facts is the youth has complied and accepted digital technology. As for as digital sales becoming the top contender knocking the CD out thhe ring.

    Digital sales will replay CD. Sales will go down dramaticly decline. Just like vinyl records, they still exsist to music industry professionals, and DJs. But the cassette and 8 Track Tape has no value, nothing to play it on.

    Being the cheap skate I am , I shop at Family Dollars for certain product. I noticed they where selling MP3 players, It took me 3 to 4 times going in before i decided to invest in one. which was only $15 and holds over 600 songs.

    My point is the masses have accepted digital music, via online and cell phone. We now have thhe ability to compete with major industry. And this new era has change the game, and it’s gonna get deeper.

    Comment by Da Architec | January 3, 2009 | Reply

  2. Please forgive me for typing errors, Im multi-tasking

    Comment by Da Architec | January 3, 2009 | Reply

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