So this morning I wake up to find a message in the inbox from De La Soul.

What could it be” I thought, “maybe they want me to rhyme on a track or go on tour with them through Africa.  Its gonna be tough with my daughter and all, not sure if the schedule would allow.  But perhaps…“, the fantasy continued until I clicked open.

*scroll to the bottom to read it*

Oh cooool“!  No, it wasn’t an invitation to be Plug 4, rather news about a new album.  As I continued reading, a smile appeared.  I love how artists are becoming more involved with their brand and its direction.  Which was always controlled by the labels.  If you didn’t play by the rules, you don’t get the dollars for touring, advertising, marketing, pressing.

The Rules: We are your image, and we will do what the fu*k we want with it.  It will primarily be based off of popular culture and our financial supporters.  You make them happy by complying and you’ll continue to get that bread.  And don’t even think about being smart and try to own your masters and such, matter of fact, we’ll handle everything… u just sing like a good little artist ho.  Its ya pimp speaking.

*Note: this is an exaggeration that’s not an exaggeration*

They are no longer banking on dollars of support from the Majors aka Record Companies aka Soul Suckers…  It’s no a secret that they’ve been known to stifle creativity by pushing their own agenda of influence through sound and popular artist.

Its also not a secret that artist have become smarter and better at using social tools for promotion, marketing and now one of the hottest methods of crowdfunding.

Wiki says:

Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising monetary contributions from a large number of people, typically via the internet. One early-stage equity expert described it as “the practice of raising funds from two or more people over the internet towards a common Service, Project, Product, Investment, Cause, and Experience, or SPPICE.”

The crowdfunding model is fueled by three types of actors: the project initiator who proposes the idea and/or project to be funded; individuals or groups who support the idea; and a moderating organization (the “platform”) that brings the parties together to launch the idea.

De La Soul opted to generate funding through KickStarter and tons of fans throughout the world showed the industry a few more lessons:

  1. Hip Hop veterans are still relevant
  2. They have a solid base of listeners that wants to hear them and see them succeed
  3. The age is diverse and not 30-50yr olds
  4. A few dollars from a lot of people can mean a lot of dollars
  5. People want what they want and influencing is no longer as effective

If you only listened to the radio, tv/film, its easy to think that no one really listens to classic/vintage/golden age hip hop.  Let alone that they are still alive doing it.  That narrow and controlled youth driven perspective that the media show, is less artistically motivated but rather financially, politically, and spiritually.

But we won’t go there right now, I say that to say… their hold and suffocation (so to speak) of creativity has spawned an artistic rebellion.  It has also spawned an influx of creativity (good and bad).

De La Souls decision to rock with KickStarter was more than a smart move, it was a huge shot to the “dome piece” (a blow to their strength and positioning).  They managed to exceed their $110,000 goal, which is presently $241,899 as of 1:26am.  Guess they can say, “the stakes are not high enough” cause did a remarkable job.

How did they do this?  Well, the answer is simple… They make good music that connects that is universal.  De La Soul’s sound is more than the facades of success but the enjoyments of living as an everyday person thinking everyday things.  They pay respect to the greats by sampling dope stuff and continuing that energy of greatness.  A recipe that can’t be artificially controlled. Its heart inspired, not mind inspired.

I’ll continue to share artistic info. that is casually written but also educates.  I want to empower you to be the best that you can be as an independent creative artist.

Try crowdfunding for your next project.  

With that, I say… continue the support of dope music and art.  It’s the fabric of our lives! – @mrkuyateh_brooklyn

Mase, Pos, Dave
Greetings, family. This is Mase, Pos, and Dave, here.  We’re sending out this email, first of all, to thank you for sticking with De La over so many years. We never take any of you for granted, and because of this, we’ve got some big news for you that we want you to have first. It’s the biggest news we’ve had in about 11 years.
This FALL…we’re releasing A BRAND, NEW ALBUM entitled “and the Anonymous Nobody” our first studio release since *The Grind Date* in 2004.
The Anonymous Nobody: that everyday individual who one day, when least expected, stands up and faces the challenger. He/she refuses to accept… They defy in the hopes of rebirth, growth, and change. They’re the ones who smirk at accolades and take the blow in exchange for the comfort of others. We are those nobodies. We want change from our industries past… labels and lawyers, shackles that kept us bound, at times unable to express our total creative voice. So we stand… bravely trying something new, facing that challenge, fighting for change, fighting against the sample police and fighting for our (and hopefully yours too) continued freedom.
We’ve been in the studio, at the mixing boards, working with incredible musicians, producers, and GUEST ARTISTS, making an amazing album. Even more, we’ve been using an incredible new process to do it: one that’s even blown our OWN minds!
To say that we’re amped and excited would be an understatement: We. Cannot. Wait. to share this album with you.SO, HERE’S THE PLAN, AND WHAT WE NEED YOU TO DO…**TODAY**:

The album is available, RIGHT NOW, for pre-sale at $15 (digital) and $25 (CD copy) on Kickstarter.

If you don’t know, Kickstarter is an online platform that helps people to raise funds for creative projects. In return for donations, people get cool stuff!

We need you to go to Kickstarter TODAY and create a stampede. We need you to be among the first to pre-order the album, and to pledge support. We’ve got great gifts as rewards when you do this, so check ’em out and pledge!

Here’s how it goes:

If you want the album in vinyl, CD, or digital, when it comes out this fall, click on the link below to go to our Kickstarter page and find out about our project

http://kck.st/1IJMjKG

If you’ve never used Kickstarter, or never registered for it—don’t worry: it just takes a second to sign up and order.

Pre-buy the album TODAY!

TODAY, WE NEED YOU, MORE THAN EVER, TO SHOW YOUR LOVE, SO THAT WE CAN SHOW OURS!

THANK YOU!!!!!

Love, Peace, & Soul,
DLS
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