CYRIOUSLY: The Future Is Now...




Hopefully by this point, readers have been able to take some of my postings with a grain of salt (and a gulp of Mountain Dew) because I have no intent on slowing down my mind flow and speaking freely. Cyrus x seriousssssly, man...so with that being said, I want to take a quick moment and focus on the future of R&B.

When I think of the future, besides throwback And1 Mixtape players, I come to imagine what things are going to be looking like for the next few years within the music industry. Of course, let's not get it twisted....Alicia Keys is still going to be dodging Swizz Beatz proposal rumors and Mary J. Blige is going to keep convincing us about having no more drama.....despite continuing "to" have drama in her life.....sure, great, gotcha.....but what about the music form?

One of the main goals I hope we can move beyond is the blaming of online piracy, burning CDs and (insert excuse quote from (insert record label) right here), if labels are still not realizing the strength which comes from being able to toss up, utilize and promote the online game (SUITE903.com!!!!!), then they lost back in 1999. And even though I'm going to likely receive a few greased faced readers and masturbation-is-better-than-sex bloggers giving me the gas face and trying to hack my GMail account for saying "www.AlbumHunt.com" is HELPING the industry, well, it is. Sure, there are the benefits of being within the "in-dus-try" like free albums, but sometimes when your free copy gets "lost" in "a" mailing room and/or you feel like you've maxed out those "RE: new Sade album?" e-mails, the best resort is to get an album online....errrr...for free.

Now of course I won't "admit" to taking part in those activities (*Robin Thicke: Sex Therapy Download Status: 87% Completed*), I must say, the online game is crazy. Some artists are pretty hip to the idea, even attempting to become "addicts" to the Twitter tool and promoting themselves through Tweets that actually make you feel like they're interested in you and posting up links to their new songs, mixtapes, announcements....so going back a paragraph or so, I guess the labels probably have somewhat realized this evolution and have gotten hip to the game...

@DefJam, @JiveRecords @FaderLabel @YesI'mNotKiddingYo

....but is it really enough? As drastic as it sounds, can we just wipe out physical CDs at this point? Pweease? Now, even a Nicki Minaj-type plea does not erase the fact a majority of people still focus on purchasing actual albums from an actual retail store with actual cash. Yes, very true. It's also true not all people have an iPod, computer, Internet connection and credit cards to get this music. Look, to be honest, I'm old-fashioned...if I don't get a hook-up (take it how you want it, RIAA) from one of my political connects, well, I might bite the bullet and go out to cop the actual album. Some are just givens....Sade, Robin Thicke, Jon B, Drake, Lloyd....despite what the overall outlook is, I still will go out and support my crew. And despite the disparity in what I'm arguing "for" and what I currently "exercise," it all still comes together.

The labels "must" find a way to get fan lovers to move toward online-only purchases for new releases. Sure, they blame illegal downloading 24/7, but if your "friend's" favorite porn sites are more secure than trying to crack into the FBI database when it comes in to log-in passwords, you can't tell me there isn't a strategic move companies could make.

Of course I'm going off mere speculation without all the numbers drawn out, but here is what I'm thinking. Map it all out, see what regions are more computer-heavy as opposed to physical copy purchases. Start with going the Wal-Mart way by only releasing edited versions of music to the big retails outlets like Target, Best Buy, etc....and if the little CD shops still are existing, make them along with any other retailers pay a surcharge amount to received unedited versions. This, in a way, will at the very least drive people online. But assuming my plan is "Pleasantville"-type safe and everyone "does" make a long-but-full move to online purchases, it will then be time to call in your All-Star Weekend line-up of Internet geek workers.

So, everyone and their grandparents are convinced it's best to go online, cop the album and then, if they want, burn their PURCHASED copies onto blank discs, right? RIGHT....but just because everyone is online doesn't mean they're going to Amazon to cop the records, this is where the Rhapsody approach gets applied. Rather than selling the artists' new albums each individually marked at such and such a price, each label should offer their own site where a monthly (or weekly?) subscription of say, maybe $10 will get them an unlimited pass to all of the label's albums. From paying as much as $40 for DefJamMusic.com (<----made it up) this month, I can download full length albums going from Run-DMC to even my secret stash like Shawnna and Playaz Circle...

Granted, of course there are some flaws in this whole plan, but it's a starting point.  Get the brains of the operation/label to put up a set price, place "certain" security restrictions here and there, shucks, maybe even a "rental" tactic and see how things go...

All in all, I guess when I look into the future, it's no surprise "eventually" the CD format will disappear but maybe, just maybe, this process could make things go faster...

Just saying.................

CYRIOUSLY: The Future Is Now...