10 reasons why 2010 was the best year ever in hip-hop: #2 G.O.O.D. Music…the name says it all.

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It’s fitting that the video for Monster leaked today.  This has been a year of leaks for Kanye West.  Some were unexpected, but most of them were completely under his control and were part of one of the most daring album promotion plans ever.  Kanye bucked the system.  He said f*ck the label marketing machine, the mainstream press, iTunes, everything…and said “I’m doing this my way.”  He gave his music away for free with the belief that people would try it, like it and want to buy the full versions.  He skipped traditional media outlets, except for a notable few, and instead communicated directly with the fans through Facebook and Twitter.  And, he won.  On his terms.  The album is heading toward platinum (if it isn’t already there) and he released the music he wanted to, not formulaic hits mandated to him.  After several decades of having to sign with a record company, make the album they wanted you to make, pay off radio to play the songs (real talk) and damn near pay record stores to carry the product (Google “co-op marketing”), he has heralded a new paradigm for SELLING music to fans.  Others have done it before (lots of indie artists, Radiohead, Trent Reznor, Prince), but no one at Kanye’s current level, at the height of his fame, has done this (no disrespect to the the previously mentioned–they had their days when they too were at this level or greater but they didn’t buck the system then…).  Just think of the example he has set for up and coming artist for the next decade.  There will be a legion of new artist who will look at what Kanye West did in 2010 and think “why should I let anybody dictate how I make and sell MY music.”  Not all will succeed.  In fact, most will fail…as most do now.  But, for those who make it, on their terms, they will have wealth and control far greater than the artists before them.  And Kanye will have played a BIG part in that.  No one man should have all that POWER.    Support G.O.O.D. music.

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