Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Enemy of the State: An Open Letter Regarding the Lasers Situation

First off, let me start by saying I personally don't have anything against Atlantic Records, what they stand for, or what they've done as a company, because I'm all for any organization that has a passion to distribute the gift of music across the world, and take it to levels that a man alone may not be able to by himself. Secondly, I genuinely believe Lupe Fiasco is one of the greatest writers of our generation if not in the history of our culture altogether, so this Lasers situation is something I am very passionate about. I understand very well the climate that the music industry is in, and although there are three sides to every story, and I'm only going off of one of the sides, and speculation, I can full and well understand some of the antics Atlantic has been accused of. They want to make money, that's what a company does, and it makes sense that they'd want Lupe to bring them a smash hit record that everybody can eat off of. With that said, I also give Lupe the benefit of the doubt (based off of the track record of his last two albums), that there's a hit record somewhere on Lasers, if not a few of them, but I guess my personal visionary expands beyond what the average (non musician, at that) person thinks could be successful. I understand why they favor the 360 model as far as their artists are concerned, but whether I agree with it or not is an entirely different subject.

I definitely am not somebody claiming to have the solution, because I don't have all the answers. Regardless, with the year-round packed shows all over the world, petitions, fan clubs, blogs, clothing lines, et cetera, that come along with Lupe Fiasco, I think we all know he has a passionate fanbase behind him that cares and will support his music upon its release. Furthermore, I think we all know the platforms he has the potential to reach with his talent (not to mention the ones he's already reached, climbed and gone beyond). When was the last time a protest was organized after a rapper's album got shelved? Lupe and his music mean a lot of things to a lot of people, and I know in my youth that his messages and the way he painted them were instrumental in making me the way that I am. Not that I tried to fit in his mold, but that they inspired me to create my own.

On October 15th, 2010, in midtown New York City, along the neighborhood of Atlantic Records, there will be a protest with the intention of furthering the fight against the limbo that the Lasers album has seemingly been hanging in. I'll be there. We may not immediately get what we want, the way we want, and I can't tell the future, so we may not get what we want at all. But I don't think we wanna sit back without an attempt or two.

'Ro Ransom

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