IN D-FENCE OF NAPSTER

The Public Enemy frontman sticks up for the under-fire website...

PUBLIC ENEMY’S CHUCK D has again rallied behind MP3 software provider Napster and made the most spirited defence yet of the under-fire website.

In a lengthy editorial in last Saturday’s New York Times (April 29) the hip hop legend, who has become a nominal figurehead for the benefits the Internet can bring to music fans, claimed the era of the traditional music industry was at an end.

“I believe that truly another parallel music industry will be created alongside the one that presently exists,” he said, “And that’s the bottom line stake that traditionalists fear. Right now, companies like Napster are creating new fan interest in the acquisition of music, as well as establishing an infrastructure that previously was non-existent for unknown artists. Napster‘s gonna revolutionize music and redefine what a song can and should do.”

He dismissed the high profile lawsuits being brought by Dr Dre and Metallica against the site for copyright infringement as nothing more than “cases used to support yet another lawyer looking to preserve the prehistoric existence of contracts past” and claimed that they could not win.

He said: “The fans are getting back. Napster has turned music into baseball cards and the consumer base of kids are leading the pack, ENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT MUSIC.”

Chuck D has been vocal in his support of the file swapping software since its inception. He has now teamed up with Napster through his Napster[/a]-themed lyrics.

Fans can then upload their versions before May 14 and the best track will then be made available as a free download on the rapstation site from May 15. The winner will also receive US$5000.

As Chuck D explained in a statement separate to his New York Times article: “We want to draw attention to the positive aspects that Napster has to offer artists. They need to realize that they can benefit infinitely from what it has to offer.”

Last week Limp Bizkit and Cypress Hill threw their support behind Napster, agreeing to take part in a free North American tour, the costs of which will be covered by the Napster website.