Public Enemy have split with label Def Jam and intend to release their new album ‘Bring The Noise 2000’ exclusively via the internet, according to a report in US magazine Billboard yesterday, January 13.
This follows a clash between band and label in December last year when the band posted tracks from ‘BTN 2000’ on the site in MP3 format for free download. The band’s record company’s lawyers then forced them to take the tracks down.
Then, last week, PE posted an exclusive new track – ‘Swindler’s Lust’ – on the site, again as a free download. The track is an attack on corporate culture, equating the position of black artists within the entertainment industry with slaves, a tirade against the history of exploitation of black music by record companies, leaving the producers to struggle in poverty while the companies reaped huge profits.
Chuck D‘s manager Walter Leaphart told Billboard that PE would be looking for a partner for their new deal but “…they won’t be doing the classic indentured servitude kind of a deal.”
Def Jam, the label formed by Russel Simmons and Rick Rubin in the 1980s to release records by artists such as The Beastie Boys,. Run DMC and LL Cool J, taking rap to a mass market for the first time, was one of the labels swallowed up by the merger that made Polygram the largest record group in the world. related related stories
Public Enemy web-site censored
Public Enemy post exclusive track on the net
CD: Public Enemy – He Got Game
CD: Public Enemy – Fear Of A Black Planet tour dates
Click for the gig guide
Chuck D‘s vision of the future, however, is of half a million independent labels all releasing music over the internet, cutting out the big labels, distributors and record-store chains.
Def Jam have confirmed that PE have left the label, though Def Jam head Lyor Cohen has said that it has nothing to do with “this compuer stuff”.
US rap magazine The Vibe quotes him as saying: “We were negotiating their departure a long time before the MP3 incident.”
Click back to nme.com for more developments on this story.
Have NME.COM news updates e mailed directly to you.
To subscribe, just fill in your e-mail.