Powered by Google
Editors' Picks
Arts + Books
Rec Room
- - - - - - - - - - - -
Adult Personals
Adult Classifieds
- - - - - - - - - - - -
FNX Radio
Band Guide
MassWeb Printing
- - - - - - - - - - - -
About Us
Contact Us
Advertise With Us
Work For Us
RSS Feeds
- - - - - - - - - - - -

sponsored links
- - - - - - - - - - - - -
Sex Toys - Adult  DVDs - Sexy  Lingerie

  E-Mail This Article to a Friend

From Grey to Black

After DJ Danger Mouse’s The Grey Album wed Jay-Z’s The Black Album to the Beatles’ The Beatles (a/k/a The White Album) this past January (see "Black + White = Grey," Arts, March 5), it was just a matter of time before someone made the other obvious connection. A Minneapolis remixer known as Cheap Cologne got there first, and his Double Black Album, offered for a $10 "donation" through his Web site and just now beginning to make the rounds of file-sharing networks, pairs Jay-Z’s rhymes with heavy metal’s "Black Album," Metallica — 1991’s self-titled disc by notorious anti-download spoilsports Metallica. Just as predictably, Double Black has attracted the ire of the record industry. In an e-mail circulated by the Grammy-winning critic Dave Marsh, editor of the monthly newsletter "Rock and Rap Confidential," Cheap Cologne said he’d received a letter from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) — the record industry’s trade group — on March 5 demanding that he cease distribution of Double Black.

In a post on his Web site, http://www.broke-ass.com/, Cheap Cologne indicated he was removing all the relevant links to Double Black from the site; he noted that the project "started out as a joke when I made one song, but like a lot of jokes, it went too far." Danger Mouse’s disc provoked a day of downloading-as-civil-disobedience after EMI, parent company of the Beatles’ record label, issued cease-and-desist letters. As of press time, there were no plans to stage a "Grey Tuesday"–style show of support for Double Black.

But the next wave of remixes may be even bigger than the first. With the support of Downhillbattle.org, the Worcester-based Web site that organized "Grey Tuesday," the pseudonymous Claire Channel and Scary Sherman have begun offering the Jay-Z Construction Set, a CD-ROM that includes all the software needed to construct one’s own version of Jay-Z’s Black Album — an open-source audio-editing program, samples, clip-art, news articles related to The Grey Album saga, plus a starter-kit collection of the existing remixes: mp3 versions of Kardinal Offishall and Solitair’s The Black Jays Album; Danger Mouse’s The Grey Album; DJ Lt. Dan Presents the Black Album Remixes; MC ScottD’s Black Album Hot Buttered Soul Remixes; Illmind’s Black & Tan Album; and Black Album producer 9th Wonder’s Black Is Back, along with Jay-Z’s original and the a cappella version that sparked the craze. The Construction Set is not now and, its creators say, never will be available for sale or direct download; instead, the pair is distributing the collection via the next-generation file-sharing protocol BitTorrent. (For more info, visit http://www.jayzconstructionset.com/.)

Both Double Black and the Construction Set offer insight into how artists and perhaps labels might use file-sharing technology to promote and distribute releases outside the strictures of the record industry: while Cheap Cologne says in his Web post that he’s no longer offering Double Black, he also pointedly mentions that 300 copies were pressed, and that "there are a few left" — suggesting, or perhaps hoping, that the original copies might become high-priced, eBay-able collector’s items. And by relying on file-sharing to carry the Construction Set to consumers, its makers are pointing out just how difficult it’s becoming for entities like the RIAA and EMI to shut down copyright infringement with last century’s legal arsenal.

Issue Date: March 12 - 18, 2004
Back to the News & Features table of contents
  E-Mail This Article to a Friend

about the phoenix |  advertising info |  Webmaster |  work for us
Copyright © 2005 Phoenix Media/Communications Group