Thursday, July 24, 2008

How Far Do We Have to Go?

There's a new album due out by a New Orleans hip-hop artist that I'd like to review and possibly do a feature on. The catch? So far, the only way to hear the CD is at a listening party or a private listening session in an office. I admit I feel like I'm being manipulated as I'm being treated like someone special enough to attend a party or merit a private session, but that might just be me.

That aside, I have definite issues with having to rearrange my life to review an album. I'm being inconvenienced because the company is afraid someone will leak or bootleg the music. The publicist reassured me that I wasn't suspected, but what she meant was that I'm not personally suspected. Anyone who might hear the music in advance is viewed as a potential pirate, which means they're still suspicious of me, but in a general way.

I wonder if I'm overreacting to this, and I realize I'm bargaining from a weak hand. New Orleans hip-hop has largely worked around the print media, though to be fair, New Orleans' print media hasn't strained itself with its efforts to cover bounce, Cash Money, No Limit and the like. Still, if the label controls the way the music is heard, it exerts some control over the way it's covered, and that's not right.

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