Many artists are breaking away from the traditional ways of marketing and selling their music; now a US-based rapper is charging a four figure sum for a CD that is available for free online.
Nipsey Hussle, who is currently on his Mailbox Money Tour, has come up with a unique idea to make money from his music. His new album, Mailbox Money is being offered free on the Internet, however, if people want to be a copy of the CD, they’ll have to stump up $1,000.
The CD copies will be limited to just one hundred, and in an interview with The Guardian, the Los Angeles-born rapper states it is a strategy that is working; he’s already sold sixty copies.
In the interview, the rapper explained that charging such a high price for the album has helped him to understand the psychology of people buying it. He said:
“The highest human act is to inspire.”
“Money is a tool – it’s the means, not the end. [Inspiration is] the metric that dictates whether or not a project is a success. It’s more realistic than trying to aim for radio play, or trying to satisfy an A&R, or the other gatekeepers on these platforms. I don’t even know how to create with those things in mind. But if you tell me the goal is to inspire? That makes my job a lot easier.”
It is a technique that Nipsey Hussle has employed in the past. Two years ago, Hussle made his Crenshaw album available as a limited print run of 1,000 and sold the copies at $100 each, ten times less than the price for single disk of his latest work. The previous album was successfully promoted by utilising his fan base and coining the Proud2Pay hashtag on social media. Incidentally every single copy sold, even Jay Z was among one of the buyers.
It has to be said that the L.A. rapper isn’t alone when it comes to innovative ways of selling his music. The Independent reports that The Wu Tang Clang is to sell only a single copy of their ‘Once Upon A Time In Shaolin’ album as a unique one off purchase. In return the buyer will receive the album encased in a silver and nickel casket and will be sold on the website Paddle 8. Another instance comes from the Edinburgh-based indie-rock group The Sexual Objects, whom are selling only a single Vinyl copy of their ‘Marshmallow’ album on the well known auction site, eBay.