Americans love free shit more than baseball, apple pie and fucking flag lapels. In and of itself it’s not a bad thing—after all, who doesn’t want to get something for nothing—but like most things in the US of A, we like to go big with our free. Jump right up on it’s back and ride that baby for all it’s worth. If we can get away with jacking something without penalty or consequence, you best believe we’ll be hitting that shit hard and often. It’s like we can’t help ourselves. It’s what we do best.
When it comes to music, the numbers are, not surprisingly, disturbing and pathetic. 56% of U.S. Internet users think that music isn’t worth paying for. Let me repeat that again: music isn’t worth paying for. That’s over 120 million slack-jawed ass wipes, most, if not all, without a creative bone in their body. Every single one of them, however, has an undeserved sense of entitlement. That is shameful. Welcome to America.
So-called digital evangelists and social media guru fucktards will argue that this is a natural progression. This is the marketplace that consumers have created for themselves and artists need to adapt or perish. There is no going back. Unfortunately, much like death, taxes and the complete mind-numbing vacuousness of the American entertainment complex, this too is fact.
However, the reality is that this is not so much a change in the fundamentals of the marketplace as it is a reflection of the total lack of respect our country has developed for art and culture, especially music. In an ideal world, instead of getting on their knees and being forced to capitulate, bands and musicians would develop one simple but very effective mantra: Fuck you, pay me.
See how easily it rolls of the tongue? The sense of relief and empowerment that courses through your veins? That’s the truth smacking you in the genitals.
To all you music “fans,” let us give you a quick reality check: If you think music should be free, if you’re unwilling to pay for the fruits of someone else’s labor, if you think you are entitled to something you had no part in creating, you are, in fact, a scumbag. On behalf of musicians everywhere: Fuck you, pay me.
Think buying a t-shirt at a show makes up for the last two albums you pinched off of Mediafire? Guess again. Fuck you, pay me.
Think stealing an album to “see if you like it” is somehow legit and justifiable? Fuck you, pay me. That’s what MySpace is for, asshole.
What makes you so privileged? Do you get your gas, groceries or weed for free? Didn’t think so. Fuck you, pay me.
This has nothing to do with catering to fat cat industry bigwigs or trying to keep a dying, bloated industry alive. It has everything to do with what’s fair.
The pay what you want model championed by the likes of Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails is a sham. Not because it’s not viable or sustainable. Not because it doesn’t make fiscal sense in the face of current market and consumer trends. It’s a sham because it’s ethically reprehensible. Real music fans should not be tasked with the burden of financially carrying the dead weight of cultural deadbeats.
So let’s get this straight: if you think that music is not worth paying for, you are not a fan.
You are not a music lover.
You’re a leech and a cheapskate.
So fuck you, and pay me.