For years now EDM and rap artists have given music away for free online, under the unexamined assumption that not charging for it would allow them to explore sampling and remixing in ways that would be amazingly difficult, if not downright impossible, to pull off within the label system, where all those samples would have to be cleared and paid for. But it turns out that giving away derivative works—the legal category into which songs using sampled source material fall—isn’t any different from charging for them in the eyes of the law. In this week’s B Side feature, I talk about how local dance-rap hybridists Flosstradamus ran into a little trouble with a free song that lifted a melody from EDM producer Dutch Master—now that sampling artists and those being sampled are starting to realize the legal facts, the copyright free-for-all online might be over.
Elsewhere on the B Side, Gossip Wolf brings news of DIY Pitchfork anti-fest Bitchpork, which is returning from rumored oblivion; a merger between Soma and Engine, two of the better recording studios in town; and local rapper Sulaiman, who’s been involved in a top-secret TV project. Three Beats lets you know what’s up with experimental artist Ben Vida, Kidz in the Hall rapper Naledge and his plans for a postrap career in social work, and jazz guitarist Bobby Broom, who’s finally releasing his first collection of original works. Soundboard recommends shows by Justin Townes Earle, Saturday Looks Good to Me, Electric Six, Hive Mind, Meshuggah, Damien Jurado, and more. And Early Warnings has a whole grip of newly announced upcoming live appearances, including dates by Black Lips, Loretta Lynn, Liars, Smashing Pumpkins, and N.O.R.E.
Oh, and though it’s not technically B Side material, I highly suggest you check out this week’s cover story on the other side of the paper by Leor Galil, in which he explores the relationship between Chicago rappers and Chicago streetwear brands. It’s good stuff.