Public Enemy, hip-hop’s original revolutionaries, are about to kick over the barriers once again. Specifically the rap legends have decided to release “Get Up Stand Up“–their fist-raising collaboration with rhymesayer Brother Ali–as a BitTorrent bundle today. That might not sound like a shot heard round the world at first gloss but what it means is that the group is letting their song’s DNA go viral in the most explosive way possible by letting fans not only download the song but also access its 37 multitrack stems (plus additional video content) simply by entering an email.
That’s when things really get out of hand–fans will have an opportunity to create their own song using the multitracks and share those with Public Enemy using another BitTorrent product SoShare. PE will then choose the winners with the top pick getting produced and released by Public Enemy. In short, its about as close as Chuck D could come to make the lyrics of the song:
“This song don’t give a damn / you can’t dance or romance to it / This song ain’t arrogant / if you don’t try, buy it / if your radio denies it..”
…come to life. Since using technology to take hip-hop direct to the masses is pretty much the heart of what Okayplayer has been about since 1.0, we are understandably a little amped about this whole thing–not to mention extremely proud to have BitTorrent as our official sponsor and partner in content-capture at Roots Picnic 2013.
PE & Ali’s power move is just the first volley of a whole new format for music and other culture that the BitTorrent bundle represents, so in the spirit of empowering music-makers and spreading knowledge we asked Chuck D’s manager Gary “G-Wiz” Rinaldo and BitTorrent’s Matt Mason to break it all down for us. Hit the links below to get the “Get Up Stand Up” bundle and–ESPECIALLY if you make music, scroll down to get the full science on how BitTorrent is about to rewrite the basic code of the Internet.
Gary “G-Wiz” Rinaldo On Public Enemy x BitTorrent:
OKP: Why did PE choose to partner with BitTorrent on this?
G-Wiz: Because if you’re going to make very large files available, who better to make sure everyone can actually get it than BitTorrent technology? Couple that with the options available in the bundle and it makes complete sense. Streaming is great but we believe in retaining files too. As more and more fans are herded into accessing media but never retaining it, it is important in many cases for fans to have access to the files they have gotten the right to download.
OKP: Why was it important to give fans the multitracks? What do you hope to get back from this other than an awesome remix?
GW: It is the best case scenario when doing a remix. Having an acapella is good, have the ability to access more of the music is great, the full multitrack is usually not an option, we wanted to make it an option for this remix. [BitTorrent also has] a large music community with the best technology for transferring large files seemed like the perfect fit for what we wanted to do.
OKP: What has been the impact on technology on the relationship between artists and fans?
GW: We’ve supported it from the beginning, we believe in it, direct connecting, faster access to music, making things available. For many established people in the music business there is a fear that comes along with it. We don’t have that fear. The process of technology affecting how music is made and sold is almost complete. Its now in everyone’s hands and its more about what you can do rather than gaining access to a facility to do it in. Motion pictures are well into that cycle now. Fairly soon, the idea and creativity behind it will be the only limitation.
Matt Mason on PE x BitTorrent:
OKP: First off, what is BitTorrent and why do people need to know about it?
BT:That’s a great question. There’s a lot of confusion about what BitTorrent is, and what it does. So here it is in plain language: BitTorrent is an Internet protocol; a way of doing things online that makes the web more efficient. It was invented in 2001 by our founder and chief scientist, Bram Cohen as a replacement for HTTP; the protocol that moves Internet traffic. When the Internet was created, no one envisioned the size and volume of the data that would travel across it each day. In the past few years alone creating HD video and hi-resolution photos on your smartphone has become possible. And if you take photos and vids as often as I do, then multiply that by the millions of people with such a smartphone – that’s a hell of alot data clogging up the Internet. And they haven’t even started to roll out 4K video, but it’s coming. BitTorrent is what makes these files move smoothly over the Internet without creating traffic jams.
BitTorrent is used by the Internet’s leading platforms to move data, everyone from Facebook to Wikipedia to Twitter to the Human Geonome Project and the Large Hadron Collider uses BitTorrent to do so. With over 170 million users and more than 30% of all Internet traffic, BitTorrent is hugely important resource for content creators and consumers.