Legendary hip hop group Public Enemy has launched a campaign with BitTorrent inviting fans to compile their own mixes from the band’s latest single “Get Up Stand Up” and submit them for a chance to be distributed by the group. BitTorrent has created a special Public Enemy Bundle that can be downloaded for free and the service’s 170 million users can remix it to their liking.
An American hip hop group that originated back in the 1980s, Public Enemy is the entity formed by Chuck D, Flavor Flav, and Terminator X (who was replaced by DJ Lord in 1999). This Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee is probably well known for their Grammy award nominated songs “Fight the Power”, “Bring the Noise”, and many others.
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Gary “G-Wiz” Rinaldo, the manager for Chuck D, says that partnering with BitTorrent was a smart move for the band:
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.
What exactly is a Bundle? BitTorrent touts it as its “direct-to-fan collaboration with Ultra Music.” It launched in May and aims to create a record store inside an album. Some might think that this is a way to take on iTunes or the Google Play music service. In its blog post, the company explains that a Bundle isn’t an album, an MP3 or even an MOV — rather, it’s a multimedia format that the company says is “an early build of a new type of torrent file where fan interaction, like email collection or donation, happens inside the torrent.”
In the case of Public Enemy’s Bundle, fans can receive the group’s new single “Get Up Stand Up”. Once they’ve opted in to unlock the Bundle, they will also receive a music video, outtakes, and 37 multitracks. With this library of information, the group hopes that fans will remix their own track and submit it for review by the members of the band. One lucky person will be selected and have their track released digitally — Public Enemy calls it “creative activism”.
There are several prize tiers given:
1st Prize: One amazing remix will get released by Public Enemy. Its creator will get equipment from Blue Mics, Native Instruments, plus Public Enemy swag.
2nd Prize: 3 remixers will win equipment from Blue Mics and Native Instruments, plus merch from Public Enemy.
3rd Prize: 5 remixers will win Public Enemy merchandise, and a feature in BitTorrent.
Rinaldo says that Public Enemy has always looked at collaborating when it comes to songs. Naturally, the group felt that sharing is collaborating and technology is certainly heading into that direction — so why not crowdsource their next single? He says that Public Enemy has also been supportive of how technology has impacted the relationship between artists and fans:
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.
It’s not surprising to see bands take this evolved step into finding ways to better communicate with their fans. The proliferation of social technology like YouTube and now BitTorrent have made it so bands and artists are seeing their songs remixed even without their permission or solicitation.
Winners will be chosen on July 18. All submissions can be made via SoShare.
Photo credit: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images