No stranger to the internet, Big Boi (1/2 of Outkast) has about 57 different “official” internet portals. That’s not to speak of the fake accounts he uses to leak stuff his record label won’t put out. Though, I can’t put it straight. Should I look for his new video stuff here, here, or here?
Since a search algorithm is the front door to everything for most of us, maybe the destination is completely irrelevant.
Clearly a guy who’s understood the temperature of the ‘tubes since the trucks have been running (and dumping), BeeEyeJee-BeeOhhEye is very much deserving of respect for not only his artistic prowess but also his new media marketing strategy.
But let me pick on him for a minute.
Exhibit A: Shine Blockas Offical Music Video
This video looks like it was shot on a Canon 5D (or the ilk). Big Boi has been doing that a lot, lately—super low budj productions—using the common man’s tools, yet still retaining that look and feel of many music videos that have dominated the last decade. This is a guy no stranger to six figure music video budgets grabbing no more than one…friend? And running around Atlanta at three in the morning. With around three-five K worth of camera gear (maybe less).
So that Shine Blockas video probably took about four hours to shoot. And it was edited the next day. Makes sense. Music profits are shrinking, labels and artists squabble over smaller and smaller pieces of the pie, many musicians take production and distribution into their own hands. And it’s hard not to notice Big Boi clearly wants his music heard more often than not—official release strategies be damned.
But I can’t help but notice the most interesting part of that video was where he’s walking around Walmart buying socks. Filmed on a cellphone (or the ilk).
Compare Big Boi’s video—and use of video in promoting his brand, to internet enigma Jay Electronica‘s use of video.
Just Jay and Puff chilln’ in the studio. Even crappier camera than used in Big Boi’s Walmart footy. Clearly no regard for looking cool and polished. It feels like a peak behind the curtain.
So we have one artist is using democratized tools and democratized distribution to make the same content he did when it required big budgets and big TV. Another artist is using those same democratized tools and distribution to put out random bits of interesting content that feel fresh and exciting and are only now possible because big tools and bit TV are not needed.
So, your music video (or commercial) can live on the web. We can even make it more cheaply that you’re used to. But we can also do so much more. Even if it’s simple.