It was only a matter of time...
I plan on ordering the BlakRoc album tomorrow — listening to the leak, it’s not as great as I hoped. However, I couldn’t really get into the album with the hyper compressed shitty MP3’s that made up the leaky leak. The audio on the BlakRoc page (still a brilliant piece of cinematography for an online-only hip hop record) from the HiDef video pumps up the value/volume tenfold. Plus, the Black Keys never make a bad record. RZA and Jim Jones both rapping on two tracks, though, might not have been the best of ideas. Regardless, great musical ideas with plenty good results should be rewarded with PayPal duckets.
I am talkin’ about Dame: outside of the artsy direction Dame Dash has inhabited post-Roc-a-Fella, with movies, clothes, and music projects captained by two scraggly white guys from Akron, the man is still a fly ass money makin’ boss from Harlem.
Need proof? I present to you the BlakRoc Chevy Camaro!
Knowing Dame Dash’s track record, it’s obvious he looks at all the angles before investing and promoting a product. And this is where the BlakRoc Chevy Camaro comes in to play. Tying an album release to an exclusive tricked out ride would be a great idea for someone like Cam’ron during he and Roc-a-Fella’s Come Home With Me days. Sure, it’s only a Chevrolet that probably retails at or below $20,000. But I’m not sure what demographic of present or future BlakRoc fan is meant to take advantage of this. Maybe Chevy stepped to Dame and/or the Black Keys previously. Maybe the gritty authenticity BlakRoc is gunning for by eschewing failed rap/rock projects of the past is what Chevy is trying to swagger jack for the ’10 Camaro. Maybe Dame is crafting his “anti-record label” record label approach by getting capital from massive corporations down on their luck who will try anything to get out of the red (it’s a shrewd business move on Dame’s behalf if that is the case — almost like SpongeTech’s takeover of in-stadium advertising with declining ticket sales forcing pro teams to lower ad rates).
Maybe Jim Jones is ballin’ in a two door domestic now.
If you check out the store on the BlakRoc page, you’ll see the upcoming album for sale on CD (nifty) and vinyl (authentic) next to a BlakRoc logo t-shirt (standard operating merch) and a confrontational BlakRoc philosophical tee (“Did you ever really fuck with rock n roll?” — Answer: FUCK YES, BLAKROC!).
I looked at these pieces of merch as smart, post-internet pieces of marketing and branding. Instead of flooding us with mixtapes and free downloads, Dame Dash created a new identity for music that implied a fresh approach which, most importantly, should garner value. The high quality promo trailers promote an experience, not flipcam hijinx to impress Nah Right commenters (I want to live in that studio–for real). Tying in the Black Keys suggests authenticity — they are a blues garage rock duo who critics and bloggers and musicians and fans all seem to adore (and with good reason). Nabbing verses from Billy Danze, ODB, Phaorohe Monch, Mos Def, Raekwon, and Q-Tip are a wink to 90’s New York rap: brutal, raw, melodic, hazy, and experimental. There are no blog rappers or industry hyped novices; the only newcomer is NOE, who eerily sounds identical to Jay-Z ( maybe Dame decided to take Jay up on his “make another Jay” challenge or maybe he’s discovering the joys of millionaire irony).
Dame Dash knows plenty of rappers more high profile then the current roster that fills out the tracklisting of BlakRoc; the fact that BlackBerries for the handlers of current billboard hotseekers did not get a text to slide past DD1972 studios to smoke somethin’, drink Hennesey, and chill with thousand dollar lesbians is no accident.
However it shakes out, BlakRoc (the album) will not live or die with a Chevrolet co-sign; though the project isn’t perfect, it’s a good starting point for what the Black Keys could do down the line in a strict hip hop setting adjoined by (mostly) strict hip hoppers. BlakRoc (the brand) has its eyes set on the big picture (corporate sponsorship) and a new business plan to, get this, charge money for a piece of music that has been promoted and marketing almostly exclusively online.
Why you think me and Dame cool? Well, I’m not a verbose asshole but I do appreciate the vision and hustle of a guy who sips Chardonnay with Chevy in the morning and sips Brooklyn brown liquor with William Danzini of M.O.P. in the evening.