In Print: The Cool Kids Are Happy to Record for Mountain Dew, and More

Categories: In Print

From SF Weekly's latest print music section:

The Cool Kids
The Cool Kids: Chuck Inglish, one half of Chicago's retro-styled rappers the Cool Kids, is speaking about releasing the duo's new album, When Fish Ride Bicycles, through a quasirecord label funded by Mountain Dew, the lurid-colored soda brand owned by PepsiCo. "Green Label is not a record label -- it's like a music company," he explains. "It's modeled a different way. There's no studio in the office; it's really a brand-new situation. They just let us make music." Inglish is absolute in the virtues of this arrangement: His group gets to release the music it wants, gets paid, retains copyright and ownership of its songs, and does so while avoiding the traditional stresses of the record label machine. In his view, it's a win-win situation.

The trend of corporate brands facilitating the release of music -- whether on philanthropic grounds or in an attempt to appear cool-by-association -- has been growing fast over the last couple of years. Any music fans reading about and sourcing their music online will be aware that this month Converse opened Rubber Tracks, a studio in Brooklyn that gives selected bands free use of its facilities; car manufacturer Scion has long sponsored DJ shows and mixtapes; Red Bull has a record label; and Nike has an iTunes storefront. Listening to (usually free) music in 2011 often involves the shadow of a corporation somewhere along the line, even if listeners aren't tacitly aware of it... [continue reading]

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