DionRabouin.com (sort of)

MySpace and the future of Tila Tequila

Apparently I missed the boat with this whole MySpace thing
Monday, March 5, 2007 at 2:47pm
I had never heard of Tila Tequila until today, when I read an article about her in the New York Times. Unless you’re really up on your MySpace celebrities, you’re probably wondering “who’s Tila Tequila and why on earth is there an article about her in The New York Times, America’s paper of record?” To that I’d say, “Apparently Ms. Tequila is releasing her single ‘I Love U’ via iTunes without the help and/or assistance of a record label. And not just no major record label, she has no label whatsoever.” I’m sure you, in this hypothetical conversation we’re having would say, “Wow, that’s interesting. I wonder if her music is actually any good or if she’s just some MySpace whore with no talent riding her online fame to a few quick bucks.”

There are, however, very real consequences to this person who is actually of such little consequence. If this single sells and proves to be marketable and money making it could completely change the face of music as we know it. A successful record could spell the eradication of what we now know as the music industry, because artists will no longer need an industry. If a little girl from Singapore can release her single — which would undoubtably lead to a full length album — via the web without bowing to, and sharing a large chunk of her money with, any record label than why would any artist voluntarily go through the traditional get discovered/get signed/cut an album/go on tour all the while making 10% of the profits for your toil?

MySpace, iTunes and other websites have been great ways for bands to make a name for themselves in the past, but that was with the goal of eventually signing with a record label and paying their dues and moving up in the world. This could all no longer be necessary. It’s actually amazing, our generation is actually that wired that we could completely bi-pass the wholerecord distribution/sales portion of attaining music.

Of course the powers that be have and will continue to find ways to make money off of music. Odds are this thing will flop — the single was released on February 28 it’s yet to see for sure — but maybe not. Ms. Tequila has annoited herself free music’s new savior, galavanting on this website and that about fighting “big corporations” and greedy this and that, which is comical considering she’s working through iTunes (owned by the world’s second largest corporation) and promoting on MySpace (also now owned by one of the world’s largest corporations). Fortunately she was smart enough not to put her music on MySpace because if she had it would be official property of Mr. Rupert Murdoch, which speaks to her intelligence or at least to the intelligence of the people that are telling her what to do.

All cynicism aside, here’s what could happen: This single could explode making it one of the most downloaded songs in the country, which would in turn make it one of the top singles on BillBoard’s Hot 100 (they have to count online sales in determining the Hot 100 now, ever since Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy” dropped this summer). This would force major radio to play the song, because the industryites (Hollywood Reporter term) still have this misguided impression that radio is fresh and relevant. The only way for radio to play the single is to download it from iTunes, just like everybody else because Tila Tequila doesn’t play favorites (she’s actually on a radio tour right now). The radio airplay would even further her airplay, enabling her to self-promote just about any endeavor she wants. This could prompt the release of an entire album through iTunes, thereby proving that record companies and the record industry are obsolete. Taking this further, with an established fanbase, Tila Tequila and other maverick artists like her could sell their music completely independently over the web for a nominal fee, straight to listeners with absolutely no middle man.

And here’s what will actually happen: Of the 1.7 million friends that Ms. Tequila has on MySpace approximately 57 of them will actually pay the $.99 for the single and a few will even tell their friends, which will ensure that the song goes tin in its first week. If Apple hasn’t done so already, they’ll license the rights to her online music through the end of time, turning Apple from a music liason into an actual music provider. People will continue to book her for magazine covers and television and radio gigs because she’s fun to look at, all the while not really knowing who she is. Her preppy-whiteboy-with-an-Asian-fetish loyal fanbase will continue to support her efforts until eventaully she comes out with an overhyped debut major label album that achieves quartz status. She’ll probably make enough money to take care of herself for years to come and probably always be known as “that one hot Asian chick from MySpace.”

The record companies have far too much invested in this whole “music” thing to just let some little tart, who really isn’t even that cute, ruin it all for them. iTunes isn’t changing the game, they’re just cashing in. Props to Tila for trying, though.

I think I’m gonna start a MySpace page. MC Get the Whitegirls wit my hot new track “Playin in the Snow” you can download it on iTunes or Windows or the webpage of any other multibillion dollar corporation that’s misrepresented itself as part of the digital youth movement. And watch for my next single with Lil Jon, “Big Titty White Bitches (Yeah!).”


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