Iconic hip-hop group Public Enemy is asking fans to essentially “pre-pay” for their album. Working with the company/website sellaband.com (Sell A Band), PE is accepting donations from the worldwide public, with a stated goal of $250,000. According to the press release, “Public Enemy is the first established act to sign up with SellaBand, which has found great success with independent artists since its European launch in 2006.”
Donations can be made in $25 intervals, with the money going toward recording and marketing costs. All fans who have funded the project, will receive a signed copy of the album, and depending on the level of investment, can also share in revenue proceeds from sales of the album.
It is an interesting concept, one typically referred to as “crowdfunding,” something that is being experimented with in business and journalism industries. It is an experiment worth watching, however, Public Enemy is in a rather unique position which may make it successful for them, where it may not be the case for many others. Most other artists are either relevant enough to not require such funding, or irrelevant enough to not have a shot at raising it. PE is largely irrelevant these days, but have a nostalgically loyal, worldwide fanbase that could tip the monetary scales in their favor. Hard-core fans with some cash to spare, could certainly enjoy being a part of the project.
It’s not looking like a slam dunk however. Their press release stated that the project was available for funding as of October 6, 2009, and that in the two weeks since that announcement, $50,000 had been raised. Roughly three weeks later, at the time of this writing, the project has only garnered $64,100. No piddling amount, for sure, but still a far cry from the stated goal.
Find out more, or sponsor Public Enemy’s new venture, at www.sellaband.com/PublicEnemy. The “incentive” levels are as follows:
“Believer” Level = 1 Part ($25) Incentive: Exclusive, numbered CD in Digipak
“Hype” Level – 4 Parts ($100) Incentive: Exclusive, numbered CD Digipak, opportunity to buy 2nd CD at 50% off, & Name in booklet
“Rebel” Level – 10 Parts ($250) Incentive: All of Above plus Exclusive Limited Edition Public Enemy T Shirt
“Posse” Level – 20 Parts ($500) Incentive: All of Above plus Autographed Copy of CD signed by Chuck D
“Terrordome” Level [Limited to 50 investors] – 40 Parts ($1,000) Incentive: All of Above plus Unlimited use backstage pass for 3 years
“Bring The Noise” Level [Limited to 15 Investors] – 200 Parts ($5,000) Incentive: All of Above plus Executive Producer Credit on Album
“PE Number One” Level [Limited to 5 Investors] – 400 Parts ($10,000) Incentive: All of Above plus Studio Visit during recording session