For the past few weeks I've been on tour in New Zealand, rapping for the Kiwis. When I first heard that New Zealanders affectionately referred to themselves as this, I thought it was in reference to the fruit. Nope.
Every spring, thousands of music industry executives and artists descend into the sleepy Texan metropolis of Austin to trade business cards, eat Mexican food, and get wasted. Getting hammered at SXSW is a music industry tradition that pre-dates both Nirvana and Napster.
If the internet were compromised or regulated to the point where the 13% of my traditional digital income (from iTunes, Spotify, and others) were to disappear, it could likely mean that people would turn to getting my music for free, which would then mean that I would need more ticket and t-shirt sales in order to maintain my income level. (My income, by the way, covers my expenses, taxes, and health insurance, and that's it.)
Right before Christmas, I had coffee with "Weird Al" Yankovic. The two of us had collaborated on my 2009 album This Gigantic Robot Kills, and had talked accordion triads and chord fingering over the phone while he was in the studio.
Growing up, I had always felt like a cultural tourist in the world of hip-hop. I remember listening to Dr. Dre's Chronic album as a kid and marveling at how an adult like Dre could use words that I wasn't supposed to use around parents.