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Record Executives Literally Cannot Give CDs Away

January 14, 2008 1:11 PM ET

Looking for a moment when the music business truly knew its goose was cooked? Here's a harrowing anecdote from the new issue of The Economist's story about the industry's awful year. In 2006 some EMI executives invited a group of sixteen-year-olds to pick their brain about music:

At the end of the session the EMI bosses thanked them for their comments and told them to help themselves to a big pile of CDs sitting on a table. But none of the teens took any of the CDs, even though they were free. "That was the moment we realized the game was completely up," says a person who was there.

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Song Stories

“Vans”

The Pack | 2006

Berkeley, California rappers the Pack made their footwear choice clear in 2006 with the song "Vans." The track caught the attention of Too $hort, who signed them to his imprint. MTV refused to play the video for the song, though, claiming it was essentially a commercial for the product. Rapper Lil' B disagreed. "I didn’t know nobody [at] Vans," he said. "I was just a rapper who wore Vans." Even without MTV's support, Lil' B recognized the impact of the track. "God blessed me with such a revolutionary song… People around my age know who really started a lot of the dressing people are into now."

More Song Stories entries »
 
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