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  • Writer's pictureMichael Reiber

Are artists being exploited by the post-humous release?

Welcome to Cypher. This podcast is more than just an investigation of the Hip-Hop genre. Rather, it is an objective spearheaded by a passionate hip hop devotee, Mikeyreibs. Mikey notes that his experiences in his life have been enhanced by the occasionally controversial genre. Hip-Hop is a living thing to Mikey, a dynamic force that has given meaning to his life in ways only music can do. Originating from a suburb of Detroit, where the Hip-Hop scene is as resilient as the city itself, Mikey was influenced by the cultural phenomenon of the city of Detroit, eventually understanding that while hip hop can be a positive influence in a person’s life, many people do not view it as such. Thus Cypher’s mission was born. Mobilizing the ardent hip hop fans of the world, Reibs aims to alter the outlook and reputation of Hip-Hop. How can we, as changemakers, show the world that hip hop is as emotional, resolute and life changing as all the other genres within music?

In this episode, Reibs focuses on the dubious question of posthumous albums and are they exploiting the artists that wrote the songs, or do they provide fans with a sense of closure that is desperately needed after the tragic loss of life? Some fans quote that listening to the posthumous albums gave a sense of peace, it was like their favorite artist was still there to offer comfort through lyrics. The posthumous album could be viewed as honorable, and final testament to the artistic legacy of a rapper. But, an argument that has been sustained over the years questions if it is morally acceptable to publish work in the name of someone who has never, and will never be able to give a final okay? How are decisions being made about songs that were so personal to the creator? One example of how a posthumous album was handled was by late rapper Mac Miller’s family, who took control, even with their grief, to ensure that the album was how their son would have wanted it. But even still, do these albums fall short of what the rappers would have decided and chosen for their work? The final struggle we face is that we will never truly know.

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