With record sales continuing to plummet partly as a result of illegal downloading, it’s become increasingly difficult for artists to promote their brand to a buying audience. Now, in a recent interview with Tech Crunch, Queensbridge legend Nas discusses his new avenue to success.

Nas talked about his new business endeavour 12Society, a lifestyle website that will provide buyers with a number of hand-picked items from a host of celebrities every month for the cost of $39.99. The Def Jam rapper explained that 12Society is a new means for artists and athletes to expand their personal brands. He added that the website is partly inspired by comedian Louis C.K.’s decision to sell his comedy special Live at the Beacon Theater exclusively online through his personal website.

“I started 12Society in June with the hopes of bringing this generation the new wave of commerce. Providing my fans with access to products, brands, and technology that they haven’t seen before,” he said. “Increased accessibility and visibility has always been the future, and finally, that time is now…entertainment is about self-promotion — using the power of your fans through social media to market live shows and new business ventures and move a few records. The direct connection to the fans is not just freeing artists from the old corporate structure; it’s redefining the relationship between creator and audience.”

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He added, “Artists everywhere took notice when Louis C.K. sold his stand-up special and show tickets without a network backing him on the promotion and distribution. That truly was innovation at its best. To me, that’s inspirational. That’s bringing things full circle and is the kind of independent triumph that will allow artists to create freely and reap the full benefit of their craft.”

Check out the full piece over at Tech Crunch.

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