Ajit Pai, the Donald Trump-appointed head of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and his fellow decision-makers voted to repeal net neutrality, the open-internet regulations set in place during the Barack Obama administration.
Net neutrality allowed the free flow of information across the internet, establishing an even platform for all users. With the overturn of these laws, telecommunications companies will now be able to charge for certain websites and types of traffic as they see fit, creating a divide in internet access and potentially leading to increased profits for telecommunications corporations.
This has huge implications for every industry, the music industry included — from the content that artists will be able to create to the consumer-side of music consumption. The artist-to-consumer music model could be greatly affected. Independent artists will have little chance at competing against major label signees, as they won’t have the budget to advertise in the same way.
In the days leading to the ruling, countless Hip Hop artists used their influence to motivate fans to protest against the FCC. These included Metro Boomin, Khalid, Common, Smokepurpp and DRAM, who prompted followers to text “REPEAL” to various short-code numbers set against the ruling.
Since the decision was announced, many took to Twitter to express their dismay:
I need to drop these unreleased tracks with XXX Tentacion, The Slump God, & Rihanna before the FCC starts fuckin shit up for indie artists
— REGGIE MILLS (@MillsReggie) December 14, 2017
Pretty sure #NetNeutrality is going to heavily effect battle rap from the live ppvs to the presentation of battles. Smh
— RUIN YOUR DAY (@AvocadoIsGod) December 14, 2017
since #NetNeutrality has been repealed I'm thinking of starting an actual store to get movies… like Netflix but in person….instead of streaming you just drive to the store. gonna call it Blockbuster….. early designs I'm working on are below. pic.twitter.com/yjPBW4EjKg
— Tony X. (@soIoucity) December 14, 2017
The internet has made ALOT of our careers … if we don't protect that it … smh it's gonna be so quiet for us
— LIL SKATE (@REESElaflare) December 14, 2017
plot twist: losing net neutrality was a scheme devised by the older generation of hip-hop artists to divert the rise of soundclout artists. get ya blank discs y'all.
— SUPER SIZE (@GrandeMarshall) December 14, 2017
RIP to the independent artist. Cause of death- the rich getting richer. #NetNeutrality
— HxTxG (@HumongousTheGod) December 14, 2017