A few months ago I posted a news item about Mindy Raf wanting to create a record under her comedic persona, Leibya Rogers through a website called Kickstarter. As a fan of comedy and comedy albums, I showed my support by making a donation and Raf/Rogers succeeded in getting enough people to make donations for the project. Kickstarter has a number of great projects where people can ask for help to complete it, from short films to full length documentaries, books to comics, and more. Now there’s a new project created by a respected hip-hop MC.
Ras Kass gained a bit of attention when he was signed to Priority Records in the mid-90’s, leading to the great albums Soul On Ice and Reassassination. Issues with Priority moved him to leave the label, and he has kept underground and somewhat low-key ever since, with fans following his works along the way. He hasn’t been quiet either. Ras released the album Quarterly via Bandcamp.com in November, and now he’s trying something new.
Ras is using Kickstarter as a way to release the album to fans who want it, and he does this by asking for donations. The goal is to raise $3800 by mid-April, and various donations come with different package deals, consider it like making an advance order. One amount leads to you getting the CD of the final album, another can lead to you getting the vinyl version and the CD, a different one will bring you the CD, vinyl, plus a T-shirt. The largest amount that can be donated is $1000, where you’ll get a lot of goodies with that, including a “special producer” credit on the album, a shout out in one of the songs on the album, and a phone call from the man, plus a free ticket to any concert of his.
Some may think “WTF, this sounds fishy” but Ras Kass is not the first artist to do this. A lot of artists, including Monday Michiru, have often created similar projects where you become an “executive producer of sorts, so that if you support them and want the music, you make a donation towards it. When it’s done, you get a copy of it, plain and simple. With this Ras Kass/Kickstarter, you make a donation which sits in escrow with Amazon.com. You will not be charged until the last day of the donation period, and only if he has received the donation amount requested. If the amount isn’t reached, you do not get charged, simple as that.
With luck, the attention towards the Ras Kass/Kickstarter project will lead to him working with others MC’s and producers to keep him working and recording in the 10’s.