Henry Adaso makes available part of the transcript of a speech wherein Democratic Congressman Mike Doyle of Pittsburgh PA defends Dj Drama. Not only that, the congressman does an excellent job at contextualizing the importance of mixtapes and remixes in general. In other words, he essentially defends HipHop music as a form of art and places that argument into our country’s recorded history. And not HipPop, but the original HipHop which was based on other people’s music. He uses Paul McCartney’s “borrowing” of a Chuck Berry riff as an example. Although some people have pointed out that the RIAA does not have “destroy HipHop” included in its mission statement, the real issue here is the fact that the RIAA, by it’s nature of origin and purpose, is the antithesis of HipHop music. And in addition to that, the success of artists like Girl Talk begs the question, why was Dj Drama singled out? If what Hashim says is true and the RIAA just works on anonymous tips, then whoever tipped them to Dj Drama and his crew was very likely reacting to stereotypes of HipHop artists. Those damn baggy clothes wearing pot smokin’ thugs. Link (via)

Mr. Chairman, I want to tell you a story of a local guy done good. His name is Greg Gillis and by day he is a biomedical engineer in Pittsburgh. At night, he DJs under the name Girl Talk. His latest mash-up record made the top 2006 albums list from Rolling Stone, Pitchfork and Spin Magazine amongst others. His shtick as the Chicago Tribune wrote about him is “based on the notion that some sampling of copyrighted material, especially when manipulated and recontextualized into a new art form is legit and deserves to be heard.” In one example, Mr. Chairman, he blended Elton John, Notorious B-I-G, and Destiny’s Child all in the span of 30 seconds. And, while the legal indie-music download site eMusic.com took his stuff down due to possible copyright violation, he’s now flying all over the world to open concerts and remix for artists like Beck. The same cannot be said for Atlanta-based, hop-hop, mix-tape king DJ Drama. Mix-tapes, actually made on CDs, are sold at Best Buys and local record shops across the country and they are seen as crucial in making or breaking new acts in hip-hop. But even though artists on major labels are paying DJ Drama to get their next mixed-tape, the major record labels are leading raids and sending people like him to jail. I hope that everyone involved will take a step back and ask themselves if mash-ups and mixtapes are really different or if it’s the same as Paul McCartney admitting that he nicked the Chuck Berry bass-riff and used it on the Beatle’s hit “I Saw Her Standing There.” Maybe it is. And, maybe Drama violated some clear bright lines. Or, maybe mixtapes are a powerful tool. And, maybe mash-ups are transformative new art that expands the consumers experience and doesn’t compete with what an artist has made available on iTunes or at the CD store. And, I don’t think Sir Paul asked for permission to borrow that bass line, but every time I listen to that song, I’m a little better off for him having done so. Until our questions about the future of music get answered, we first have to look at the future of radio.