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1. #Proud2Pay: Getting Fans Excited to Buy Music Again

In this increasingly digital world where everything is instant and free, Los Angeles rapper Nipsey Hussle decided he would try something different — pricing his mixtape Crenshaw at an absurd $100 and making his fans excited to pay the price. Billing it as “the price of Revolution,” Hussle’s #Proud2Pay campaign discounted any notion of the move being the result of greed or bloated self-importance by also allowing fans to download the album online for free the next day.

So how did Hussle get fans to actually pay $100 for a mixtape they knew was going to be free just one day later? He made purchasing the album into an investment. In addition to only pressing 1,000 physical units of the mixtape, Hussle made them only available for purchase at midnight on October 8 at a Los Angeles pop-up shop. The result? A line of fans waiting to get a copy, which came with an autograph and a ticket to an upcoming show, all because Hussle transformed what had become an impersonal part of the music listening experience, the purchase, into an investment in his art.

Hussle’s “price of Revolution” quote turned out to be no joke. Rather than go through a music label and sell many more copies of his project at, say, $10.99 on iTunes or in Best Buy, Hussle proved that having complete control over his art and the way in which fans would interact with it — even in the purchase of it — was a more valuable commodity than anything a label could provide.

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