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Wired Limes and Fun Times: How efficient music sharing created todays Hot 100


Enter me, a completely impressionable young elementary school student. After years of being sheltered extensively, I learned that there was good music outside of what I had to learn on the piano. Electronic music, Pop music, Hip Hop, the list goes on and on! I was far too young to get a job and make money to go to buy a whole CD. So I was limited to enjoying this new art in secret, watching as much MTV and 106th and Park as I could when my parents weren’t looking. But that’s no way to enjoy music. Music is an experience. You ever hear of frissons? It’s those shivers and goosebumps you get when the music hits (and you feel no pain). Dude, that was my Frozen Thin Mints Girl Scout Cookie growing up. The healthy high of frissons. And just like my addictive personality would dictate, I chased that high for as long as I could. I had an MP3 player with a small cache of these drugs taking up valuable megabytes but the day where that wouldn’t be enough was approaching fast. I begged for more, and soon enough I was granted my wish. In the form of a citrusy piece of software that, unlike it’s real life fruit counterpart, probably made me more susceptible to viruses than ever.


Limewire. What an insane period of time in the history of the Internet. Anything you could ever want to hear was available at your fingertips. I mean, of course there were a couple times I was greeted by the voice of Bill Clinton after downloading a song I’d been waiting to listen to all day but for the most part the sharing of information was at an all time high. And, man, did the smart artists take advantage of that. I’m currently enrolled in a class called Hip Hop: Conflict and Controversy and we just finished discussing what made it so that artists from the South could really make their mark on the Hip Hop scene. I’d say the biggest factor was their ability to get their music out to the masses in an efficient manner. Limewire, all of it’s cousins, YouTube, I used a website called mp3raid. If you wanted to speak your mind over some instrumentals and let the world hear it, well, now was your chance. The article above goes into the details of how Limewire worked and I think that that’s probably one of the more insane parts of it and incredibly relevant to this course. It was a Peer-to-Peer application. That means one person had the file, then they’d share it with others, who would then share it with more until BAM everyone’s doing the Soulja Boy. How on earth were we all just okay with that? Networking, it’s crazy right? And although Limewire has been shut down for quite some time now, it’s impact has sent ripples through whatever industries it may have touched. But none more so than the music industry. I’ll give you one word as proof.




If you show me somebody that didn’t at least think the words “Drop Top” then I’ll show you a filthy liar. Migos’ Bad and Boujee has been a smash hit since the squad of triplets graced our ears with their never ending triplets. And the laid back instrumentals that somehow seem even quicker due to the triplet form of rapping? That’s pure A T L A N T A, G A rap right there. And this is 7 years after Limewire was shut down. And we’re still seeing popular influences of the style of rap it allowed to flourish? That’s some serious pull right there.


Limewire was a phenomenon. For people discovering music like I was, it was a library with no limits on check outs and no overdue fees. For people wanting to make a name for themselves as artists, it was SoundCloud before SoundCloud was even a thought. For virus creators and trolls, it was fish in a virtual barrel. And for the music industry, it served as a preliminary round for artists who thought they may have a shot at making it. If you did well on Limewire, you probably had potential at being somewhere on Billboard. As we saw with Superman and as we’re seeing with the whole Migos repertoire, Limewire success could be a pretty accurate predictor of Billboard success.


Well, that’s Blog Post Number 2 in the books. Lowkey didn’t have the greatest week. I wanted to focus a lot on my 3110 project (we’re building a Search Engine how appropriate) and my Twitter HackerRank but I wasn’t really able to due to things that I couldn’t control no matter how hard I tried to. So I leave you with this my faithful readers (and by that I mean the 1 TA that I hope I haven’t bored to death just yet). Life is short. Have fun. Don’t be afraid to say no. Always consider saying yes. Above all else, take care of yourself and make sure that you have yourself together before you try to keep someone else together. Because even if you succeed, the toll it takes on you may not be worth it.


Can’t wait to see you guys for the next (and last) post.



the antisocial network, a.k.a The Highest PageRank you’ve ever seen


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