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I know the first question right off the bat. “Who the heck is SPEC?”

Well, he’s pretty passionate that clever lyrics that place the word of God at the forefront don’t have to come at the expense of swagger. You should be able to rep Christ and have your beats bang at the same time. The sound of his new album Evidence is like a cross between Da’ T.R.U.T.H.’s The Big Picture and Kanye West’s 808s & Heartbreak. But really, the bigger question is “Why is he giving away his album for free?” …and a good album at that. Who does that (besides Tonéx)? Doesn’t he know we’re in a recession?

Although we pay $9.99 (and upwards) for an album on iTunes, the money most artists actually receive is significantly less. Generally, they get an advance amount of money to get the ball rolling. However, the record company invests an initial amount of money for production, recording, mixing, mastering, and promotion, which the artist essentially owes them. Until the artist makes enough money to pay back that debt, they gets nada.

In order to make a profit from the recording, the record company needs to recoup its investment first. And even if that happens, which is not common, the bucks still don’t just start rolling in. In the case of an independent artist, even when you’re doing most of everything yourself, the payout from digital distribution services like eMusic and CD Baby is only around $4.00 per album. And that’s a generous overestimate.

Inspirational R&B artist Jean Baylor (formerly of 90’s hitmaking duo Zhané) sells her album Testimony: My Life Story at her own website www.dajams.com for $9.99. This is a smart move that essentially cuts out all of the middlemen and keeps the profits at home. The trade-off however, is that without a budget for promotion, too few people become aware that the album is even available and another great album goes unnoticed.

So it looks like SPEC is hedging his bets and taking a risk on making no money at all just to make sure that doesn’t happen. He’s not as crazy as he says he is though. This download link is only available through January 30, 2010.

Download SPEC’s album Evidence for free here.

For more information visit myspace.com/thenewspec or www.spechousemedia.com and be on the lookout for hip-hop/pop singer V. Rose whose crossover sound, like a Trojan horse, should be invading mainstream with the Gospel soon enough.

Written by Mark Chappelle Coston for Elev8.com.

Add him on MySpace or follow @MarkChappelle on Twitter.

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