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A new petition over in the States demanding “Free Music to be eligible for Grammy Nomination” has sparked a lot of discussion in terms of the right of the artist and consumer.

Currently, music released without cost is ineligible for Grammy inclusion. To be eligible, according to the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS), music must be “commercially released in general distribution in the United States, i.e. sales by label to a branch or recognised independent distributor, via the internet, or mail order/retail sales for a nationally marketed product. Recordings must be available for sale from any date within the eligibility period through at least the date of the current year’s voting deadline (final ballot).”

Essentially, those releasing mixtapes, and other projects, for free are being snubbed by the awards ceremony. And with the changing landscape of music distribution these days, it’s not uncommon for the most popular (and critically acclaimed) record of the day to be one that was released independently and with no cost to the listener. One man who is a definite inclusion in this group is Chance the Rapper, who has already tweeted his support for the petition.

“Not all artists should be forced to release their music for free,” reads the petition, “but the ones who do should not be punished for doing so.” Max Krasowitz is the mastermind behind the petition, which already has over 11,000 signatures. Once the petition reaches 15,000, it will be sent to NARA and the GRAMMY Foundation. Check it out and show your support here. For now let’s enjoy some of the free work released by Chance the Rapper, as well as his recent performance on Jimmy, in the gallery above.

  • Words: Louis Hanson

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