Nice Peter, the YouTube star known mainly for Epic Rap Battles of History, will not appear in Chicago tonight. He was fired from the DigiTour; here's the video explanation. Apparently, Nice Peter has some strong opinions on the tour's money-driven culture. He voiced them where/when he shouldn't have, and it lost him the gig.
I don't know Nice Peter. I certainly don't know what goes on behind the scenes of the DigiTour. I'm proud, though, that an artist stood up for his beliefs, and is owning the consequences. The thing is, I don't completely agree with him. Here's my breakdown:
Artists want to make money. YouTube is free for creators and observers alike. Even so, A LOT of those creators would love to make money from their art. Money is why users accept ad-based sponsorships, sell CDs/DVDs/t-shirts, and join up with events like the DigiTour.
Businesses want to make money. The DigiTour has definitely become more profit-driven. Thus, it probably doesn't put its audience or artists first. That sucks, but here's the truth about business: Priorities often change when success appears.
Nice Peter himself wants to make money. ...not a fortune, I'm sure. Still, he once posted beneath a free MP3 that he'd accept money for his music because "MOTHAF***ING MONEY IS COOL." It is!
The Internet is a rapidly expanding media outlet for everyone. In his video, Nice Peter talks about outsiders coming in and taking advantage of YouTubers. I can't get behind that. It's 2012. The Internet is no longer some secret clubhouse where only certain kids get to play.
The DigiTour is a job and a choice. Nobody put a gun to anybody's head. Contracts were signed, making the DigiTour a workplace that demands professionalism like any other.
Basically, props to Nice Peter for standing his ground. I am a bigger fan of his now, knowing that he makes geeky music AND is true to his own ethical limits. If it had been me, though, I would have stayed quiet. I'd do my best to begrudgingly deal with the circumstances, just like any other crappy job... until the tour ended. Then, when the job was over, I'd say I wasn't coming back... perhaps with the help of my middle finger. ;-)
The DigiTour is offering refunds to Nice Peter fans. GGC reader Margaret got one. If you did, too, here are 2 geeky ways to spend your Saturday the 31st:
1. Happy Ponycore - The usual Geekeasy has a My Little Pony theme this month. There will be trance and happy hardcore music with pony-riffic video projections. Bronies will enjoy the meet-and-greet with the geeky ladies of Gorilla Tango Burlesque. (10PM, Lucky Number Grill, 1931 N. Milwaukee, $5)
2. The Nerdologues 2-Year Anniversary Party - I've mentioned this talented group twice before, so I won't waste your time. Just come out to celebrate their success. The hosts promise video games, drinks, and of course, comedy and story telling. (10:30PM, Upstairs Gallery, 5219 N. Clark, FREE)
Is Nice Peter the superhero defender of Internet Art? Is the DigiTour simply growing as it should? Do you have a YouTube channel, and what is your dream for it? Post your thoughts below... and enjoy my favorite rap battle.