How Musicians Can Learn From Jean Dawson's $1,000 Limited Edition 'Bad Sports' Vinyl Release

Freddie Fine

If you don’t already know, Jean Dawson’s Bad Sports vinyls are some of the rarest out there. Very few copies were made and released at a time where Jean was much smaller, and have since skyrocketed in resale value. There is no vinyl in the world that I desire more than this one, but it’s price is always going to be astronomical – especially after the events of last week.

On March 7, Jean Dawson Tweeted, “found the last box of bad sports vinyls in existence in my storage going to put them on the site they'll probably be super expensive,” and five minutes later, said, “They're going to be 1k but ima write something one each one they'll be up in a second,” and just like that, fans went into chaos. People were livid that Jean had priced these very few vinyls – his incredibly rare vinyls, which he also signed – for $1000. But why did they have such strong opinions against this, and why should artists do more of what Jean has done?

Obviously, fans love exclusivity – except for when they aren’t the ones receiving exclusive access. Then they are jealous. Jean Dawson has a large, dedicated fanbase, and any one of them would’ve pounced at a cheaper priced option. Knowing this, Jean was able to utilize his value as an artist to provide an extremely exclusive item to a select few individuals – and they’re nearly sold out too. 

Artists don’t always utilize their value in ways such as this, but when they do, it can provide large amounts of money in an industry that so often lacks to provide any. Nipsey Hustle and Mach-Hommy have both listed vinyls in the thousands before, while exclusive artist events such as meet and greets can be priced up to $500. By nature, these are very limited things that aren’t available to everyone, but will sell regardless. 

The more recent example of artists utilizing their value is through NFTs. Smaller artists have used NFTs as a way to generate revenue, creating art and providing access to new songs for those who pay the price. I am not personally a supporter of NFTs (you can read more about my opinions on them here), however, I am not going to oppose small artists using them to make money due to the harsh conditions of the music industry. Fans have also thrown enormous amounts of money at NFTs from hugely popular artists, only for them to immensely drop in price. People just want a piece of this exclusivity, and when it is in the “trendy” world of NFTs, they will jump at it. However, when it is a physical, priceless work of art, such as the Bad Sports vinyls, fans attack the artist for doing such a thing. 

While Jean is not the first person to do this, it should be a moment for everyone to realize that exclusivity can be provided outside the world of NFTs, whether that’s through physical copies of music or something else entirely. Props to Jean for doing this, and making a huge bag while doing so. To all those who bought the Bad Sports vinyl, I hope you cherish and protect it forever. 

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