Mos Def - passion is a fashion
Mos Def - passion is a fashion

It wasn’t that long ago when you could buy an album and get a free t-shirt. (In the UK, U2 did it last year with their last batch of reissues). With the falling value of music, it seems the tables are turning in favour of the t-shirt. Rapper, and lately, fantastic actor, Mos Def is taking this one step further with his latest album, ‘The Ecstatic‘. When you buy the t-shirt, you get the code to download the album for free.

It’s not the only way to get the album – it’s already out on regular mp3 and CD. But it is a new way. It’s also not completely new – it’s in fact the second in a series by the Music Tee people, but the first to feature a major artist.

The shirt features the album artwork complete with tracklisting. There is a download code on the tag, and you can go online and collect your mp3 album from there. Pretty amazingly, the US music charts people, Soundscan, have agreed to count the sales of the t-shirt as an album sale.

We can’t seem to find out where you can buy this t-shirt. You can checkout, but Mos Def‘s own website is down at the time of writing. There’s also some retail locations on the LNA site. Come on Mos, take a break from the movies and get it together.

It’s a fun idea, but it’s a gimmick. The shirts are actually quite tough to get. It costs $40 US, far more than an album or a t-shirt, so anyeither one being ‘free’ is up in the air. It’s not going to boost Mos Def‘s album sales into the charts. But interesting to think what artists like Dave Matthews Band, whose merch sales exceed their album sales.

Apparently more Music Tee are on the way this year. It will be interesting to see what artists they get, and what impact they make. For now, it seems like people are willing to try just about anything.

LnA – home of Music Tee – right here –
Oh yeah, Mos Def‘s website is still down.