By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
The success of local hip-hop trio PPT is undoubtedly due, at least in part, to the group's first official release, the contest-winning "Rowdy, Loud and Proud" Dallas Mavericks 2006 playoff theme song. But rather than enjoy the opportunities that song opened up, including their signing to Idol Records, the three rappers are now trying to collect money they claim is owed to them by anyone who downloaded the song.
Whether their claim would hold up in court is questionable. But the question of whether Pikahsso, Picnic and Tahiti are three sneaky, stingy sons of bitches has already been answered.
Cleverly programmed into the download page was a pop-up agreement to "return" the file after 30 days. If the user did not e-mail the file back to PPT after that time, the agreement stated, the user agrees to pay the group 99 cents for the song.
The agreement's wording took advantage of the fact that most users either habitually close pop-ups without reading them or have blocking software that automatically closes such windows. The agreement—which was removed after the Mavericks lost in the Finals to the Miami Heat—stated: "Click OK to download song free of charge. By closing this window, you agree to pay 99 cents or return the file by e-mail after a 30-day trial period." They didn't put the agreement on the updated 2006-'07 version.
Pikahsso has issued a deadline of 12 a.m. Monday, April 2. Anyone who does not pay for his or her download by the end of the day Sunday will be subject to the harassment of a collection agency.
"I'm serious about this," he says. "Why would you mess around and negatively impact your credit score over 99 cents? You agreed to pay it, so man up and pay up. Verb."
Rapper/producer Picnic and rapper Tahiti, who directed a video for the single, pointed to the value of the infectiously catchy song.
"Man, are you trying to tell me that song wasn't worth 99 lousy cents?" Picnic asks. "You'd pay that on iTunes, so why is it a problem now?"
Tahiti claimed credit for the pop-up idea. He bristled at the suggestion that it was an underhanded way to cheat fans out of money.
"I joked about it with Pikahsso, and then he got this real serious look on his face like, 'Yo, let's do this,'" Tahiti says. "But, no, I'm not ashamed. Y'all are lucky it was 99 cents, not dollars. And let it be a lesson. People need to read things carefully."