Keep That Same Energy 2: Welcome to the Future
What up y’all. Last Thursday I was sitting at my desk at the plantation and checked my phone to find out my favorite rapper was dropping a “surprise album” at midnight (do yourself a favor and check out Phonte’s “No News is Good News”). My excitement made me think. Not only is that marketing plan, or lack thereof, seemingly successful, but it is preferred by artist and fans alike. No longer necessary are the ads in the back of magazines next to the fake jewelry, or interviews asking generic questions, welcome to marketing in 2018. Did I mention no more leaks? The biggest plus for the consumer is the lack of unsubstantiated hype. No longer are we forced to suffer through months of build up with singles, “street” singles, videos (Y’all still watch videos?), unoriginal viral campaigns, “leaked” sex tapes and other fake scandals or beef to promo the album (sorry 50), and when we get the finished product it’s not a cohesive album but a random collection of mediocre songs.
Now the question becomes, is this a successful business model? The answer is, absolutely. The highest profile surprise releases were Drake’s “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late”, Beyonce’s self-titled album, and Dr. Dre’s “Compton” which was an accompaniment to the Straight Outta Compton biopic. Other notable under promoted releases include D’Angelo’s “Black Messiah” and A Tribe Called Quest’s “We Got It from Here…Thank You 4 Your Service.” All very successful albums.
The big question that follows the success is, why do we need labels? The way “buzz” is generated through social media, blogs, YouTube videos and the ever popular Soundcloud is making signing to a label for an artist an unattractive option. That, coupled with the way music is made available digitally through iTunes, Tidal and all the other music services, you can basically get rich without leaving the comfort of your grandmamma’s basement.
These surprise albums are revolutionizing the music business. It’s not a surprise the early adaptors are folks that have been successful and continue to do so. “Innovate or die” is the motto. If you disagree hit me on all social media @illfam79 for some learnin’. You can also listen to me talk that talk every week on the Where’s Buffy Podcast (@wheresbuffy) and if you see me in public…Keep That Same Energy. Peace.
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