Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Too Much Of A Good Thing?

To paraphrase an old "SNL" sketch, who are the ad wizards behind the campaign for Paper Trail? Damn near half the thing has leaked already. How a Jay-Z/Kanye West/Lil' Wayne posse cut that also happened to be the first song Kanye produced since his mother's passing and included a timely MIA chop for the refrain wasn't under lock and key is beyond my comprehension.

As anyone who follows rap closely and remembers the days when one single was dropped to promote an album and that was all you heard until the LP came out, it has to make you almost wish we could return to the good old days. The Recession isn't available in its entire form as of yet, but at least 10 tracks already are. How can you enjoy any of these albums as much as the ones from the past if you've already heard half of them by the way you sit and have a proper listen. I can remember going to the store on the strength of someone's name alone.

Now, we've reached some kind of bizarre impasse where people wonder if Jay-Z needs to even bother dropping new material anymore, simply because the younger generation has been weaned on commercial rap artists' short regins at the top. Newer "top selling" artists like Lil' Wayne, Plies, Rick Ross, 50 Cent, and the like have gotten people used to hearing something new from them at least once a week and the public has little patience for people who wait a long time in between albums and aren't considerate enough to make a bunch of free music in the meantime. Either way you feel about it, tracks like "Swagger Like Us" & "My President Is Black" would have packed a lot more punch if people hadn't heard them so far in advance. I can recall when posse cuts and collabos were the songs that surprised you on the album after you had already heard 2, maybe 3 choice cuts from the artist.

The industry, always looking for some new sort of gimmick to keep people interested in buying rap albums that are increasingly worse in quality and easier to download, should try a new one..........make sure your shit doesn't leak. I'm sure it's easier said than done, but if a label, like say, Interscope, put all their muscle behind making sure, say a new artist like Wale, rather than Em or Dre didn't leak, who's to say they couldn't. Just a random theory.

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