So when Justin Timberlake announced his return to the music industry on Thursday he released a video entitled “I’m Ready“. The video simply showed Justin heading into the studio, but the important part was what he was talking about. He stated that he never stopped making music, he just took his time in releasing it, that’s the short and sweet version. So when I saw this video, it sparked something in my mind, is the music industry over saturated? Justin took a seven year break from the music industry and is only two albums in. The video title and in the video he clearly stated that he wasn’t ready but now he is. Meaning he took his time, is that a good thing? and why aren’t rappers taking their time nowadays? So of course after having this issue sparked into my mind, I took to Twitter to rant about it, but I felt like I wasn’t doing enough so thus this post was created. Check out after the jump what I got to say about this new era of music that we’ve been in.
After thinking about this issue in the music industry for awhile. I decided to find the root of where and how the over saturation even began. I came to the conclusion that Lil Wayne started the over saturation that we are getting in music. In 2007, Lil Wayne proceeded to release mixtapes and jumped on everyone’s track. Constantly releasing music day by day, since this was a new thing people took notice and by constantly delivering the public new music it kept them interested in Lil Wayne. Now, I’m sure Wayne knew this, Wayne knew that people were living in the “Now” era. We wanted more music and we wanted it now, we want the latest stuff now and we still live in that era, so that’s why Wayne attacked it because no other artist was delivering music constantly. Wayne won by doing this, but did it spark something that would later ruin the music industry? That’s where the question lies. How could something so simple and brilliant be so unhealthy and pernicious. I’m not knocking Wayne for getting his grind on, or hating for what he did, in no way. I’m speaking on where I think it started.
After Wayne started getting success by supplying his fans with constant free music. Like selling over 1 million copies with Tha Carter 3. Other rappers started following and this is where everything got out of control. Every rapper started doing what Lil Wayne did, supplying fans with free mixtapes, free tracks, free everything, besides albums. Since fans kept getting so much free music, they decided not to buy albums, thus the plummet of album sales. That’s of course not the only reason album sales are low, piracy has a big roll, but supplying the public with free music constantly has it’s roll too. But that’s not it, we live in such a “Now” era that we simply can’t wait for rappers to take their time in releasing music. I mean the “Now” era affect is all around us, we have Netflix now where we can instantly stream movies without leaving our house to get a movie. We have iTunes where we can instantly download any music by simply clicking a button, without having to go to the store and purchasing the actual physical CD and listening to it.
I remember in early 2000′s people would buy an album and listen to it and be happy with it until the artist released another album which was usually a length of two years. So that’s two years of you listening to the same album, with no free mixtapes, no free tracks, just the album, straight for two years. People were happy with this, but in today’s time you would be lucky if you’re album was listening to for longer than a month. I’ve seen people listen to an album for a week then automatically demand new music from the artist, I know because I was doing the same thing at one point. Nowadays, rappers aren’t focusing much on their albums and promoting it. Prime example is Meek Mill, he dropped his debut album “Dreams & Nightmares” a couple of months ago, instead of continuously promoting it and shooting videos for it, he’s already ready to release his new mixtape “Dreamchasers 3″. That’s insane when you think about it, rappers are giving out way too much and receiving way too little. Since everyone is doing this the music isn’t as special as it used to be, the albums aren’t classics anymore.
A good example of how you should release music in today’s time to receive much success is Drake. He released his sophomore album “Take Care” in late 2011, promoted the heck out of it until mid 2012. Then just started being featured on other rappers tracks, this kept his relevant in the music industry without having to constantly release free music. Plus, his sophomore album now is Platinum and that’s a very good look in today’s time, because of him promoting it well and not releasing free music constantly people bought into his product. Now in 2013 people are feigning for his next album, because he didn’t give much in 2012. Now a good example of over saturation right now is Rick Ross. The guy delivered two mixtapes in 2012, an album and featured on lots of tracks. Yet, none of his albums have ever gone platinum, his albums come and go. None of them are classic albums, in my opinion, yeah he’s relevant, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that his material won’t last. In 2013 he’s already announced the next title to his album and we haven’t even gone one month into the new year, that’s insane.
Now that I’ve put what I think into this, what do you guys think? Do you think rappers shouldn’t deliver so much free music to the fans and focus on making classic music that people will actually want to hear and value it when it gets released because the artist is taking their time? Isn’t an album much better when you’ve waited a good amount of time to hear it? When it’s released year after year it’s not as valuable, in my opinion. How long do you think is too long? I know Justin Timberlake definitely took too long by waiting 7 years, I think waiting 2 years for an album is the perfect amount. How long do you guys think the wait should be for an album? Comment below, I’m interested in reading your opinions.