“I’mma drop the album the same day as Kanye/just to show the boys a man now like Wanya” – J.Cole (Forbidden Fruit)
Written by Danny McLean (@KingDanny__)
Marketing strategies are nothing more but essential in business, especially the music business. Labels, artists, and management all throw on their thinking caps when planning the best way to sell the product. Jay-Z wowed everyone on Sunday with his 3-minute clip during the NBA finals announcing his album Magna Carta Holy Grail due July 4th.
Similar to Jay-Z but without the financial backing of a phone company, Kanye West decided to drop an album with no single and little to no promotion. As this played out, J.Cole decided to push up his album release date to the same date as Ye’s Yeezus. Also today, Mac Miller’s album Watching Movies With The Sound Off is out.
So what should we make of all this? In the past, it’s been in the best interest of the artist and label to stay away from dropping on the same date as big artists like Kanye. Now take a step back for a second, is it really a bad move?
When Cole told Jay he would be dropping the same day, Hov called it, “brave, you can’t lose.” Which he really can’t, Cole has a core fan base that is going to buy his album, some even may consider him out-selling Kanye due to his momentum and proven single with Miguel. The legwork is proven for Cole. His Dollar and a Dream Tour have also helped market his brand and push Born Sinner to its high anticipation. Cole definitely won with this album and I believe he knew he would too, which is why dropping on the same day would actually be beneficial.
Besides, if you are a real Hip-Hop fan, choosing between the two is beyond difficult. You will end up purchasing both. Same for Mac Miller, dropping on the same day can only help, it’s a great day for Hip-Hop and you’ll leave the mall or your computer with three albums, most likely.
But many will not agree with the pros, dropping on the same day can possibly backfire as well. Mac and Cole are going against a rap legend regardless if Ye’s album is good or great, it’s going to sell, and may even overshadow the others. You are not just going against Kanye, but you are also going against Kim Kardashian, the new born baby, and last but not least, the air yeezys. There’s a possibility that that one of the three artists will suffer the most and will possibly be completed overshadowed by hype.
So what did we learn? Know your artistry; know what space you are in before you release your album the same day as one of the greats. Unfortunately, this plan may soon be outdated due to Jay-Z’s recent revolt, announcing his release date 2 weeks before the album drops.
Dear rappers, take notes.