G.O.O.D. Fridays >>> My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.

The clean version of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy leaked today (November 9). I’m going to reserve judgment on Kanye’s new album until I’ve given it some more spins, but my initial problem, which we all saw coming, is that I’ve heard almost all of these songs already. I didn’t hear anything totally new until I was ten tracks in. Usually, when this much of an album leaks so far in advance, it spells doom for sales. Artists will tell you that excessive leaks are bad, bad, bad.

BUT WAIT, Kanye released most of these songs HIMSELF. Nefarious bootleggers and bloggers only got their dirty hands on three songs ahead of schedule.

Here lies the blogger’s dilemma. We crave new music, leaked or official. The most well known rap blogs pride themselves on exclusives and posting new songs the moment they drop. Can I complain that the album is stale if I’ve been diligently downloading and posting all of Kanye’s G.O.O.D. Friday leaks? Maybe the insatiable appetite of the hip-hop audience is to blame.

So is a stale album the price we pay for a twelve week marathon of Yeezy love? Maybe it doesn’t have to be.

Kanye isn’t the first rapper to have a promo campaign based on weekly releases. That distinction belongs to Crooked I (I think), whose Hip-Hop Weekly series of freestyles dominated rap blogs between 2007 and 2008. But G.O.O.D. Fridays became much more than a promo mechanism. Friday nights, and when he was running late, Saturday mornings, became synonymous with exciting new Yeezy tracks that you could collect like Happy Meal toys. It helped that they were real songs with high profile guests. It was the most exciting buildup to an album release since 50 Cent set the world on fire prior to the release of Get Rich or Die Tryin’ in 2003.

The advent of iTunes and the mp3 player has cast doubt on the future of the album format. The focus has undeniably shifted to individual songs, rather than full albums. Artists, industry types, and even fans have complained about how audiences have become fickle, forgetting about albums a week after they drop.

So instead of releasing songs every week to promote an album, maybe the twelve week promo campaign could replace the album entirely. Rather than teasing the audience with videos and mixtapes, the artist could fully engage fans over the course of months like Kanye did with G.O.O.D. Fridays. Weekly sponsorships could even possibly supplant album sales.

People have toyed with the idea of serial music releases before. Ditching the album format would require a giant leap of faith on the part of record labels and artists. The logistics are daunting, but it’s something to think about. Personally, I had a lot more fun with G.O.O.D. Fridays than I did with My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.

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  1. @Stellaskid

    You really listened to the album and didn’t enjoy it as a whole work of art because you’d heard a lot of the songs before hand? Did you really play out the GOOD Friday singles that much that you’re already tired of them or playing them within the format of the full album didn’t put them in a new context?

  2. knobbzXL

    Not saying anything about the album as a whole yet, because I haven’t given it a thorough listen, but having heard most of the tracks did affect my listening.

    Yes, I did play the leaks quite a lot. It was exciting to see what Kanye would do next. My main point is that the serial release format can be just as compelling as an album.

    And why can’t songs spread out over 3 months constitute “a whole work of art”? Comic books and TV shows do it all the time.

  3. MeGaVeLi

    To comment on first paragraph sir … in general, I don’t mind if the retail has a bunch of leaked material … sometimes I think it’s wack when your expecting an song to make the retail and it doesnt … so an artists will push an album with all new material … and the fucking leaked material sounded way better!~ My comments are general, not specifically to this album. Also, you gotta consider not everyone (especially older peeps like my brother (age 30-40), have time to check out leaks, so when he bought the album, he loved it, as he dont have time to be checking urls for leaks when he got a career to maintain!

    I’ve yet to hear the entire album but to be honest, I downloaded the shit. Checked Wikipedia for producers, and listened to the RZA co-produced tracks. Track 1 is pretty fuckin dope, and I can hear the wu-influence with some of the sounds used! Also, the BIGGEST disappointment, and this goes for ALOT OF CATS, recently Eminem and Kanye … weeks or months before the albums done, they’ll say they hitup Dj Premier for some tracks, Eminem said they did one, and Kanye said they did three … and when the fucking RETAIL drops … none of the Premier tracks ever make it! I’m such a Premier fan, I find it fucking disrespectful how they play with my emotions!

    PS … does Dj Lethal contribute anything to this site anymore? I see KNOBZ putting in all this work … where the fuck is Boris!>???>

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