Photo courtesy of Caleb Musfeldt | Arizona rapper, Coolpicsofty, performs in front of a large audience.
In recent years, there has been a trend in hip-hop of artists failing to release music on their initially-set release dates. Rappers like Playboi Carti, Lil Uzi Vert and Kanye West have been a few of the most notable artists to follow this trend.
Students across Brophy’s campus have grown increasingly aware and frustrated with rappers’ untimely releases.
“I feel like it could create more hype and more money off of the label and the brand of the album,” said Alex Buccino ’20, a Brophy senior and avid rap fan. “But then again, I feel like people would become less interested as more time goes on and just not care about the album.”
Buccino has also found that rappers are becoming less focused on their music and more on their profits.
“I think artists are becoming more and more careless about music … thinking that they don’t need to make music because they have a lot of money,” Buccino said.
Buccino experienced this carelessness firsthand at Playboi Carti’s recent New York show, where tickets were sold for $70 each.
“He played like five songs … and then left because of sound issues and just stormed off the stage,” Buccino said. “A lot of people were waiting for, like, three hours for him. They were really excited about that, and he just left after 30 minutes, so that was upsetting. But it was fun while it lasted.”
Being a Playboi Carti fan, Buccino has been waiting for his new album to release for over a year. Carti’s false promises for a release date have frustrated Buccino and other fans.
“It still hasn’t been released and he’s been delaying it and telling us that he’s going to drop, but then he doesn’t and it’s upsetting,” Buccino said.
Another student and rap fan, Dean Kobs ’20, believes that album delays are often necessary to get the best product.
“I think it’s better than getting something that is early or even on time that is subpar,” Kobs said in regards to late album releases. “I’d rather get it later and better than earlier and worse.”
Although, Kobs believes that late music drops are at the fault of the rappers, stating that they should be able to meet their schedule before setting a premature release date.
“I would say it’s probably better to not announce the date until it’s finished. That’s probably a better thing to do it, especially if you’re giving a very specific day on when it’s supposed to be released,” Kobs said.
Budding Arizona-based rapper, Coolpicsofty, has experience in releasing an album late. His debut album, “DAWN,” was pushed back multiple times before dropping.
“I changed the date like five times. Since I’m an independent artist, I can set a day and if I don’t meet it, it’s just, like, push it forward,” Coolpicsofty said. “The bigger artists, I feel like they can’t do that cause they got record labels and all that. They make the date far out because it helps build up the hype, so I tried to make that with mine.”
Coolpicsofty’s emulation of major artist’s late releases worked in his favor with his most recent release, helping him build anticipation and a following before the actual release of his album. However, Coolpicsofty does not believe that all artists should follow the same route.
“I think if you get a hit song, you’ve got to drop more content,” Coolpicsofty said. “But then, like, if you have an established fan base and all that and you can make them wait, I feel like that’ll be a good advantage.”
Coolpicsofty has observed that, while artists are often at fault for late releases, their record labels can be, too.
“The record labels either need to stop withholding artists’ music because they say they want to drop it, but they can’t, or, the artist needs to stop saying they’re gonna drop it and not be ready,” Coolpicsofty said.
Many see the late releases in rap as a business tactic used to drive the success of albums.
“Playboi Carti has an album delay, Uzi has an album delay. I think if either of them dropped and the numbers go up, then I think it’ll definitely be a trend. It’ll keep happening in the future,” Coolpicsofty said.
As the reliability of artists decreases, fans must learn to take each album’s scheduled release date with a grain of salt. As this trend continues, release dates in rap music may become meaningless.