Saturday, November 17, 2012

Lost hype

On the Facebook groups I participate in, I asked three questions regarding Big Boi (as a solo act) and Outkast (as a duo), and they were:

1) Are you anticipating Big Boi's second solo album?
2) Would you personally like to see another Outkast album? 
3) What's your favorite album from Outkast?

Although there were many different answers to the questions, a fellow poster in my Music City group (Lisa Anita Gonzalez) mentioned that she hadn't heard Big Boi's debut solo album, and I did mention that while I haven't played it in a long time, I did recall liking it a lot when I first played it. Shortly afterwards, I got to thinking about Big Boi's upcoming album, titled "Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors", and it occurred to me that this album is receiving LESS hype and promotion than his first album did, and it's sad to say that about an artist as talented as Big Boi is. 

Speaking of hype and promotion, that's what I want to discuss in this post. To me, it seems like as the years go on in hip hop, when it comes to a good portion of established artists, and I'm talking artists that have been in the game for 10 years or longer, for whatever reason (some of those reasons may be obvious), out of nowhere they would mention they have a new album coming out, later they'll release a tracklist and cover, and that's it. There's literally NO buzz or promotion whatsoever. Sometimes you can attribute that to constantly changing release dates, but still. I remember back in the 90s when an album was announced (depending on the artist of course), the buzz and anticipation would be huge and when the release date finally arrived, it was an event within itself. Key examples would be the releases of Nas' "It Was Written", Wu-Tang's "Wu-Tang Forever", Biggie's "Life After Death", just to name a few. Nowadays, only a VERY select slew of artists generate any type of hype. For example, someone like Lil Wayne could drop an completely out of nowhere on this Tuesday, and it'll move about 200,000 units in a week, but let an artist like Fabolous mention in January he'll be dropping an album, and said album is released in December (with no leaks, plus a hot single on the airwaves), and the release date in December will come and go and most fans will likely not even care. What's the difference? A key answer would always have "today's generation" figure into it, but it does not make things any better for established artists to work THAT much harder and for new artists to do considerably LESS, whether it's their first album or not, and I feel that's my point here. Why should artists who have a fanbase already built in, well established, can give you your money's worth, and put their heart and soul into their work go the extra mile, while "newbies" can just make an album in 2-3 weeks time (or less), creating ANYTHING (which will likely be a hit if it's ignorant as hell), and the only thing they care about is sales, what car they will buy next, which woman they will slept with, how many diamonds will be in their next watch, etc. I can go on and on about this, and by the way, other than longtime fans, how many people out there actually know that Big Boi has an album that's scheduled to be released next month? I bet that number is relatively small. Rant over.

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