Saturday, November 21, 2009

Rap Music Business Facing Challenge, Album Leaks Force Early Releases

Remember when Jay-Z's Blue Print 3 leaked a full month before it's release ? Eventually the rap artist entrepreneur decided it made more business sense to rush the release ahead of schedule in an effort to sort of combat the "damage" which could be caused by the record leaking earlier online.
It seems to be becoming a trend, with 50 cent's new album "Before I Self Destruct" now implementing the same exact strategy. Having now leaked across the world wide web, this forced the G-Unit Records mogul to release the record early, after the album had been pushed back for many many months.

Is this seriously still a problem ? Depends who you ask. Any big name mainstream rap artist is going to have security issues revolving around their new rap music tracks. It's hard for these super star artists to keep these projects under wraps long enough for a legitimate release and full music marketing campaign to begin. But why not use it to your advantage ?

Lets take for example, the release of Eminem's Relapse album. It was highly speculated that the album leaked online ahead of schedule on purpose, as a tactic to gain more attention. The idea was, since the rap artist was releasing two albums (Relapse 1 & 2), the early leak was the first album, and the second album would be released on the actual street date.
Although this did not happen, it would have made for an interesting and innovative strategy that had not been used before. It's definitely time for these super star rappers to get creative with their album releases.

Clearly indie rap artists are not having this same issue in the music business. It's hard for an album to "leak" online for a group or artist who does not have that main stream appeal yet. After all, if nobody knows that you exist or that you music is about to be released, then who will rush to download it before it even comes out ?

The key here is definitely how much demand is out there for your music to be heard, played and purchased. Even independent rap artists should be seeking out new ways to revamp the traditional "release" of a record. How do you feel about album leaks ? What are some other ways around the security issues involved with such a high stakes music venture (i.e. a Eminem, Jay-Z or 50 cent album release) ? Leave your two cents piece.


  1. Manuel “Manny” Alcantara is a rising star in the world of R&B and hip-hop. And while the music industry remains an uphill battle, the multi-talented nineteen year-old Lynn, MA native has watched as his fan base has expanded around the globe. Manny’s songs have been on the radio and he has performed to crowds that are growing in both size and enthusiasm. But now he is being asked to climb an even higher mountain to engage a fierce enemy…Drunk Driving.

    Manny was recently named the 2009 New England Hip Hop and R&B Spokesperson for the Ground Control Drunk Driving Prevention Campaign. This first of its kind program uses up-and-coming talented musicians to educate American teenagers about the dangers associated with drinking and driving.

    Manny’s association with Ground Control has afforded this Lynn, MA. resident a unique insight into the ways drunk driving effects American society. Says Manny, “I feel privileged to be able to make a difference. Being a young adult I am on the front lines. Kids my age are dying everyday and for what? I think it is amazing that I have been asked to use my music to draw attention to the fact that these terrible tragedies are preventable. If my music can save even one life, then I will feel I have accomplished a lot.”

    I hope we can count on you to help us shine some light on both this amazing and talented young artist and this important cause, in the form of a quote or media attention. Your involvement with our cause is vital this season in helping Manny and GROUND CONTROL save lives.

    Both Manny and the President of the Ground Control Campaign are available for phone interviews at your convenience.

    For more information on Manny's album please visit:

    To learn more about Manny, please visit his official website and Electronic Press Kit:

    For more information on Illumina Records and Promotions or GROUND CONTROL, please visit:


    Nicole Van Eden
    Director of Publicity
    Illumina Records/GROUND CONTROL


Rap music business - Marketing and Promoting the Future of Hip Hop