This week Kendrick Lamar released his second album “To Pimp a Butterfly”. Some say it was an unauthorized iTunes issue while some say they released it early to prevent leaks. That’s a downside of this new digital age we’re in. Working with digital music suppliers like iTunes leaves a lot of room for such errors. They initially put the clean version of the album online then took it down. Then again the clean and the explicit version became available online. Was it really supposed to be released then or were they forced to keep it up online because so many people had already downloaded it? I was awoke when the midnight marauder hit the net and boy was is buzzin. This just goes to show you that people still want good music. But digital drops like this present a problem for music lovers like me.
I can’t imagine what vinyl lovers have been going through over the past several decades. When music like Kendrick’s and Beyoncé’s drops via internet first people like me who still buy albums have to wait at least a week before we can get our hands on a copy. I love going in the store and seeing new Hip Hop on the shelves. It’s an experience. Now, digital releases have you digging through the internet for a link to the latest drop. Spotify sucks because I can’t listen to an album straight through. I don’t want to hear the old music, I want to hear to the new joints and no I’m not giving these major music companies my money for a subscription either. Albums like Kendrick’s “To Pimp A Butterfly” are on Hip Hop levels where you already know it’s going to be good so everyone saying it’s good is a duh moment. I knew what was brewing because of the previous album. People weren’t listening to Kendrick on a deep level but this time around he is forcing you to get the message.
Digital crate digging is more of an issue today because instead of looking for a rare breakbeat or an un-sampled record we are digging for good Hip Hop. Good music is out there but in this digital world there are so many wrong turns. Sites list new joints everyday but not necessarily joints from game changing artists. I don’t care if Young Thug drops joints every twenty minutes I want to know what’s up with Rapsody or Black Milk. Is there even a site dedicated to listing only good music? We have a new music page but I can’t get the joints directly from the artist, right now anyway. Having to search the web for unbiased music is hard but coming out with a new playlist is still kind of worth it. I can listen to the real longer than I can the commercial tracks. I can choose between artists and get a well-rounded view of the current music scene.
The radio isn’t giving me what I want to hear and neither are those streaming apps. They’re all biased in the songs they play. They barely even pay the artists for allowing them to have their catalogue available. Of course they pay the artist but some are paying the labels while the artists see little to nothing from their streaming revenues. Just keep your eyes and ears open. The digital world has different versions of the same song while you have to make sure it’s not a cover version or some remix uploaded by a DJ in France who’s trying to get noticed. That’s why I still go for the shopping experience. I want something that I can have something tangible. If you listen to the right artists the album insert is never a disappointment. You want someone to win a Grammy for album packaging but you flipping through digital pages like an e-book. I just can’t really trust the digital world. Remember downloading music and having random noises in the middle of the track? Viruses crashing your computer because you downloaded a bunch of digital junk. That is a part of the evolution of digital crate digging. I’ll just stick with what I know because if the music is as good as I think it is it will still be great no matter when I listen to it.