If you’re old enough, do you remember when those compilation albums were advertised on television and all the songs were classics. If you didn’t know the songs you learned them from the commercial. If an artist is fortunate enough to last decades in the music industry they have the opportunity to make money off of a vintage, not old, piece of musical art and produce income from that. There have always been “The Best of…” albums and a lot of times those are not released by the artist but by the record label who owns the publishing. When an artist or their family rerelease music it could be because they want or need a stream of income. Same goes for the labels, don’t think that labels are out here functioning independently and not in danger of folding because they’re broke. 2019 has shown us what a rerelease can bring a whole new life to someone’s career and bank account.
This weekend Cash Money Records had several of their highest selling albums released on TIDAL, Spotify, and Apple. Projects from B.G. and The Hot Boys made an appearance after folks like myself have been searching and waiting for quite some time for these classic albums to one day “magically” appear. With Lil Wayne winning his lawsuit against Cash Money Records last year, I’m almost certain that these album releases are the result of said lawsuit. Either Birdman needs the money or Wayne is recouping what he’s owed from these projects. Even though B.G.’s Choppa City in The Ghetto isn’t a Wayne project, B.G. and Lil Wayne were the closest amongst the four-man group because of their age. Drake recently released his first mixtape, So Far Gone and the internet went wild. The rabid Drake fans went so wild that the project topped new releases and charted again. I’m not made at the Canadian Rapper at all, but the music business changes every day. I think this is a precedent for a digital reissue of an album, especially for a Hip Hop artist.
Why do artists need to make sure their business is right? Imagine being broke and a rerelease of your debut album hits all the major streaming platforms and you don’t get a dime? The rerelease of So Far Gone could also be part of the Cash Money lawsuit agreement since Young Money now belongs to Lil Wayne. “How High 2” is slated to be released on 4/20 without Redman and Method Man and replaced them with Lil Yachty and DC Youngfly. Reups can good smoothly or they can go bad. A rerelease, reissue, remaster, revamp, or a reup there’s an up-side and a down-side to business. Just make sure your business is tight so you don’t end up re-gretting your business decisions.
“Keep inflating your numbers, I somersault, rap wonder.” – Pusha T (Show You How to Hustle)