Many said that it couldn’t be done. That no album in this digital age could come out and not leak. Jay-Z and Kanye West single-handedly proved the entire world wrong with Watch The Throne. Not even allowing the producers on the album to hear the final album in full.
Sham ‘Sake Pase’ Joseph who produced 2 tracks on Watch The Throne, ”Made In America” featuring Frank Ocean and “Who Gon’ Stop Me” stated, ”With a record as big as this they’ve done an incredible job.”
So how did Jay-Z and Kanye west keep arguably the most anticipated hip hop album of this year from leaking? By keeping their baby in their hands until it was exclusively released on iTunes on August 8th. Those that are like myself and still fans of having a physical CD will be able to get the album on August 12th exclusively at Best Buy but only until August 24th.
Although this upset a lot of people, mainly distributors, Jay-Z came back with this:
“We made this album and it took us eight months. We should be able to release it the way we like, without everybody being up in arms. The real reason behind it is we didn’t want the music to leak. We wanted to present it to the people in its entirety. When you send it out, once it leaves the plant and that’s the end of it.”
With this method, Watch The Throne is on track to sell 400-450K in it’s first week.
But does this change the scope of the way music is released in this new age in music? I don’t think so. Not every artist has the leverage that Kanye West and Jay-Z have. In most situations, for example a new artist, being this exclusive with your music may hurt your sales. You have to pray that people care about you enough that when it leaks they will still go buy it.
Congratulations to Jay-Z and Kanye West on making this ‘new’ music business fun again. Everyone got to experience the album together. Celebrities, music professionals, and teenagers across the world have been listening all day and sharing their thoughts via twitter.