Is Kanye West setting himself up for failure?
The announcement, yesterday, that Kanye West is pushing up the release date for 808s and Heartbreak from December 16th to "November something" has got me wondering if he isn't setting himself up for a huge miserable failure, and if his label is actually gonna let him go through with it.
First of all, I found it odd that the announcement that the release date has been changed was made through his blog, almost as if he just up and decided that he wanted his album to come out a month earlier than had been originally planned, and told whoever it is that updates his blog to announce that shit.
As far as I know, there's yet to be any official statement from his label that this is really the case. But then, as pointed out in the news item yesterday re: 808s' new release date over at MTV, it's not like they ever really announced that the album was gonna come out December 16th. Some stan just saw that date listed on the website for motherfucking Tar-jay.
It makes you wonder to what extent Def Jam is actually involved in putting together and marketing its releases, and, in a larger sense, what the fuck it is that people who work for record labels even do. Are there actual meetings, in which it's decided which albums the label's gonna release, when they're gonna come out, and how they're gonna be promoted - or do the artists pretty much have free reign to do whatever they want?
Based on my own admittedly rather limited experience in dealing with these labels, I wouldn't be surprised if it's the latter.
For example, if I had a dime for every time I saw a new video by an artist posted on one of these blogs that post a lot of videos, and then the next day or whatever I received an email from douche alerting me that said artist has a new video out, I'd have upwards of a hundred dollars. It's almost as if these labels have to check the blogs to see if their artists have any new material to promote.
And as I was getting at in my story the other day about the new Busta Rhymes record, "Arab Money," there's also these situations where the label has to go in and censor the artist after the fact. Like when the first single from the new Nas album had the word kike in its chorus, and then it somehow ended up not being on the album. Hmm...
These labels might seriously want to see about bringing me on as a management consultant. Something tells me there's a lot of people in the Def Jam building who wouldn't otherwise be talented enough to be the nightside assistant manager at a Taco Bell. These people obviously need to be let go. I could help identify them, and I wouldn't charge any more than it would cost to bring me out to New York.
Doug Morris, holler at your boy.
Anyhoo, as I was saying, there's clearly a lack of oversight with these labels. The thing is, you wouldn't even expect this to be an issue with a guy like Kanye West. I mean, his last album sold something like a million copies its first week out. How bad could its followup possibly do? I could see the decision to want to give him more or less free reign, even if he didn't already have it due to utter mismanagement.
That is, if it wasn't for "Love Lockdown." Regardless of what you think about that song - I know some of you fruits have been trying hard to convince yourselves that you like it - the fact of the matter is that even Kanye himself has acknowledged that it wasn't right, by going back and rerecording it. And you have to think: If Kanye West couldn't tell if the single was right before he decided to throw it up on his blog, what's there to say the album isn't gonna end up being just as much of a clusterfuck?