Hate it or love it, Drake’s So Far Gone may just be the latest mixtape to have changed the game.
With the web taking over and blogs becoming the breeding ground, up-and-coming MCs have been cranking out material at an incredibly rapid rate. You got guys like Curren$y and Charles Hamilton, two of our 2009 Freshmen 10 alum, who at one point released as many as one mixtape per month. Freeway and Young Chris also both released 30 songs in 30 days. Sure, it kept their names out there. I enjoy Free and Chris’ material and put most of their leaks in the bangers section, but it’s not like releasing a song a day did much for their buzz. Well, at least in Chris’ case, it seems to have earned him a new deal.
The thing is, the new kid coming up now thinks he needs to have a song on the blogs every other day to build a buzz. Well, I won’t name any names (that would be doing them a favor), but some of these cats are on Nahright, OnSmash and 2DopeBoyz on a consistent basis and their buzz is still pretty much nonexistent.
Meanwhile, you have a dude like Drake who’s buzzing off one mixtape. Now three months after So Far Gone‘s release, the general consensus is that the mixtape plays more like an album. “Best I Ever Had,” which currently sits at no. 41 on Billboard’s Hip-Hop/R&B chart, is poised to be one of the hottest songs of the summer and “Successful” has pretty much become an everyman/woman anthem. Other than that, Drake’s featured on “Every Girl” and he’s popped up on a few songs here and there. The bulk of his blog presence has basically been from tour footage, a tour he’s been able to book thanks to one successful mixtape, not 100 songs in a 100 days. Drake isn’t flooding the market like Charles Hamilton, but he leaves us wanting more. Meanwhile, I think some of us need a CH break. Empire knows this, which is why he just came out with this Drake Edition of The Drought Is Over.
I think J. Cole will be the next MC to have a similar impact. Folks have been talking about Cole since he inked with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation not too long ago, but there hasn’t been that much music available unless you downloaded his 2007 mixtape, The Come Up. I spoke to Cole this past Friday and to let him tell it, his upcoming tape, The Warm Up, will play more like an album as well. I got money on Cole’s next tape generating significant buzz. Hopefully, once it does, these new rappers will slow down and craft better songs rather than flood us with mediocre stuff.-Jackpot