Hype: Destroying Expectations One Album At A Time
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Hype: Destroying Expectations One Album At A Time

Hype is a common problem for consumers and artists alike, and delivering to everyone's expectations is becoming a more difficult task to prove.

Hype: Destroying Expectations One Album At A Time
Jake Reuben

Disappointment is a huge part of the music world. It comes with the territory for any musician, because even if your vision as an artist is expressed exactly how you want, not everyone is receptive to the style of music you're offering.

A perfect example of this was Kid Cudi's latest album, "Speedin Bullet 2 Heaven." This is the perspective from the musician's point of view. Today I'll be talking about disappointment from the fans point of view, and I don't need to tell you there's a lot of it. The keyword today is 'Hype,' its implications, and how it's single-handedly deteriorating an artist's vision and the overall reception of a project being released.

Unfortunately, this has been probably one of the most consistent issues in Hip Hop for as long as we fans can remember, but the past few years it has gotten more out of hand than ever before. This is a problem from a fans perspective as well as the artists. When you put an artist on such a high pedestal there are expectations that may be impossible to reach. Artists start making promises for the most impressive album released that year and put out release dates, but they make such a tall order for themselves that they can't seem to keep up with their promises. Meanwhile, the fan is chomping at the bit waiting for their favorite artists to release their grand masterpiece. Three things can happen in these situations:

Situation #1

The first possibility is we have a rushed, unpolished project. This has happened time and time again when artists promise that no matter what happens, this project will be released on this date. Even worse is when the project is delayed several times and we still get a poor mans version of the album everyone was expecting.

I have two examples of this. First (as much as it pains me to say) "The Life of Pablo" by Kanye West. Now if you've ever spoken to me for more than five minutes than you know I'm a loyal Kanye fan. That being said there is still room to criticize, even for such an established and iconic artist. Many refer to this project and the 'groundbreaking' updates to the album as just a joke. I believe Kanye had a particular vision for this album, but what we got was some great songs that were just missing something. The final version of this album with all its updates was a fantastic album. It was more polished, the mixing was much better, and it even added a few extra songs. If he had waited a few extra months we would have had a much better experience and the hype very well could have been made. That all being said he made a ton of money, and still had a great project no matter what people may say.

My second example is from another of my personal favorites. I've promised an article on Travis Scott for as long as I've been writing for Odyssey and I don't want to rush it so this paragraph will have to hold you off. "The Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight" was a hit or miss for a lot of people. It was an immediate hit for me because for once the hype actually enhanced my initial view of this project, but a lot of people immediately saw through the facade that was this album. Don't get me wrong, it was a great album even if I wasn't a Travis fan, but once again the mixing wasn't as great as it could be, and there was just something missing. Rodeo was a much more polished album, and it was actually released on time (kinda). The fact that a follow up 'album' "Days Before Birds" was released just proves this point. You could call them throw away tracks, but if some more work was put into them it would have been a much better album as a whole (RaRa is a perfect example). This was another album that was delayed over and over again. This was almost released early too, but if it wasn't for Mike Dean the album would have come out even more unpolished.

Situation #2

The album comes out perfectly and on time. This isn't the case for most mainstream Hip Hop, but several examples would be J. Cole who plays the safe route and announces his album a month in advance maximum and without sounding like a dick rider, Cole never disappoints. Kendrick Lamar being another notable example. Some other consistent artists would be Tech N9ne and Gucci Mane (almost to a fault). If this man can pump out, however, many projects as he did in prison with solid production and decent lyrics than it shouldn't be impossible for any other, just as established artists to do so as well.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F12%2F11%2F636170126644236072-845810088_giphy.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=1011&h=105a56f4366f2b04debe3e0962ee99d9e554013e0d95a439a46fbc8cc7e61e3a&size=980x&c=2455577522 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F12%252F11%252F636170126644236072-845810088_giphy.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D1011%26h%3D105a56f4366f2b04debe3e0962ee99d9e554013e0d95a439a46fbc8cc7e61e3a%26size%3D980x%26c%3D2455577522%22%7D" expand=1]

Situation #3

The last, and possibly most frustrating outcome, is constant delays, sometimes potentially for several years and the project never seeing the light of day. Kanye is another perfect example of this. Once again if you know me, you know how much I love Kanye, but like any human being, there are a lot of character flaws. J. Cole addresses a lot of these in his new song "False Prophets" and while some may call it a diss, I think it's just valid criticism. What Cole didn't necessarily address were the thousand albums Kanye has promised and hasn't delivered on. This is dependent on the hype around Kanye as well as his own personal health issues. This also goes for Cole as well, because we're still waiting for the Kendrick Lamar and Cole collaboration project (get on it).

The main point of this article is for the consumer, who I'm mainly addressing (unless any artists are reading, in that case, get your shit together) that we need to stop putting these artists on such high pedestals, or at least mentally blocking out the hype. The less you know about a project the better you'll receive it. This is why I'm a huge fan of Dreamville and all they do because there is always hype around the next project, we just never know when it'll be and dropping a month prior works perfectly for Cole's type of music. So once again if anyone needs me I'll be listening to the new J. Cole, Post Malone, Mos Def, and Ab-Soul Projects. Relating to hype the Travis piece is still coming (what can I say, I'm a hypocrite).

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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