Drake Started From the Bottom, Now On Top of Digital Music MarketingPosted by Dharmic X on 02/05/13 | Filed under Top Stories, Opinion, Drake
The hip-hop game can be a very frustrating experience. Watching people throw their careers into a brick wall while getting championed for it is shortsighted, but one look at Twitter reveals that the current iteration of hip-hop culture lives for the moment, only to move onto the latest World Star controversy within the next twelve hours. So when the opportunity arises to give credit for something that was well-executed (albeit common sense), I take relish in offering that credit. And when that person happens to be Drake, someone whose music I’ve never been a fan of, all the better, because it shows that the appreciation is genuine.
And what better place to talk about the music access in the digital age than RefinedHype?
Let’s be clear, this is not an endorsement of “Started From the Bottom” itself. The song, while a tad catchy, is a hypnotic snoozefest. As for the content, the image above says it all. The most impressive thing about the song is the method of transmission to the masses. Yes, Drizzy fucked around and used the all-powerful Hulkshare for download purposes, but (in the event that the site crashed as it is sometimes liable to do so), the soundcloud link was ready to go, made readily available for streaming and sharing across the interwebs.
Forget the need for a third-party sponsor like Datpiff or Worldstar. Hell, forget about Nathan’s long-running suggestion that labels or artists invest a portion of their profits into running a website that can handle high volumes of traffic. The (arguably) most popular rapper of today just used a blogspot website (ie, no money involved) and soundcloud and managed to stay afloat longer than J. Cole has ever done when putting out a track through his dreamvillain.com website.
From that one blogspot link and soundcloud upload, the song disseminated to the rest of the world over the weekend, and most of the rap world is eagerly anticipating what appears to be a music video release shortly after the Grammys. Obviously, this is not the type of attention an aspiring rapper can count on, but this is just another lesson on why it is important to consolidate music onto one platform. When blogs or other websites post the music, they will all be using the same site, making it easy to track views and plays. Meanwhile, this is a formula that any major label or major label artist should be looking into.
It all boils down to internet savvy. Nobody is calling Drake a hi-tech genius, but it’s clear that he and his team have a firm grasp on how to promote music online in a systematic manner, and they are not ashamed of doing so. So why can’t other rappers catch on?
Last week, the big mixtape on everyone’s mind was Pusha T’s “Wrath of Caine.” After announcing that the tape was dropping soon, it then seemed to take forever for Pusha and his team to upload the tape onto Live Mixtapes. They certainly missed their 6PM EST deadline that they had set. And while there was definitely slander over the picture and the implication that Pusha and his team were slaving over their computer to get a simple zip file uploaded to the internet, everybody pretty much moved on to the music instantly.
At the end of the day it’s music over everything, but in 2013, things like this should not be the norm. By now, the online game has supplanted pretty much everything as the number one source to listen to music sans radio play. This is especially true in hip-hop. So moving forward, let’s drop the idea that it is cool or acceptable to be ignorant in the field of technology. We clown our parents or grandparents when they struggle to type out an e-mail, so let’s clown our artists and their management teams when they can’t figure out that nobody is using sendspace downloads anymore.