Posts Tagged ‘Album Leaks’

The 250 Square Foot View is happy to introduce its first guest blog post from musician (and my younger brother) Danny Calise. A Temple University graduate, Danny spent two years teaching English in China before returning to the States to pursue his music career in Los Angeles. His recent works can be found here.

In an age when the internet affords you the opportunity to download any song, album, movie, book, computer program or TV episode for free (albeit, illegally), I am forced to consider the question, “Why should I buy Drake’s new album?” Or really any new album?

Ok so it’s the best album of the year. Fine. Kudos to Drake.

Will the world keep on spinning if Drake doesn’t receive his cut from my 12 bucks? Well, yea. Would he be pissed at me if we ever met and I admitted to illegally downloading his CD? I would hope not.

On the album’s (Take Care) first single and current #1 rap song in the country, “Headlines,” Drake brags/laments, “I guess it really is just me, myself, and all my millions.” On “The Motto,” a callabo with Lil Wayne, Drake describes himself as “Twenty five, sittin’ on twenty five mill.” Practically every song finds Drake doing what a lot of rappers do: talking about how rich they are. I’m left wondering why he deserves my 12 bucks instead of me. After all, I already have the album.

It makes sense that rappers talk about their lavish lifestyles and the rest of us look on in awe. Like many rap fans, I want to know what it’s like to be these guys. Drake supposedly dated Rihanna and he spent many a line on his debut CD proposing to and flirting with Nicki Minaj. Maybe that’s what you’re paying for, to hear some dude say the “N-word” a lot and imagine Nicki and Rihanna swooning over it. Worth 12 bucks to you yet?

Drake’s new album leaked a week before it’s scheduled release date, November 15th, 2011. Those of us who are privileged enough to understand the concept of torrents are sitting here with the sophomore LP from one of the most exciting artists from any genre, but it feels a little bit like peeking in the closet for Christmas presents a week before Christmas.

Normally, the “cons” section of any pros and cons list regarding illegal downloading would include the idea that it’s not fair to steal from an artist. And for some poor struggling sap selling his CDs at a coffee shop, this makes sense. But when I downloaded Drake’s new LP, or Lil Wayne’s, I didn’t feel one lick of remorse. As a struggling musician myself, I could never carry a Drake CD to the Best Buy cashier with a straight face and spend my money to make him richer. Not in  2011.

Societies like ours have chosen entertainers as their most valuable members, paying them ungodly amounts to do whatever it is they do. In Lil Wayne’s case, he gets paid to get high and say stupid shit like,“My nuts hang like ain’t no curfew” from Take Care’s “HYFR (Hell Ya F*ckin Right).”  That’s a million dollar line if ever I’ve heard one–art at its most artistic. And many rap fans would argue he’s the best rapper of our generation. A most deserving multi-millionaire indeed!

Drake, on the other hand, put his heart and soul into Take Care and spends the album’s 80-minute run time crafting his artistic vision by telling a story. The fact that this LP is a work of art and will sell a million copies in a couple of weeks is something for Drake to be proud of. I see this as the main difference between the two self-proclaimed best rappers in the game.

Lil Wayne’s latest LP sold 300,000 legal downloads in its first four days (with the benefit of a prison sentence to boost his sales) while Kanye West and Jay-Z’s Watch the Throne sold 436,000 copies in its first week. Regardless of how many hundreds of thousands of CDs and downloads Drake moves, at the end of the day, even without my 12 bucks, I’m sure he’s gonna be just fine.

(Note: For those of you in the adult world without the willingness or ability to download music illegally, you can still listen to Take Care legally for free on Spotify.)

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