The Leak: Can ASAP Rocky Survive the Early Release of His Album? (Video Inside)

| January 11, 2013 | 0 Comments


On January 15th 2013, hip hop’s latest sensation, ASAP Rocky will release his debut album, Long Live ASAP. The freshman’s debut has been one of the most talked about projects in music since he signed his deal with RCA/Polo Grounds. The Harlem born star-in-the-making created some serious buzz for himself with his mixtape “Live Love ASAP” and the subsequent singles that would spawn from that. His star was on the rise. His debut disc was supposed to solidify him as a major player in not just hip-hop, but music!

Then his album sprung a leak last month. ASAP suffered what many artists today fear. With the easy access that many people from friends to executives at the label have over the music and the ability to release it online, many great albums find their way into the hands of fans for free before they ever get the chance to hit stores. This causes severe loss in sales for the artist and the labels.

Some artists manage to duck the leak. Kendrick Lamar kept his debut album under lock and key until the day that it hit stores and ITunes, the same with Wiz Khalifa. The sales reflected the protection of the music, with both artists debuting high on the Billboard charts after their albums were released for sale.

How this leak will effect Rocky has yet to be seen. He has gone along as if the leak hasn’t bothered him in one way. His label has released 4 tracks from the disc, Fucking Problems, “1 Train,” “Long Live ASAP,” and recently “I Come Apart” featuring Florence Welch from Florence and The Machines. In interviews he’s showed no fear about lack of sales that might result from the album being leaked a full month ahead of time speaking about it as if it’s just a cost of doing business. But this is a cost that the labels and subsequently the artists shouldn’t have to foot.

Back in the day, leaked albums were a major deal! Walking outside and seeing a bootlegger selling your album early on the street led to many a beat-downs. Today, it’s treated almost as a way of promotion. Let the fans hear the album early and then they might be more inclined to buy the album. This theory has yet to show consistent results. There have been albums that were heavily bootlegged that still managed to do well in the stores, 2 Chainz would be the best example. His debut was bootlegged and widely panned by fans and critics before it ever hit stores, yet he still debuted high on the charts, eventually going gold. But for the most part, the early releases have done nothing but hurt the artist.

I hope that the leak doesn’t hurt ASAP too hard. The work that was put in to build his brand and his name early shouldn’t hang in the limbo because of an unintentional (or intentional) leak. Time will tell, and that time will be next week when we will all be able to get the album legally.

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