Nowadays, it’s not uncommon for a label to push back an album’s drop date more than once. Usually, they’re waiting for more hype from fans, better numbers from their promo singles, or just chock it up to bad timing. Constantly streaming singles released straight from an artist’s Twitter account, or “leaked” tracks turned overnight hits only add to the confusion, leaving fans holding their breath for a full-length project. Now, it seems that some of hip hop’s heavyweights, not the labels, could be the culprits for their pushed back release dates. After waiting weeks, months, even years for some of these albums to drop, I finally had to ask, what’s the hold up?
Just last week, Weezy announced his ninth album, The Carter IV, would be released June 21; over a month past its original drop date, May 16. Young Money President, Mack Maine, told MTV, “He’s still perfecting a few things, he’s a perfectionist… changing a few lines… We also have a huge record that wasn’t done yet. We’re in LA right now. We have a little studio time and it should be done probably by Monday.” This came as a surprise to fans who have been enjoying new music from Wayne since he left the big house. His singles, “6 Foot 7 Foot” and “If I Die Tonight” are already hits, and he’s also promised another full-length release, Like Father Like Son 2 before the year’s end.
Jay-Z & Kanye West
Two of hip hop’s biggest names delivered big promises at the top the year, assuring fans that their collaboration album, Watch The Throne would be out that month. They released “H.A.M.” a strong single that sent fans into an uproar of anticipation for the finished product. Now, four months later, we’ve yet to hear another single, let alone an album. It’s hard to blame label execs for the delay when both artists are execs themselves, so this push-back has been especially perplexing. Hov has at long last cleared the air, finally explaining the hold-up to Delta Sky Magazine last week, blaming hectic schedules as one reason for the wait. ”Before success, there weren’t interviews or photo shoots. Now it’s a big thing to get in the studio. It’s like a process just to get there. And once I’m there, I have to dial into an emotion.” He also said Kanye has been hard to pin down, since he is in “an extraordinarily creative place”. We sure hope that’s not code for rehab, and that this project will soon see the light of day.
Tongues have been wagging for this newcomer’s album since Jay-Z signed him as the first addition to RocNation in 2009. The yet-to-be-titled project was expected to hit shelves in March, and at the time, promo singles and touring dates seemed to suggest a solid release. Since then, however, Cole has been tight-lipped about an official drop-date, teasing fans with more singles “All I Want Is You” (his collabo with Miguel) and “Disgusting” which he released last week via Twitter, practically causing an Internet shut-down from fans clamoring to download the track. Cole recently beat out Lupe Fiasco as Number 5 on VIBE’s list of ‘Best Rapper’s Alive (Under 30)’, giving the emcee one more task to live up to.
Finally, Cole broke his silence last week, telling thepressofatlanticcity.com, “I know my fans are frustrated with me, because I won’t give a date. I only gave a date one time in my career last year, and I smacked myself in the face because it was so unrealistic. Now I say it’s coming soon, and it’s really true, because we’re in the final stages right now.” While an overly ambitious release date may have been the initial problem, it seems Cole might have a case of the highly-hyped jitters. “I think of my own expectations and my pressure on myself,” he added, while describing his album as “heavy” and “emotional.” “I don’t worry about what the world wants me to do. I’m worrying about meeting my expectations.” Let’s hope he sorts that out before fans forget what they’re waiting for.
Hip hop fans have been waiting patiently for Kanye’s protégé, Big Sean to make a serious splash with his debut album, Finally Famous. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait for the project to be finally done, since Sean’s release date was pushed from May 3 to June 21. This is the second big push-back for the newbie, who was originally planning to release his album the same day as his mentor’s My Beautiful, Dark, Twisted Fantasy back in November. His single, “My Last” has been heating up radio for months, and Sean has been promising near-perfect production from the likes of No I.D., Pharell, Mike Posner and Mr. West, himself.
Detox is still MIA, making me feel more like a sucker than a devoted fan. With singles like, “I Need A Doctor” and “Kush” doing so well, I’m pretty tired of all the excuses. Stage fright doesn’t cut it, considering Dre brought the house down with his triumphant return to the stage at the GRAMMYs in February. With no date in sight, this ten-year wait is starting to feel more like a hoax than a hope.