“Universal needs to stop taking my f---ing songs down. I am doing this for the people, not your label,” were the words perennial hitmaker Drake fired off in anger over Universal/Motown’s anti–social-media policies, which led them to take down the music he offered to his fans with the five-fingered discount.
If you hadn’t heard, Aubrey Graham a.k.a “Drizzy Drake” launched into a Twitter tirade a couple of weeks ago once it was discovered that songs the rumored Rihanna boy-toy released online like “Marvin’s Room,” “Trust Issues” and “Dreams Money Can Buy” were swiftly removed by his handlers at Universal.
Seeing as how the Internet played a huge role in the Young Money artist’s rise to fame and success, this second time around the label could irrevocably destroy the winning approach to Drake’s Web appeal. Initially I could understand Drake’s anger. However, fast-forward to today, and I think I might be willing to side with, dare I say it, the record label.
And it starts with Eminem.
As previously reported, the rap superstar sold a million copies of his last album, Recovery, making him the first artist in history to achieve the feat.
Often times I observe artists leak their own records, music videos and even albums online, hoping they can ascertain some of “Drake mania" that's seemed to work so well in his career. However, from the beginning of Eminem’s entrance into the game, he and his team—and, of course, his record label—were very hands-on when it came to the overexposure of the Detroit MC.
Good ol' Marshall refused his music to movie scores, commercials and anyplace else. And you could argue that this policy greatly contributed to his historic feat.
Can Drake ever get close to Eminem’s magic by putting his music out to the masses for the free? Or will it ultimately do him harm and cause a downward spiral of mediocrity in terms of record and digital sales? Who’s to say?
However, given Marshal Mathers' huge feat in the digital space, I have to side with the method that ultimately works above all else. Thus I can totally understand the heavy hand of music execs when they’ve got Eminem records to beat.
Just my two cents.
(Photo: Larry Busacca/Getty)