So Lil' Wayne has been planning the release of his latest album. As far as hip hop goes, it is one of the most anticipated albums of the year. However there has been a lot of talk on blogs regarding the album and the artist . It's one thing to call yourself the best rapper alive, but the knock on Wayne is that he has not yet produced a classic. That ready to die, reasonable doubt non-disputed, across the board, certified classic type album. Tha CarterIII is suppose to be thát one.
How to achieve such an album? Well there is off course no mathematical formula; it depends on talent, zeitgeist, reviews, sales, etc... stuff that Wayne has and in getting... but still...
Wayne has been doing what every musician has been doing; going in the studio and recording material to the best of his ability. Putting some of it free online, some of it on mixtapes and holding some of it back for the album. All the while having very little control over the process of making a classic. He just controls the process of making an album. Nothing more.
But what if he flipped the process? What if he released control of making an album in order to gain more control over making a classic??
See.. Wayne is a southern rapper (he is from New Orleans, Louisiana), so his style will always have strong southern influences.
Enter Scarface. Undisputed O.G., with kilo's of street cred (enough so, to ruin Lil'Flip career when he would not vouch for Flips credentials in a beef with T.I), musical success and more importantly classic material to his name. Not to mention the guy has a good ear (he was the one who signed Ludacris to def Jam South). Scarface should executive produce Wayne's album.
On three conditions which would have to be told at a live press conference:
1) the album will only be released if 'Face approves;
2) if it drops he has to back it with his full reputation;
3) it has to be released by a certain date.
What would this accomplish? Firstly the album will get a huge boost in quality. Scarface has a lot riding on it, he is the king of the south with a undisputed reputation, as does Wayne (imaging not dropping the album, because 'face says it's not good enough). So the A game will be brought to the table.
Secondly it will eliminate meaningless marketing expenses, which can go into the recording budget. Hip hop will listen when these two state their intentions, and the buzz will be big enough come the last couple of weeks before release (it's like a time relaease capsule).
Thirdly it wil set the bar higher for the rest of the indusrty. Hip Hop is dying (if not commercialy, then certainly creatively). Self imposed control via (still highly relevant) powers that be, will separate the platinum from the bronze. Still no garantuee for a classic. But definite steps towards it? Yes indeed..
It would also be an interesting model for much of business:
What if undisputed reputations were attached to projects?
What if Jobs executive produced products with public right to veto?
What if the Nakeds, Cynics, W+K's, KesselsKramers, CP+B's of the world refused to release their campaigns if the products were not up to par? Would that force companies to better themselves? Or would the hacks just take over??
What if...is as far as it will most likely go, because Lil'Wayne will do his thing, Scarface and Jobs are not that altruistic (but perhaps enough of an egomaniac), business will be as usual, the consumer has bills to pay/other worries and the above thinking has a lot of flaws in it..
Stat quo is popular for a reason...but still I am left wondering.......what if?