Kanye West vs. J. Cole: You Buying It?

May 22nd, 2013

(Photos from left: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images, John Ricard/BET)

By Jake Rohn

June 18 has suddenly become an important date for hip hop fans. A few weeks ago, Kanye West confirmed the release date for his latest album, the controversially-titled Yeezus. A short time later, J. Cole decided to move up the release date of his highly anticipated sophomore album Born Sinner to that same day.

You may remember back in 2007 when ‘Ye similarly went toe-to-toe with 50 Cent, pitting his Graduation album against 50 Cent’s Curtis in a move that generated about as much hype as a prizefight. Always the master of showmanship, 50 stirred the pot by announcing that he would retire if Mr. West outsold him. Rolling Stone magazine even put the two on their cover in a face off that looked like the latest UFC fight. 50 lost the battle, with Curtis selling 691,000 to Graduation’s 957,000.

Though 50 took an ‘L’ on that one, the hype garnered millions of dollars in free press including the aforementioned Rolling Stone cover and a “weigh in” style confrontation at that year’s MTV Video Music Awards.

It’s widely understood that it would be an upset of epic proportions if Cole even came close to outselling Yeezy, but both just created a palpable buzz surrounding the date, and with the hype comes the free press. After this, how many new people now know about J. Cole’s album that maybe didn’t before?

If this is not a move that is thought up by the record label, it should be. When artists that are even remotely on the same scale square off, it’s like reverse psychology on the consumer. Though the headlines pin it as a competition, the real message: Buy both!

There is no doubt that on June 18, when people go on iTunes (and, yes some will still go to the record store), they might only intend to buy one but the other will no doubt be in their mind. Afterwards, Billboard will declare a winner. But despite one of Jay-Z’s more famous proclamations, the numbers don’t tell the whole truth. Cole and Kanye will have BOTH won.

Hip hop often does not get enough credit for the entrepreneurial endeavors its artists and executives have come up with over the years and this is no different. Though the idea of big albums coming out on the same day is not new, the idea of marketing it as a competition means everyone wins.

The UFC has become one of the biggest moneymaking machines in American sports, and a big part of that success is the hype that gives the fans a narrative. And for all of the trash talk, people find someone to cheer for and against. No matter who wins, the numbers are huge. Music is no different.

The hype machine is something that has driven consumers for years, and just like with anything else, the best way to create interest is to make it competitive. Give the people a storyline and they will follow the characters.

For more log on to BET.com

  • Digg It
  • Delicious


Pages: « 1 2 [3]

Rogelio Said on

Greetings, There’s no doubt that your blog could possibly be having browser compatibility problems. Whenever I look at your website in Safari, it looks fine however, if opening in I.E., it’s got some overlapping issues. I simply wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other than that, excellent site! Feel free to visit my webpage: Tao Of Badass Ebook

?????????? Said on

????? ??????????????????????????????????????
?????????? http://abercropoloshirts.wiki2.jp/

Wendi Said on

I’ll right away #?*#~# your rss feed as I can not in finding your e-mail subscription hyperlink or e-newsletter service. Do you’ve any? Kindly allow me recognise so that I may just subscribe. Thanks. Also visit my site :: location voiture fes

christianlouboutinoutleta.com Said on

Try THIS Website
christianlouboutinoutleta.com http://www.christianlouboutinoutleta.com

guccioutletstore-online.com Said on

Click For MORE
guccioutletstore-online.com http://www.guccioutletstore-online.com

Karin Said on

Hі, eνery tіme і useԁ to check wеblog ρosts hеre іn the еarly hours in the daylіght, since і enjoу to learn moгe and mоre. Μy page; make your own music

vancouver photographer Said on

Websites we think you should visit…

[...]although websites we backlink to below are considerably not related to ours, we feel they are actually worth a go through, so have a look[...]……

louis vuitton outlet online Said on

good share.
louis vuitton outlet online http://www.louisvuittonttoutlet.com

maillot de foot pas cher Said on

maillot de foot pas cher…

I do agree with all the ideas you have presented in your post. Thanks for the post….


Kanye West vs. J. Cole: You Buying It? | Sound Off | BET.com CHEAP IPAD MINI http://www.wolveswest.org/

Isabel Marant Sneakers Pas Cher Said on

Kanye West vs. J. Cole: You Buying It? | Sound Off | BET.com Isabel Marant Sneakers Pas Cher http://www.goldisabelmarant.com/

california llc Said on

Visitor recommendations…

[...]one of our visitors recently recommended the following website[...]……

web design Said on

Cool sites…

[...]we came across a cool site that you might enjoy. Take a look if you want[...]……

???????? ?????? Said on

???????? ?????? http://bottegaveneta.hariko.com/

michael kors outlet store Said on

michael kors outlet store http://www.michaelkorsioutlet.org/

D3 GOLD Said on

Kanye West vs. J. Cole: You Buying It? | Sound Off | BET.com D3 GOLD http://www.diablo3-power-leveling.com/diablo3-gold.html

hostgator review Said on

Check this out…

[...] that is the end of this article. Here you’ll find some sites that we think you’ll appreciate, just click the links over[...]……

cheap sunglasses online Said on

cheap sunglasses online http://www.cheap-sunglass.net/

Louis Vuitton Outlet Said on

Kanye West vs. J. Cole: You Buying It? | Sound Off | BET.com Louis Vuitton Outlet http://www.eluxurystyles.com/

Cheap Jimmy Choo Pumps Said on

Kanye West vs. J. Cole: You Buying It? | Sound Off | BET.com Cheap Jimmy Choo Pumps http://www.takssecrets.com/