Much has been said about the death of the album in the digital era. But today fans use social media to campaign for ‘event’ albums from infamous artistic procrastinators—and no more than in hip-hop and R&B. When in July 2015 Frank Ocean’s second album didn’t show, as he’d announced, hashtags proliferated. Op-eds and blogs were written about its non-appearance. Oddly, between the end of 2014 and 2015 we finally saw many an elusive album—the Wu-Tang Clan’s A Better Tomorrow, D’Angelo’s Black Messiah (in lieu of James River), and Dr Dre’s Compton: A Soundtrack (over Detox). Even that reclusive UK pop-soulstress Adele said ‘Hello’ with 25. However, 2015’s most mega-hyped albums—from Rihanna, Kanye West, Drake and, yo, Ocean—were inexplicably delayed. Now we have RiRi’s stealth blockbuster ANTI while, on February 11, Yeezy’s Waves (the album formerly known as SWISH, formerly known as So Help Me God) will drop, heralded by a bourgie cinematic experience. Drizzy has confirmed that Views From The 6 will roll out in April. Here we look at some of music’s other seemingly urban myth albums and ask, ‘Should we still care?’.
- Words: Cyclone Wehner