View Full Version : The Length of Time Between a Single and an Album

02-11-2011, 03:07 PM
Today I look at that short window of time an artist has to drop an album after they blow up off a single


Even though the maxi single has been completely eliminated (save for the few months or so they tried to bring it back at the beginning of this century which of course, failed) artists still need a way to break through to the mainstream and catch on to expand their fan base. And still the biggest way to do this is with a hit single. That one song that takes the artist from obscure underground nobody to a well known artist of the moment with the ability to get everyone from Snoop Dogg to T-Pain (http://khalifafans.com/2010/12/17/wiz-khalifa-ft-snoop-juicy-j-t-pain-black-and-yellow-g-mix/) on the countless (http://www.2dopeboyz.com/2010/11/23/fabolous-white-navy/) remixes (http://youheardthatnew.com/2010/11/troy-ave-black-yellow-freestyle-dame-beso/) of (http://nahright.com/news/2010/11/26/young-jeezy-black-yellow-freestyle/) their single (uh huh, you know what it is). But with that hit single comes a window, a time period in which the artist can either drop an album and hope to continue to ride the wave, especially if the collected works are as good as the snippet, or they can stall and stall and eventually fall the fuck off. So how big is that window and which artists have failed to keep it open long enough to create careers instead of being known later as one-hit wonders?

It didn’t used to be this way, well, at least the window didn’t used to be so small. Nas dropped “Halftime” in 1992, album dropped in ’94. “Regulate” (note: NOT “Regulators”) dropped a good 6 months before the official album and while both of these examples are from soundtracks, the fact is that in 1994 with only a handful of rappers out there, chances were if your single was dope, you were gonna be given a contract and the opportunity to record an album (unless your name was Sam Sneed (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SgRVhvcdMoc)). Nowadays the single is more of the test of whether or not you’re worth having an entire albums worth of material.

A couple years back Maino released “Hi Hater” which became a street hit resulting in a new catch phrase as well as a ton of t-shirt sales. Over a year later his album dropped, and to no surprise, went almost completely unnoticed. It didn’t matter that he actually released a pretty solid record (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPFdIrUO_wM), or that the content (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyWvT0KXfG8) was not as simple (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYvQkwJ4-qI) as his debut single, but the fact that it took over a year to release the album no doubt affected sales, his buzz was gone, people were over him by that time and had moved on to that 2009 shit. This past year the Diplomats reunited for “Salute” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_4PZRrnZWM) with promises of an album coming soon. Well, it’s been over 6 months since “Salute” first hit our ears and I have yet to hear another official Diplomats track. At the time I expected to bump the Araab Muzik (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dniLGoLYBrU) produced banger until an album dropped, riding out the hypeness of the Dipset movement, but at this point I’m not as excited, and don’t really expect to see an album, much less a mixtape from them anytime soon. And most recently, some of yall may have heard the group Chiddy Bang with their single “Opposite of Adults” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=McRgkE_vgjU). It’s been out since forever ago (I wanna say early 2010) and yet they are still pushing it and it hasn’t quite broken through yet, and by the time it does, it will already be played out. I could be wrong, but something tells me they won’t make the splash they deserve to in today’s hip hop environment.

So how big is the window of opportunity? Do some artists get longer amounts of time to bubble before others? Does the hip hop world of today make that window smaller? And what artists have unfortunately missed the window even though the album that eventually did drop was worthy of critical praise? Are some artists destined for the dollar bin or is it the fault of their labels not promoting them properly? And can we please get some more new Dipset already? SALUTE!!

02-11-2011, 03:12 PM

02-11-2011, 03:19 PM