Drake has been anointed by many fans and journalists alike as hip-hop's new golden master of ceremonies, but he is not exempt from the same problem plaguing most musicians these days. Bootleggers leaked his much-anticipated Thank Me Later LP earlier this week, but the Toronto MC took it stride, tweeting, "I gave away free music for years so we're good over here."
Drake told TheLifeFiles.com that the word of mouth won't hurt him. "It's a honor to make this dream come true for Wayne, and I'm excited to start my journey," he said of the new album, which he previewed for the press on Wednesday. "I always say, if I would have put out an album that was poor quality, I think the leaks would have hurt me. Because a lot of the feedback has been great, it can only help."
The Game spoke about the inevitability of leaking when he stopped by the MTV Newsroom on Wednesday. "Every album is getting leaked from now until the duration of hip-hop," he said. "It's just once it hits the plant, or once a radio station gets their promo, somebody is gonna leak the album. You can look forward to it being leaked a week early or whatever. It's gonna get leaked."
Chamillionaire and Paul Wall weighed in as well. And though they agreed that an MC's ire is definitely raised when his album leaks early, for the most part, it doesn't hurt too much.
"You can't not be bothered by that," Cham told MTV News. "Because you wonder, is that a sale that I could have made? You hate to see all your hard work that you went to the studio doing. We done seen bootleggers riding 28s. We like, 'Man, they eating good off of us.' But we understand; you just gotta give them that music. If it's dope, they gonna come buy it. I don't think Drake or anybody else should worry if it's dope. If people want it, it's gonna create enough hype. 50 Cent, even Lil Wayne, everybody suffered from leaks and some people benefited from it."
Wall agreed that leaks can do as much good as they do harm. "If the album don't sell good — that's just not Drake, this is every artist — then [they say], 'Oh, it got bootlegged.' If it does great, then they'll be like, 'Oh, it does great 'cause the bootleg got out, and it let everybody know this was legit.' It goes both ways."
Game suggested that any artists who complain that leaks hurt their sales should stop making excuses and make better music.
"Lil Wayne showed me that," Game said. "His album leaked four weeks before Tha Carter III was supposed to come out, and he sold a million the first week. That's just an excuse. ... It's no longer acceptable because people are still selling."
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