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  • Jack Loftus

NOTEWRTHY: Leaking Through

Welcome back to NOTEWRTHY, where we hate Blue Mana players even more than we hate how expensive Modern is to set up and play.

Today, let’s talk about unreleased music. To be more specific, let’s talk about leaks when it comes to music and the culture around it.

If you somehow don’t know, leaks are very common in today’s music industry, especially in the hip-hop realm. In fact, almost every major rapper has a song or 2 of theirs that has been leaked and that people are listening to. In some cases, like that of Juice WRLD (RIP), there’s a few dozen of them that have made their way onto platforms like YouTube and Soundcloud. In fact, there are communities of hundreds, if not thousands of people, dedicated to finding leaks for specific artists and posting them. It truly is an interesting sphere of the internet. With that of course, comes the dozens of unreleased songs that now see the light of day.

But what impact, if any, do these leaks have on the artists that make the songs? Well, in some cases, it can generate massive hype for a project when a song that is a known leak is being released officially, finally. For example, Kid Cudi’s 2022 compilation album The Boy Who Flew To The Moon (Vol. 1), was a collection of some of his biggest songs from his career thus far. However, there was 1 previously unreleased song also being included on the track list, “love.” Previously known to the community by its given title, among other names such as “L” and “Paul Chomeday de Mainsonueve” (shoutout to that random guy on Spotify who put it under that name), “love.” would finally see the light of day with this project as its first official release. Excited for this, I decided to listen to the entire compilation front to back in order to build up hype for myself to hear it for the first time officially. As you would expect, I was not the only person excited by this, which only proves my point that people knowing of a song before its release can help generate some excitement for the project.

While the above is true, it isn’t always perfect like that. Some artists get their songs leaked and it kills their enthusiasm for the job for a bit, such as with Lil Yachty and the project formerly known as Sonic Ranch. Also, listening to the leaks is fun, but it feels as if there’s something slightly disrespectful about it. Imagine if you were working on a project for art class, and you were taking your time making sure it was something great that you would be proud of. Now imagine that someone comes in while you were working on it, takes a picture of it, and then starts showing people without you telling them that they could. Or, better yet, you make something that you don’t think is good enough to show people, but someone still shows it to people without your consent anyway. I know I’d be pretty upset about it in either case.

At the end of the day, there really isn’t much we can do about leaks. They may not be directly harmful in a super meaningful way, but it still doesn’t sit right with me entirely, even if some of the music is really good.

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