PRIMA DONNA, ’06, AND NEW WAYS TO HYPE

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In 2016 album releases aren’t what they used to be. The music industry is changing, has changed, will continue to change. Inside that constantly metamorphosing whirlwind artists have to find ways to create buzz around their album releases. Frank Ocean released a visual album on Apple music while getting an assist from Kanye on Twitter (Kanye insists the radio play Frank Ocean!). Speaking of Kanye, his Life of Pablo album has been given to the listening public in experimental chunks: first an exclusive streaming version, then (several) updated versions of that and now a store experience in 21 cities. Into this album release frenzy enters Vince Staples with a much anticipated sophomore effort.

Vince Staples’s album Prima Donna drops on August 26, 2016, unless you are lucky AND have some money to travel or you happen to live in New York or Los Angeles. If you are broke but fortunate to live on the coasts you can enter to win a chance to go to an exclusive private screening at a heretofore unannounced venue in the aforementioned cities. Music has come full circle in 2016. We’re back to the days when composers presented operas to the upper crust of European society before it was published and shared with the masses, though I don’t think the aristocracy had to compete in a lottery in order to attend.

But wait, there’s more! This week Vince Staples released an extended version of ’06, the last track on his debut album Summertime. The track is part of the Adult Swim Singles series, but it’s obviously not an accident that its release coincides with Prima Donna’s.

In addition to these sights and sounds there’s also a limited edition vinyl release, but that’s old hat at this point. We want bigger and better. If Kanye has stores Vince Staples needs shopping centers. If Frank Ocean has visual albums then Vince should create olfactory albums. And next year no need to do private screenings; release the album live during the Super Bowl halftime show. The only place to go is up.

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