Oversaturation is not the answer

Sophia Guerrier – Anchor Contributor

There is too much music being released in rap this year. This may seem like a crazy statement considering every fan wants to hear new sounds from their favorite artist, but sometimes we all need a break.

It cannot be ignored that this year in particular, there have been an overwhelming amount of new album or mixtape releases from artists. The year is not even over, and the rap genre has given us over one hundred mixtapes and albums, ranging from new to old school artists for listeners to consume and “enjoy.”

It is not a coincidence that all rappers are deciding to drop their albums in the same year, but it is definitely a sense of urgency and competitiveness to stay relevant in this fast paced era of music. The biggest problem is oversaturation, which is not the answer.

Chief Keef and NBA YoungBoy are the two major culprits of this issue where both artists dropped more than three projects this year alone. How much more different are the sounds and content being presented by them in each of these projects? None. Listeners are getting the same product but with different packaging which devalues the excitement and expectation for their releases in the future.

The same effect is happening to groups as well. Migos is a group in which its three members essentially offer the same thing as far as sound goes. They already released “Culture 2” containing 24 songs, and Quavo has recently released a nineteen track album while Takeoff came out with an album right after him as well (literally two weeks apart). There is no time for their fans to truly digest their music especially when their releases are high in number and they are coming out in short periods of time. Too much music eventually leads to loss of creativity and repetitiveness, which we see with Quavo’s album and even with Rae Sremmurd’s triple album release.

What makes this year even more inflated is that some artists claim to still not be done. Drake announced that he has another album following “Scorpion” to come in the near future. Kanye, Lil Baby & Gunna, Meek Mill, and more have pending projects for this year, all of whom have already released albums.  

Fans only have two ears, and artists are starting to forget this with their quantity over quality approach instead of the other way around. This method can surely be to blame for the many subpar, easily forgotten projects that have come out this year — “Lil Boat 2,” “Beast Mode 2” and “WRLD on Drugs,” just to name a few. Releasing a large amount of music is not accomplishing fan satisfaction but instead contributing to the exhausting amount of unoriginal music filling the air. Release days are being overloaded with five or six new projects at a time which has to be unprecedented.

Rap needs to go back to the slow release approach where artists drop an album every one to two years with a mixtape in between. This gives fans time to actually miss the artist’s music and appreciate their music more when it is given to them. It will also allow artists to take their time creating great music and potentially outdoing themselves since there is an emphasis on progressing their craft.

Only then will we see more meaningful and well put together projects instead of the arguably seven or eight that are currently out.