It seems as if artists have yet to fully master “Beyoncé-ing”–that is, dropping a fire album from the clear blue like she did in 2013 with Beyoncé. Drake pulled off something of the sort with If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late. But it’s one thing to live in the shadow of an artist’s marketing technique and quite another to just bungle it up completely.
Earl Sweatshirt went on an all-caps Twitter rant this morning, slamming his parent record label Sony Music. Apparently, Sweatshirt’s new album I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside was supposed to be Beyoncé-d, but it’s now in iTunes for pre-order with a March 23 release date:
Sweatshirt also tweeted a link to his video for the track “Grief” as “GOOD GRIEF“–clever.
Publicity stunt? Possibly. But this whole situation echoes another recent fumble from fellow rapper Kendrick Lamar’s camp. Lamar’s new album To Pimp a Butterfly was released and subsequently pulled on iTunes, also with a March 23 release date, and Top Dawg Entertainment CEO Anthony Tiffith tweeted (and deleted) his frustration.
The key to Beyoncé-ing is really quite simple: Make sure everyone is on the same page–even a little white lie doesn’t hurt. Back in 2013, Columbia Records CEO Rob Stringer was asked what music fans can expect in 2014, to which he replied: “[…]at some point Beyoncé will put a record out, and when she does it will be monumental. So we’re in really, really good shape.” Monumental, indeed. It’s a tad ironic, too, seeing as how Sweatshirt is labelmates with Beyoncé.
The lesson here: Don’t try to Beyoncé if you’re not Beyoncé.