2014 has been a horrible year for hip-hop album sales, so when J. Cole announced he was dropping an album on such short notice and without any radio singles — many deemed the rapper crazy. If history repeats itself, if there’s any MC who could find a way to succeed despite the downward spiral in record sales, it’s the humbled Born Sinner who pushed up his last album to compete with and eventually outsell Kanye West’s self-proclamation: Yeezus.
If you read Hip Hop My Way’s editorial on streaming (if you haven’t check it out here,) we challenged rappers to use their creativity for more than music. Cole’s mentor Jay Z introduced #NewRules in 2013 when he partnered with Samsung to release Magna Carta Holy Grail — now it’s up to the game’s current crop to continue harvesting innovative marketing plans in order to succeed in today’s music industry.
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Let’s take a look at Cole’s marketing in the weeks leading up to 2014 Forest HillS Drive. First, the rapper connected with his fans by sharing an impromptu PSA announcing the project and it’s interpersonal home is where the heart is theme.