If you’re old enough to remember, there were days when music fans actually purchased their music from actual stores. Not online stores, not digital stores but ACTUAL stores. I know it sounds like a crazy concept but it actually happen. Tuesdays were an anticipated day at the record stores. Depending on how big of a name was releasing on that day it could become a bit of an event. All you would hear and see on radio and television that day was the artist(s) that was releasing their material on said day. You would get live performances of songs from the album that no one had heard up to this point.
One date that pops into my head is November 9th 1993 where A Tribe Called Quest’s classic album “Midnight Marauders” and Wu-Tang’s classic debut album “Enter The 36 Chambers” was released. We got two classic albums in one day, one from a veteran group and another from a new group that had a buzz that was unreal to the rap world. This next date involved Tribe as well, September 29th 1998. On 9/29/98 Jay Z released his classic album “Vol 2”, Outkast released their classic album “Aquemini”, Black Star released their classic debut album, and A Tribe Called Quest was releasing what was said to be their final album before their split “The Love Movement”. As a kid with limited funds there had to be a decision made on days like this. Usually a group of us would come together and give a person a designated album to purchase so that we could all sit around and listen to them all.
The digital age has killed such fun of that kind. Although it is great that we have access to so much material in today’s time the quality control is effected and the ability for an actual build up of anticipation has decreased. Some say that September 29th 1998 date is the last great day in Hip-Hop releases. This may be true, however April 7th 2017 might end up in the record books as one of the great days in Hip-Hop. It all started with the announcement that the late great Tupac Shakur was being inducted into The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame with the ceremony date set for April 7th. Then the news broke that the critically acclaimed Netflix series that explores Hip-Hop’s beginnings in the late 1970’s “The Get Down” was returning for it’s second part of season one on April 7th. Joey Bada$$ announced that his highly anticipated album “ALL-AMERIKKKAN BADA$$” would be dropping on April 7th. Then the finale came when Kendrick Lamar dropped “The Heart Part 4” and warned everyone that they had until April 7th to get their affairs in order.
To sum it all up April 7th will mark the day Tupac Shakur will become the first solo Hip-Hop artist inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame, one of the dopest Hip-Hop series of it’s era is returning for part 2 of season one, one of Hip-Hop’s brightest rising stars is releasing an anticipated album, and the emcee that many consider to be the leader of the new skool is releasing what is probably a top 3 anticipated release in all of music. We can officially say that April 7th is another great day in Hip-Hop that will be remember for years and years. This gives me hope that although the days of rushing to the record stores are gone there are still ways to have historic days in Hip-Hop and build anticipation. But we won’t know until tomorrow (or maybe a few days after) how GREAT April 7th 2017 will actually be.