Are artists behind album leaks?


Devonte Keith | Staff Writer

Due to the magic of the Internet, it is not uncommon for music listeners to know all the lyrics to albums, well before their official release dates. In fact, most people anticipate an album’s leak date more than they anticipate it’s official release date.

Case in point, all the people who have captioned their Facebook and Instagram photos with lyrics from rapper Drake’s highly anticipated album, “Nothing Was the Same,” which leaked last Sunday.

Ironically, Warwick A. Arden, Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor of N.C. State, sent a campus wide email on Sept. 16, warning students of the legal repercussions for Illegal Peer-to-Peer file sharing — just one day after Drake’s album hit the web.

With one of the biggest arguments against Peer-to-Peer File Sharing being that it takes money out of their pockets, artists often contradict this sentiment with (overt) hints of arrogance expressed in their song lyrics.

This arrogance has caused widespread speculation throughout the music world that artists are not only profiting from the leaks of their music, but also that they are the ones responsible for leaking the music in the first place.

Artists may complain about leaks taking away from their art form but many feel that whether their unreleased music is revealed inadvertently or not, in the end they still win. In fact, in this day and age, an album has to pass the leak test to determine if it is truly worth the purchase and listen.

In a 2008 interview with, Infamous, producer of Lil’ Wayne’s “Mr. Carter,” artists and producers are not behind the leaks.

“People fail to see how much damage leaking an album does to the industry and the economy as a whole. You’ve got to take into account that there’s people working in factories manufacturing the CDs, artists making the art work, engineers mixing the records, and all these people need to get paid,” Infamous said. “It’s never just the artists that leaking records f–ks over.”

The debate of  whether album leaks do more to help or hurt an artists is one that will not soon be settled, nor is it one that we will likely get a clear answer to.