Drake releases more free music for fans: Do you think dropping these gems for nothing's a good strategy?


Image Credit: Santiago Interiano/PR Photos

Usually when artists kick their whole “I do it for the art, my fans and not the money or my label ” spiel, my impulse is to respond with, “Yeah, right.”

But Drake’s track record this summer more than backs up what he said to us a few weeks back about not caring about the restrictions his label place on him in regards to releasing freebies, as he did recently.

This past Saturday he dropped two songs, “Free Spirit” and “Club Paradise,” on his website. Both are cuts from recording sessions for his upcoming Take Care album.

Of course a record label or any sound-minded business would side against releasing their products for free. But Drake, who made his name off of releasing free mixtapes, believes otherwise.

So far he’s released Saturday’s offerings, “Dreams Money Can Buy,” and official album cuts “Marvin’s Room” and “Headlines,” without charge. The last two are now available for purchase on iTunes. Still, the fact that true fans could scoop them right from the man himself for nothing initially says plenty.

Moreover, they’re all quality works. “Free Spirit” is a treacherous, slow winding song on which he and Rick Ross urge women to tattoo their names on their bodies so that they’re always near, even when gone.

The piano-led “Club Paradise,” which Drake released for “our boy Avery…this was his favorite s— during the recording process,” finds Drake in a more pensive place—thinking about how wild it is that he’s gone from an unknown artist to being a spectator at high-end fashion shows.

“No wonder why I feel awkward at this Fashion Week s—/ No wonder why I keep f—in’ up the double cheek kiss,” he raps.

“I don’t care about anybody’s voice outside of my fans’,” Drake said of his sometimes-angry record label. “I’m never trying to take the political road and play things safe. I just want people to have great music. I just want to give people enough to where they’re satisfied.”

Business wise, it’s a strategy that’s not well tested. Kanye West leaked early versions of tracks from My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, on his website last summer. But by the time it came out they’d been fleshed out, making them new again and encouraging fans to buy the set.

Drake’s label mate Lil Wayne is also known for releasing loads of mixtapes and such prior to albums, which helped lead his last two Carter albums to top starts on the Billboard 200 albums chart at No. 1 with nearly a million records sold in the first seven days. Though even Wayne didn’t purposefully leak album songs.

Drake’s releasing great songs in their finished form.  We won’t find out how this will affect Take Care’s sales until after it’s out October 24. In any case, I believe that Drake actually doesn’t care. The goal, as he said, is to please his fans.

Glad Drake is releasing so many songs for free? What do you think of them? Think this will work out for him in the end and not hurt his sales? Let us know.

Read more:
Drake drops ‘Marvin’s Room’ video: Watch here!
Drake-approved R&B upstart The Weeknd: Why all the blog frenzy over an unknown?
Drake’s forthcoming album ‘Take Care’: The producer spills details to EW

Comments (22 total) Add your comment
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  • michael

    Yes. I think its wonderful.

  • Psac

    Liked him on Degrassi.

  • Michael

    Who the f**k is Drake?

    • Amber

      He’s the guy in the article that you took the time to click on so you could write a trolly comment.

    • NonEntity

      Another puppet who says words to benefit a large corporation that also sells toothpaste.

    • KeyLoo

      His One Of The Most Gratest R&B ,Hip Hop,Rapper Out There!!…Thts Who Drake iis:)

  • negatory

    Brad, based on what you described here, you have a different definition of “gem” than I do. the lyrics you quoted are ridiculous crap. I applaud Drake giving away stuff for free…as far as quality, that’s another kettle of rhyme. howabout a few paragraphs on the Jimi Hendrix Winterland release? Drake’s line in Free Spirit “f*ck my young Ni**as” may or may not be a gem, but give a little press to vintage rock n roll.

  • Cole

    Alot of the versions Kanye released in his GOOD Friday promotions were *almost* finished versions, so the final products weren’t that far removed from the previous released versions. That did nothing but build defeaning hype for Kanye’s album, but seeing as Drake is kind of terrible, i doubt he sees the same results

  • lady gagoop

    guess you have to give it away for free if no one is willing 2 pay anything 4 it. now everyone go out and buy my new album where im the retarded motorcycle. thanks :)

    • sv

      I don’t know why this is funny, but it is. Maybe it’s your name. Gagoop.

  • JPX

    Who the hell is ‘Drake’?

  • Phil

    UPDATE: His label removed both tracks, as well as another one “Round Of Applause”, so this post woulda been like relevant YESTERDAY, not today.

  • NonEntity

    Sir Frances Drake and a sensual duck make a terrible album of rhythmic talking over sequenced pops and clicks? Genius. Welcome back to the same loop and production that makes you feel oh so safe.

  • TJ

    I like his intention but think he needs to save the other tracks for the CD. I mean, why buy the CD if you already have almost half the tracks?

    If he’s trying to please the fans he should also think that many fans like to feel surprised and hear fresh sounds. But now I feel as though I have half the CD already? And didn’t he say he wanted people not to judge him on singles but instead hear the CD as a whole to get the entire story? Well he’s ruining that!

    I do like both songs, though.

  • PN

    I think they do it because the label rejects those songs for the album or the first single. Sometimes those songs are far better than the commercially-slick, let’s keep it to 3 1/2 to 4 minutes for the radio mentality of the record label execs. Those labels like that shiny look instead of the songs that really tell you about that artist. And sometimes it depends on the album reviews who slam the album because of those particular songs. So I commend Drake for taking this approach of releasing free music before the actual album comes out. There are B-sides of songs by artists that were shelved that were far better than what’s on the album!

  • will

    im going to get two albums when it releases

  • Nick

    I love it to be honest, free music from Drake was how I became a fan, and I paid it back to him by seeing him live and buying Thank Me Later. I’ll continue this by buying Take Care. Its the right thing to do. Plus it allows me to hear if the album will be good or not

  • viviennewestwood

    Interesting post and view, hope to hear more what the future holds THANKS Great post. Probably saved thousands of hours between everybody here. For me,this clearly is a heads up on which methods to focus on to maximise my online success . Ill start concentrating on your other articles instead. Really great advice. Thanks for sharing.

  • tresorparis

    Interesting post and view, hope to hear more what the future holds THANKS Great post. Probably saved thousands of hours between everybody here. For me,this clearly is a heads up on which methods to focus on to maximise my online success . Ill start concentrating on your other articles instead. Really great advice. Thanks for sharing.

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