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How Kanye West Makes Record Albums Matter with “The Life of Pablo”

The release of Kanye West’s new album, The Life of Pablo, is a testament to the enduring relevance of record albums even as people buy fewer of them year after year. Albums no longer possess any of the commercial power they once had. But they can create tent pole moments that generate awareness for an artist and support other commercial endeavors.

  • Collaborate with a music giant and a hot star on a single to remind everyone that you exist, as he did when he created “FourFiveSeconds” with Paul McCartney and Rihanna
  • In case no one noticed your single, draw attention to yourself by annoying Western Civilization with an ungracious remark about a popular Grammy Award winner. Break the Internet in the process.
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  • Keep your name and pending album in play by distracting, breaking, and confusing the Internet with the launch of a presidential bid.
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  • As the date approaches, break the Internet (again) by sharing the track list on Twitter.
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  • Break the Internet (yet again) by getting into a Twitter beef with Wiz Khalifa, another hip-hop artist who just happens to be dropping a new album, too.
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  • On release day, warm up your fans by jumping on Twitter to reveal the cover art for The Life of Pablo.
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