The student news site of Wilmington Friends School

The Whittier Miscellany

The student news site of Wilmington Friends School

The Whittier Miscellany

The student news site of Wilmington Friends School

The Whittier Miscellany

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Cora Lohkamp, Staff Writer • January 9, 2024
Does Hype Kill Art
Does Hype Kill Art
Mitchell Brenner, Staff Writer • January 9, 2024
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MLB Postseason - What Happened?
Sarah Levenson, Staff Writer • January 9, 2024

Does Hype Kill Art

Does+Hype+Kill+Art

Two years ago I watched a youtube video titled “Hype Kills Art” by Nathan Zed. In the two years it’s been, I’ve carried the same thought in the back of my mind: Does hype kill art? 

Music artists constantly hype up the release of their albums and a lot of the time it just doesn’t work out. I feel like half the time I listen to an album released either the artist tries way too hard to hype up the release and doesn’t live up to it, or the long wait time leads to fans hyping up the album and instantly compares it to the artist’s old work. When everything goes right, and the album is great, hyping up a release can be one of the best parts of the music industry, but when it’s not, everyone races to say that the artist fell off and sucks now. 

With huge releases in recent memory like For All the Dogs, Utopia, Zach Bryan and Guts, fan expectations have been at what feels like an all time high. This leaves me with one big question: is hype a good or bad thing? When it comes to music releases, I’d say there are two big factors that cause huge expectations. First, the name value of the artist and their prior work and second, long wait times.

The name value of the artist themself can be a huge factor. Knowing that an artist has put out great work in the past can influence how you feel about an album. A personal example of mine would be J. Cole’s announcement of The Offseason in early May, 2021. As a J. Cole fan myself, I was so excited for a new album. Three days after this announcement, he dropped  “i n t e r l u d e”, a single that would appear on the album. I remember listening to it on repeat all day, and when I wasn’t listening to it, I had his other songs on repeat. That week until the album was released felt so long, every day I was getting more excited, expecting it to be as good as 2014 Forest Hills Drive. The day finally came, so I sat down and listened to the album in its entirety. I initially thought that the album was just okay. 

I thought that “ i n t e r l u d e” was the best song on the album and I was overall disappointed because it didn’t live up to J. Cole’s older music. Two years later, I think my initial reaction was horrible. The Offseason as an album is very good, it’s just different . Now, it’s not 2014 Forest Hills Drive good, but most albums aren’t going to be one of the best albums of the 2010s. It’s not fair to any artist to expect an album to be of that caliber. This type of expectation is put perfectly by Steven Kozikowski ‘25. He says,I think hyping up album releases, if done right, can be a very good thing. But more often than not, hyping up an album release can lead to disappointment in the album because people are expecting more from what comes out and more from the artist themselves and their prior work.” My expectations were way too high all just because I loved J. Cole’s previous work. His new music didn’t sound exactly like his old music so I didn’t like it. 

Going hand in hand with the name value of the artist comes wait times. Long wait times can be some of the best and worst parts about the music industry. A perfect example of long wait times for music is how rumors of new Frank Ocean music have floated around the music scene since 2016, yet there’s still no word on where he’s at. I mean, we even got a new song from The Beatles before anything from Frank Ocean. Hype and expectations that come with long wait times can be so great when albums are good like when Kendrick Lamar didn’t release anything for five years but came out with Mr. Morale and The Big Steppers. From the first listen, this album became an instant classic. The long five year wait was completely worth it, but that can’t be said about every other album. Whole Lotta Red by Playboi Carti was constantly delayed because his songs kept getting leaked and it ended up becoming a huge mess and left fans waiting for two and a half years for the drop. Although the album as a whole was pretty good, the expectations that were built up for more than just let down a lot of Carti fans. 

Hyping up album releases will never go away and I’m not saying it shouldn’t. There aren’t much better feelings than when your favorite artist drops and it exceeds all expectations, but those same expectations could lead to crushing disappointment. In general, not much can be done. People love music, and when you’re so passionate about something, it’s very tough to not get excited. So next time your favorite artist announces an album or single, get excited but don’t compare it one to one with their old work. Let the new music speak for itself because Art evolves, and so should you. 

 

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About the Contributor
Mitchell Brenner, Staff Writer
Mitchell Brenner is a writer for the Whittier Miscellany and is in his third year writing for the newspaper. Mitchell mostly writes about news that comes up in professional sports, especially the NFL and NBA. Mitchell plays football and runs track at Wilmington Friends, which inspires his writing through his investment in sports.

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