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The people you meet on Twitter after an album leak

September 16, 2013|By Ernest Wilkins, @ErnestWilkins | RedEye Sound Board

Last night, Drake's new album "Nothing was the Same" leaked a week before it is supposed to be released. With it brings a deluge of thinkpieces and reactions of all shapes and sizes. This kind of thing isn't new, however. When big albums drop, just like during award shows and major sporting events, there's a need to want to share the experience with others on Twitter. I can speak from experience, as I spent far too much time tweeting the night "Take Care"  and "MBDTF" leaked. Having been all of these people at one time, I'd like to introduce you to the people you meet on Twitter when an album leaks.

1. The showoff

This person wants you to know that they have the leak. They also want it made abundantly clear that they are "#nowplaying" the leaked album. They will update you to this via every social media account they possess. How do they manage to get the album? Magic? You see, young muggle, unlike commoners like you and I, they have access to the three ingredients needed to get a leaked album: the internet, the ability to Google and the ability to click "download."

2. The alley-ooper:

This person would kindly like you to send them a public link to the illegally leaked record, please. Stop snitching on yourself.

3. The loyalist

This upstanding citizen will not be listening to the record until it's released properly, thank you very much. They also want you to know this is how they choose to support the artist. Noble enough, until you scroll down to see they've tweeted the artist four times in hopes of a solidarity RT. 

4. Hustleman

The album has been out for 7 minutes. In that time this enterprising youngster (always a young person) has stepped up his/her usual m.o. of just passing off IllRoots links as original content and not only posted the leak, but the deluxe gatefold cover art, the bonus tracks, a trailer of a video interview with the guy who leaked it and a tour lanyard, even though the tour hasn't been announced yet. Ain't that America?

5. The lyricist

This puffy-faced goon has chosen to forego any sort of commentary and will only be posting lyrics from the record on some fake deep [bleep]. (Drake records are the Super Bowl for these types, as they will be using Aubrey's words to e-moisten the drawers of all those already entertaining the idea of sleeping with them.)

6. The Disappointed

NOOOOOOO! HOW COULD YOU DO THIS? HOW COULD YOU LET ME DOWN? HOW COULD YOU RELEASE THIS KIND OF RECORD? I HAVE UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS OF YOUR BODY OF WORK *insert artist here*!!!" AND WHILE YOU NEVER WILL SEE THIS, YOU YOU YOU OUGHTA KNOW ... THAT YOU LOST ME AS A FAN. Sheesh.

7 - 10: The Critic

Let's be real: The critic is actually too general of a label for a "10 people ..." list. There are actually four different kinds of critics sharing insight during the initial leaked album process. Note that this all occurs on Twitter, as the only people posting about a leak on Facebook are shouting over the ocean roar of mediocrity and baby photos that site is slowly becoming. 

Smart dumb critic:  This bright young wonder would like you to know that he or she has an opinion and has banged out a 250,000-word think-piece (broken down over dozens of tweets) about the overall feeling of the album and the production, with a hastily assigned letter/number grade meant to reinforce their superiority over all of their friends who are TOTALLY coming to their next event, you know unless they have to pay and ... hold on, is it an open bar? 

Smart smart critic: The people who actually know what they're talking about. You may get a tweet out of them, but they actually wait and--surprise!--listen to the record more than once before offering their opinion. (NOTE: There aren't that many of these people.)

Dumb smart critic: The comedians who start the jokes and hashtags that everyone else picks up on. The writers who don't have the formal training but still know what they're talking about. This is where a majority of the jokes/memes about (insert artist here) are created. 

Dumb dumb critic: This is the realm of a lot of mainstream opinions that were once humorous but now are so played out that Old Navy just signed them to do commercials (Drake makes soft music! Meek Mill raps loud! Kanye is a jerk! J.Cole makes boring music! Blahdeblahdeblahdeblah) Also the home of longer relevant artists who crack jokes instead of getting back to recording. 

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