While the story here should be about the music, unfortunately, after the eight-track project leaked a day earlier than it's scheduled release (November 25), the conversation has shifted to the West Coast rapper's finger pointing on Twitter.
Back in the day, when hard copies were packaged and shipped by distributors weeks in advance, leaks were an unfortunate and expected byproduct. In 2016, though, there should be no reason for an album to leak 12 hours before its intended release.
Currently, when a label adds an album to iTunes for digital purchase, it's set for a 12 am release. But since it's 12 am in New Zealand a full 18 hours before New York (EST), it only takes one asshole to purchase the digital download and illegally upload it to the web for the album to leak early. A simple solution to this problem would be to arrange a worldwide digital release. (Eventually, when iTunes kills off the digital download and on-demand streaming is the only way to listen to new music, none of this will even matter.)
As for the blame placement, YG is far from the first rap artist signed to Def Jam to voice his disdain for the label. Six years ago Nas penned an angry letter to label execs demanding a release date for Lost Tapes 2, last year Jeremih blasted the label over their lack of promotion for his Late Nights album, and Big K.R.I.T. took a few shots at his former label home as he walked out the door earlier this year.
Frank Ocean's departure from the label at the end of the summer didn't include a Twitter rant or any public comments, but his silent exit was deafening.
Sooner rather than later, YG will no longer have to deal with Def Jam—he signed a deal with Interscope in August for his record label 4Hunnid—but since both labels are under the same parent company (Universal), it's doubtful the grass will be much greener on the other side.