For the past 24 years, Big Boi has had complete creative control over his music and the music made by OutKast, the duo he formed alongside André 3000 in 1991. However, that doesn't mean that he's always had the ability to control when that music is released and is made available for mass consumption.
In the streaming era, the idea of creating a brand new song and uploading it to SoundCloud or Audiomack that same day is commonplace, but in 1994, when OutKast turned their debut album Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik into LaFace Records, they didn't immediately get a green light from L.A. Reid—they had to wait their turn.
"To come out in this digital era, it would be more streamlined to the fans, we wouldn’t have to go through a label," the 42-year-old MC toldDigital Trends. "You could make music at your leisure and just put it out anytime you want to. You wouldn’t have to be in the system and wait on a Toni Braxton or a TLC to come out, and then wait for the cycle to come through to put out an Outkast album. Nowadays, I’m in the studio now, and I can record a song tonight and put it out in the morning. Or record it tonight and put it on SoundCloud tonight, if I can mix it in time. It’s a microwave effect almost. I like to slow-cook my shit like Thanksgiving dinner. I like to put my shit in the oven, and put the butter, the garlic on it."
Clearly, Big hadn't eaten lunch before he started the interview, but in all seriousness, his Thanksgiving analogy hits all the right notes.
When an artist or producer has the ability to cook up a meal and instantly serve it to their audience, without having to involve a label or an A&R or an executive in a suit who lives in the 'burbs, there are no creative restraints and there's no waiting.
Well, on the flipside, because it's so easy for an artist to manufacture new material and instantly put it in the hands of his or her fanbase, the likelihood that said material goes through any semblance of quality control will decrease.
Sure, Big Boi could record a record at 9 a.m. on a Thursday and release it, fully mixed and mastered, by 12 p.m. that afternoon, but if he holds on to the record after it's completed, sits on it for a few days, shares it with André, Organized Noize and Killer Mike and lets them all chime in with suggestions and ideas for how it can be tweaked and improved, there's a pretty good chance the version the public ultimately receives will be far greater than the prototype.
Churn and burn might work for some artists, but for everyone else, let those yams simmer a few extra minutes.