Earlier today, Big Sean and Metro Boomin released their semi-surprise joint album, Double Or Nothing, a 10-track effort that marks Sean's second album (I Decided.) of 2017, and the third project in which Metro has shared dual billing (Perfect Timing with Nav and Without Warning with 21 Savage and Offset).
To help promote the LP, the pair interviewed one another about their chemistry, the collaborative process, and the purpose of the release, which, according to Sean, is because there's currently a lack of "quality music" being made.
"I feel like our vision was to get this shit out here for the fans, to get it out here because it was a shortage of quality music out here," Sean said.
Metro then chimed in: "There's no shortage on music at all, but there's a shortage on that quality. Niggas gotta stand out every week on Spotify—there's 30,000 new songs added. And that was months ago. Had to go up by now. Even when we drop, we droppin' we 30,000 other songs."
Of course, Sean and Metro's analysis is correct, there is a lot of music released every week and most of it is very bad, but citing their own collaborative enterprise Double Or Nothing as an example of the quality they believe fans are looking for borders on laughable.
By their own admission, the pair used Double Or Nothing as an opportunity to experiment, with Sean choosing to freestyle most of the album and Metro creating almost all of the beats on the spot.
In his interview with the pair for Billboard last week, writer Paul A. Thompson shared the following details:
"The version of the album pulsing through the speakers is still being mixed, but Sean cracks that he fully expects that on some tracks, the playback will bleed into the microphone, because they recorded without a vocal booth or even a pair of headphones."
Experimenting with new sounds, styles, flows and delivers is what artistry is all about—and artists should be encouraged, not discouraged, by their fanbase to push themselves away from comfort—but not in the name of throwing together a project just in time for the holidays.
"It's just about providing people with that quality because there's infinite shit to listen to. But what's going to stick? What's going to stand out? What's going to be there? What's going to stay there?" Metro added.
As much as Sean and Metro would like to believe otherwise, there's very little about Double Or Nothing that actually sticks or stands out. As Yoh wrote in his 1-Listen review of the album: "There’s effort but no coherent focus, no story being told."
And therein lies the problem. In order for material to truly stick in 2017, to receive more than 15 minutes of our attention, and to break free from the 30,000-plus songs released every week on Spotify, it requires some semblance of substance. That's not to say that a song or a full project with substance cannot be created in an experimental fashion, or on the fly, but it's much harder to accomplish when the subscribed methodology is closer in proximity to churn and burn.