In a new interview with VIBE, Swizz revealed that, in addition to serving as executive producer, Cole gave him the blueprint for promoting his new album, Poison.
“I wanted something different, and J. Cole gave me that,” Swizz said. “Don’t shoot no expensive videos. Drop the video on WorldStar. Feed it to the kids. He and my son were telling me all types of different vibes, and I want to credit him because I used those things. I’m not too cool to give him his props.”
Perhaps after his awkward sit-down with Lil Pump, J. Cole has seen the light as far as media promotion goes these days. Regardless of the why, Cole’s advice is spot-on. If you want to connect with the kids, you have to go to them.
Consider the model of new-school hip-hop taste-making powerhouse Lyrical Lemonade: they shoot and release their own videos, promote artists they believe in, stack millions of plays, and recently started their own festival. Lyrical Lemonade succeeds by keeping it simple and direct-to-consumer.
As for WorldStar, 2018’s biggest breakthrough acts—YBN Nahmir, YBN Cordae, Lil Baby, and Jay Critch, for instance—have their videos compounding millions of plays per day on the YouTube channel. There is no reason to keep it traditional with an expensive and highly produced video when the genre’s biggest demographic is more than happy to watch a streamlined piece of content from a curator they trust.
In 2018, if you want to make an impact, you must go where the people already are—and hook them. Only then will they come to you.
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