The music industry has come to demand a steady stream of music. Unless your name is Frank, gone are the days of years between album releases. With streaming and the pace of the game, fans are hungry for more just days after a fresh drop.
"Honestly, around this time last year, a lot of shit was slowing down for me," he told Billboard writer Regina Cho. "My shows and bookings and shit like that, I was getting less and less. I was doing shows, and a lot of my fans on Twitter were saying stuff like, 'I’m not coming to another show until you drop some new music. I’ve seen you perform the same thing like three times.' I realized like, 'Oh, that’s why my shows are slowing down. These motherfuckers have seen me perform this shit like seven times already. I have to drop new music.'
"So that’s why I put out a little project on SoundCloud last year, just something for the fans. They were fucking with it, but they were still on my ass like, 'Yeah, but we still want the album, though.' That shit is a lot of pressure. I can’t lie, it was starting to get to me. So last year, I definitely noticed that, and my shit was slowing down. It went from having multiple shows a week, to about once a month. I’d be like, 'So, we ain’t got no show coming up?' I still had my other business ventures and shit. But music always comes first."
PnB Rock, who only dropped four new songs in 2018, following a 2017 album, has identified the heightened demands of the music industry. Fans don't want to spend money to see an artist perform older material—unless, of course, their name is Frank. Everything must be fresh and shiny, and new, at all times.
The irony here is that putting this type of pressure on an artist usually leads to a lesser and more disposable product. Regardless, for an artist, the upside is that you do have fans who want to hear your voice. Somewhere between these two points is a perfect balance, and hopefully, PnB Rock finds it before his next tour.
PnB Rock is fresh off the release of his sophomore album, TrapStar Turnt Popstar. He is also the latest guest to Bless The Booth, our freestyle series on TIDAL.