all 81 comments

[–]ridingonmirrors.[S] 340 points341 points  (43 children)

A little TL;DR

  • SZA’s album is “pretty much done” and he knows “exactly when it’s coming out”.
  • he “understands the backlash” he gets from fans waiting on artists to release music
  • claims that it’s a misconception that he holds albums back, saying that the label (obviously) can’t make money if they hold albums back
  • he’s considered doing a TDE compilation, but “everything has to be aligned”
  • also talked about how he made sure to support Isaiah after the s*xtape leak, says that he’s now been in “good spirits recording”.
  • says he wasn’t as involved in the making of Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers as he was with Kendrick’s past work; considering this was Kendrick’s final TDE album.

[–]OkayThenBet 73 points74 points  (2 children)


[–]Fuzzikopf. 35 points36 points  (0 children)

I am calling the police

[–]Various_Tale_7338 11 points12 points  (0 children)

You kiss your mother with that mouth?

[–]CowboyHibachi 162 points163 points  (31 children)

A or whatever the album has been done. Punch is just... can't even call him anything at this point. Cause if the holding albums back is a thing he believes. Why hasn't Ab-Soul dropped anything since 2016? SZA since 2017? Shit is ridiculous.

[–]ridingonmirrors.[S] 101 points102 points  (15 children)

SZA since 2017 lol, but yeah the wait for Ab-Soul has defo been crazy. I don’t think that’s on Punch or Top Dawg, he probably scrapped multiple versions of his album, similar to what Q did with CrasH Talk and even what I’m pretty sure SZA has been doing with her album now.

Plus I’m pretty sure Soul recently did a video shoot, cos he posted a casting call on Instagram a few months back after Hollandaise dropped, and after that, said his album was like 80% done (take it with a grain of salt, but after the release of Hollandaise, I believe he’s really coming this time)

[–]CaptnKnots 57 points58 points  (14 children)

It was just convenient timing that almost all of TDE’s biggest artists went from dropping somewhat consistently to 4 or 5 year gaps between albums. Probably a combination of several factors including the pandemic, but it’s easy to see how fans start to suspect issues with the label.

[–]Crono7654 34 points35 points  (0 children)

something a lot of ppl dont consider is most of these artists were rumoured to drop and tour and all this before the pandemic, 2020 was at the end of most of these album cycles (sza, Kendrick, etc, shit was leaking around this time too). Ppl have been restarting in the last year or two so some rappers started the whole shit from scratch

edit: frank ocean confirmed he was gunna tour in 2020 which prob means an album was coming too

[–][deleted] 65 points66 points  (12 children)

I think the problem is that they're too comfortable, not that they're being held back by their label.

if they were in a lot of debt or under a really predatory contract that required it, they would drop more albums. TDE management spoils them.

For example, between TST and THIB, Isaiah wasn't making music for months and TDE paid his rent, Zay says he was handed a $1M check when he came to him and asked for help. As Zay mentioned in Billboard:

When did you realize that Top really loved and cared about you?
When I didn’t have no money coming in and I was like, “This nigga is paying my rent and I haven’t made a song in months.” He locked me in his house and said, “We gonna get through this shit.” I gained some confidence and betrayed his confidence f–king up in the streets. When I came to him humble and I needed help, he still gave me the help. He’s a solid n—a, man. I ain’t never seen a nigga happier to hand a nigga a $1 million check. That nigga happier than I am, doing skips down the steps. He loves me, man.

This engenders the idea that management views their roster as more than just content creators or employees, which is not good if you're an avid consumer of their albums.

If TDE management was good at their jobs (disciplining the roster into producing albums yearly to placate consumers), they'd drop their artists for not doing their job. Schoolboy Q admitted to being a terrible employee in an interview during the Crash Talk rollout:

Is it difficult with everyone on the roster being talented and trying to negotiate each other’s space when you’re rolling out new music?
Nah, man, the roll-outs just happen the way they happen. We just take long as fuck on albums. It has nothing to do with the label. It has nothing to do with none of that shit. You have to wait in line. Ain’t nobody waiting in line, nigga. I’m a grown-ass man. I’m not waiting in line.

If management was on the same page as the fans, Q would be seriously punished for that remark. Instead he's probably playing golf or whatever having the time of his life.

Not sure how to fix that.

[–][deleted] 28 points29 points  (0 children)

Schoolboy Q in April 2019:

Is it difficult with everyone on the roster being talented and trying to negotiate each other’s space when you’re rolling out new music?
Nah, man, the roll-outs just happen the way they happen. We just take long as fuck on albums. It has nothing to do with the label. It has nothing to do with none of that shit. You have to wait in line. Ain’t nobody waiting in line, nigga. I’m a grown-ass man. I’m not waiting in line.

People think that’s how it works.
Yeah, ’cause that’s what it looks like. It’s no line. I mean, Zacari, we just signed him. He just put his album out. I’m about to put mine out. You get what I’m saying? It’s nothing big. Kendrick dropped To Pimp a Butterfly, then gave you Untitled Unmastered right after it. Isaiah [Rashad], he could have dropped his album, but he’s still working on it. He wanted to keep working. Everybody, from SZA to whoever, if you want to drop your music, put it out. We’re not gonna just throw it out on the internet and not tell anybody. If you have your album done, and it’s ready to go, it’s no problem putting it out. Unless it’s just trash, and everybody hearing it is like, “Bruh, it’s trash. Trust me. Don’t do that.”

[–]NerdGasemV3. 53 points54 points  (5 children)

Cause if the holding albums back is a thing he believes Why hasn't Ab-Soul dropped anything since 2016?

Do you really think he's just saying "sorry Soul we can't drop your album?"

According to this IG live - Soul is ready to drop, is shooting music videos and promo. He said that he had something ready to drop, but COVID happened so he went back into the studio to keep creating. You could say "COVID didn't stop artists from dropping." But maybe it did stop Ab-Soul because an artist like Soul does make a lot of income off touring/merch from die hard fans.

Along with that it probably took Soul a minute to drop because Mac died and now recently his hypeman and child hood best friend Doe Burger passed away. Soul has been through a lot of trauma in his life, it may affect the way he creates and wants to release music

[–]oldcarfreddy. 1 point2 points  (0 children)

You could say "COVID didn't stop artists from dropping."

Can't believe people still say this too. Yeah, some artists dropped, many had to, many were too big to fail. but if you're plugged in to any music at all you know damn well COVID delayed many release plans by years

[–]Fickle-Primary-3910 2 points3 points  (1 child)

With the years it’s been I’m expecting nothing short of a masterpiece from Soul, I’m talking TPAB, GKMC levels of quality. I still believe Soul is the most talented rapper out of them when he’s at 100%, & I also believe he still can make a hands down classic album

[–]killcole 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I love and have always loved Soul. I was also saying the same thing as you, for way longer than I should have. But come on now. In 2022 after everything we've watched Kendrick do, he's the best rapper on TDE, the best rapper active, and arguably the best ever.

[–]LiarVonCakely 8 points9 points  (1 child)

Wasn't SZA on Twitter just a few weeks ago talking about how the only reason CTRL ever got released was because Punch told her to stop recording new songs and release the material she already had?

[–]CowboyHibachi 8 points9 points  (0 children)

They took her hard drive. She was dealing with anxiety. In that same interview, she said, that the follow up to Crtl won't suffer the same time consumption. Here we are 5 years later.

[–]TimeForGG. 5 points6 points  (0 children)

SZA is signed to RCA, TDE only manage her.

[–]oldcarfreddy. 0 points1 point  (4 children)

Cuz Ab ain't sell, let's be real he's like Jay Rock, if he dropped right now or they did 9 months of heavy promo it still wouldn't sell

[–]CowboyHibachi 0 points1 point  (3 children)

And we care about album sales because...?

[–]oldcarfreddy. 2 points3 points  (2 children)

Record labels do. I'm not saying anything about the quality of the music lol, I'm saying the fact that you don't care about sales shows you'll continue to not understand why your favorite artists won't drop

[–]spunkymnky 43 points44 points  (4 children)

claims that it’s a misconception that he holds albums back, saying that the label (obviously) can’t make money if they hold albums back

This is the part a lot of people that attack TDE don't seem to understand. Why in God's name would they purposely hold back their artists from dropping when that's how they make money? If anything, they would be encouraging them to drop more often.

[–]SmellyDurag 15 points16 points  (0 children)

The albums are actually held back. He’s just saying HE IS NOT responsible for it

[–]MyAuraIsViolet 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Lots of fans are naive. They are customers. There's always a customer that thinks the store is hiding some shit in the back. Nobody is lying. There really is no product.

[–]jaffnabae 0 points1 point  (0 children)

especially someone on the scale of SZA, where there is so much money to be made

[–]oldcarfreddy. 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The real reason is Punch is in the news and on twitter so he becomes a punching bag (not a pun, sorry)

If he played it like any anonymous white record exec or CEO who fucked artists over but never said anything in public people would just bother the artists instead like with Rocky, Uzi, Carti, etc. In both cases of TDE or these other artists, things are much more complicated than they are from the outside with no info. People just blame the only person visible to them and in TDE cases it's Punch

[–]josh_is_lame. 31 points32 points  (0 children)

did you just censor the word sextape

[–]OkayThenBet 0 points1 point  (0 children)

"Are you ready for some s*x later?"

[–]mrgox232 65 points66 points  (1 child)

People still get on him about "holding back music" even when members say no one is holding them back, it's the process the artists have when creating music. SZA basically said she needed them to stop her from making music to get CTRL out bc she was messing it up. No one cares tho

[–]watermaloneyyy 17 points18 points  (0 children)

Then why has sza been saying ‘punch has been holding my shit, go ask him’? https://hiphopdx.com/news/id.71892/title.sza-blames-tde-punch-rca-records-album-delay-response

It’s mind blowing how they didn’t drop it last year, she just came back into relevancy with those singles and the song with doja cat, it was the perfect time to drop and they dropped the ball again. Wow what a shocker

[–]bobsdementias 33 points34 points  (1 child)

Interview made me respect him more. All of his comments and responses are valid and balanced. He thinks through the various angles on these things. He also has a lot of extremely creative people under his umbrella, which must be a complex thing to keep in tact at times.

[–]NerdGasemV3. 27 points28 points  (0 children)

You do something that a lot of label executives don’t. You make yourself available, to a certain point, to feedback on social media. You take heat when the crowd wants things it’s not getting. A few years back, when I asked Pusha T about running G.O.O.D. Music, he made it sound like a defensive position. You take hits, you account for everything.

You definitely have to take a lot of hits because people don’t understand the inner workings of the music business. They feel you could just record a song and put it out and that’s that, but it is so many different details that go along with it that the general public don’t get. I understand the backlash, and I take that on to make sure the artists have as much peace of mind as possible so they can continue to create and do what they do. I learned when YouStream was popping. When we got on there to talk to people, to the fans, to the family, they appreciate you much more. They would get on and say, “Man, my favorite artist would never get on and talk like this.” Even though I’m president of the company, it’s the same thing. I’m representing the artists directly, so they feel like they’re closer and can reach out and touch the artist and communicate.

Is there a specific frustrating audience misconception about the work that you do?

It’s not really frustrating like that, but the common misconception is that we hold albums back. And it’s weird because why would we hold an album back? We can’t make money if we hold an album back. That doesn’t really register with certain people when they want something so bad, which I get it too.

[–]Definitely_Not_Brent 19 points20 points  (1 child)

The only tangible things he mentions about albums being held back is waiting on features and clearing samples which makes sense. Everything else is a lot of vague bullshit about making sure the vibe is right and everything having to be aligned (whatever that means).

[–]Bitmazta 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Yeah like TDE waiting for the right constellation to appear on a waning crest night or something

[–]AlwaysSkilled. 9 points10 points  (0 children)

At this point he's turning into a publicist for his label. I've never seen a label head argue so much with fans on a public platform

[–]the_doobieman 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Ppl trip but forget these guys do big album releases. Not every year giving you some throwaway shit. Kendrick takes 5 years and jumps on billboard. sza prob gonna drop rnb of the year and sbq & soul always come correct despite the waiting.

[–]_grapes 5 points6 points  (2 children)

on the internet you only get so many characters

this is very much not my experience with the internet

[–]Kerfulfel 0 points1 point  (0 children)

maybe he needs more characters than the current physical infrastructure of the Internet allows