Limited release music is the new wave


I’m a massive fan of limited releases. Some of my favorite hobbies are the reason for this, but lately, music has been helping me get my limited release fix.

Donald Glover, who releases music under the artist name Childish Gambino, recently made an album. Not only did he not announce this album anywhere, but the only real advertisement it got was a single tweet by Glover’s manager. This one tweet took viewers to the website, which was the only place fans could hear the album. No physical copies were made, and it wasn’t being streamed anywhere else. The website streamed it on a loop, however, the website was also only up for about 12 hours. As of now, it has stopped streaming the album. Glover and his team have also done their best to remove it from Youtube and anywhere else they could find it. 

I know this is dumb and doesn’t make any sense, but that’s why I love limiting releases. This feeling I have about an album I wasn’t even able to listen to makes me feel this incredulous feeling of wonder and excitement. This album is like an urban legend now. It is the equivalent of being in elementary school and having somebody on the playground tell you that you can unlock Sonic the Hedgehog if you beat Super Smash Bros

I haven’t even been able to listen to the full album yet. One of my friends sent me a dropbox and a Google Drive link, and neither worked. I found a playlist on Youtube and all of it was banned from the U.S. I had a friend send me the downloaded album from the drive, and I still couldn’t download it because so many other people recently had. I’m glad I’m not a massive Childish Gambino fan because I’d be pretty mad if I went through this much trouble to listen to an album, only to not be able to. 

This 12-song album also features artists like Arianna Grande, SZA, 21 Savage and a surprise cameo from one of Glover’s own children on the outro of the song, “Don’t Worry About Tomorrow (The Violence).” The album also features already released songs like, “Feels Like Summer” and “Algorithm.” No one really knows the title of this album or who released it, as Donald Glover retired the Childish Gambino name in 2017. 

All of this makes for a really exciting goose chase. It is an album, streamable for only 12 hours, by an artist who said he wasn’t really going to make music anymore. Even the hip-hop media is having a hard time keeping up with it. It makes me happy to see that even in 2020, an artist can still confuse the shit out of the world amongst a massive health crisis. If you’d like to go and try to find the album yourself, most people are calling it “DonaldGloverPresents.” Good luck chasing this goose!

Along with Gambino, other artists also try to limit their releases as much as they possibly can in this internet age. Playboi Carti, for example, is an artist who has limited releases, but not in the way you think. A lot of his music never gets officially released. He creates it, plays it at a show or plays it in a live stream and then never does anything more. His fans go crazy for those tracks, so a lot of times, those tracks are pitch-shifted as to not be detected and are uploaded to Spotify. One of his unreleased songs was number one on Spotify in 2019 because a fan leaked it and it went viral.