Back in ‘98 I was Hip-Hop Music Director at WTJU in Charlottesville, Virginia. The nondescript position made me privy to treats like an advance copy of A Tribe Called Quest’s then last hurrah, The Love Movement. OG promo man Al Lindstrom had been servicing me with music from Jive Records for a minute so after a few pestering phone calls (e-mail? nah.) he sent me the CD advance, making me that ninja amongst my inner circle of Hip-Hop heads.
The proliferation of MP3 blogs has pretty much deaded proper advances for most major label releases. More often than not, the best you get is a watermarked copy with annoying commentary to discourage bootlegging or worse yet, the corny listening session where every ass kiss journo raves about how this is the album of the year.
As much as the internuts altered rap and music, it help create many changes and influences. Like Aqua goes on to mention, The Love Movement was panned by critics and even diehard fans (including myself) when it first released. It took time and extensive campaigning by those who did like it before it earned respect as an addition to the group’s catalog. Of course, Dilla’s progression over the years may have helped a little as well.