To use hip hop parlance, Canadian rapper hip hop artist Drake has “dropped” a new surprise mixtape on iTunes. The precursor to his next studio album, “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late” is a 17-track opus — announced late Thursday via Drake’s Twitter.
Boasting guest appearances from Lil Wayne, Travi$ Scott, and PARTYNEXTDOOR, the mixtape is expected to be the artist’s last under his current contract with label Cash Money Records.
However, while hip hop-heads will no doubt see the release as the big news here (and, if you’re a Drake fan, check out the track “You & The 6”), for Apple-watchers it’s significant for another reason.
Ever since Beyonce’s surprise album “BEYONCÉ” went platinum within a week of its iTunes release — and then proceeded to become the fastest-selling album in the history of iTunes — Apple has been pushing record-labels to embrace iTunes as an launch platform, trying to recreate the “Beyonce Effect.”
“If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late” isn’t just available on iTunes, but if it turns out to be an iTunes smash success it could prove an invaluable bit of ammunition for Apple in its ongoing discussions with record labels.
Particularly as iTunes continues to lose ground to popular streaming services like Spotify, the marketing power of an iTunes surprise drop may just demonstrate that Apple is still more than relevant in the music game.