June 18 finally came and it was anticlimactic.
Date: June 18
Unfortunately, due to the nature of leaks, June 18th as an actual release day was an anticlimactic event. By then, each of the three highly-anticipated releases officially scheduled for that day—new albums from Mac Miller, Kanye West and J. Cole—had been thoroughly inhaled and exhaled by rap fans for at least a few days.
People had already done enough pre-digested comparing, contextualizing, extolling, dismissing, and panning before any of the albums could even be purchased in a store. Such is the double-edged sword of the leak.
On one hand, we get to hear the music we want to hear as soon as possible (and for free, which is of course a whole 'nother conversation.) On the other hand, the suspense, the delicious suspense, for anyone planning to buy the album gets drowned in the reactions. Unless of course, you are the type of person who manages to lock oneself away from the Internet for the two weeks prior. Which we're willing to bet you are not. —Alexander Gleckman