Very recently, I watched an episode of Everyday Struggle with 21 Savage, Savage was talking about his album and how he didn’t put out a lead single and the reason for that was that he didn’t want to release a song which suggested to the fans that they had to like it. He said that he wanted to release an album with music and let the listeners decide what songs they’d like on the project. I won’t even lie, I found this take so interesting because whenever I hear about an album, I’m always wondering what the lead single is going to be since I’m so used to it.
I’m sure there have been a lot of albums that have been released without lead singles but on the spot I can’t remember (and I’m too lazy to use Google to help me come up with an example). Since I always expect a lead single from an album, I don’t really give any thought to the significance of it. I will say this though, whenever I hear a lead single from an album, the quality of the song sets my expectations for the album.
I feel like 21 Savage was able to get away without releasing a lead single based off the buzz of songs like ‘No Heart’ and ‘X’ so people may have felt like they knew what to expect despite not knowing what to expect. If this wasn’t the case, it doesn’t stop it from being an idea that makes a lot of sense, although it is a bit of a gamble. In my opinion, one of the best ways to build hype for something is to keep people waiting, even if the project doesn’t come up (Detox).
At this point you know how it goes, I’m going to ask a question now. Do you think that albums need to have lead singles and why?