Album leaks have become a part of hip hop and artists are learning to deal with it, and try to make money in other avenues then just pure album sales.  A$AP Rocky’s long-awaited studio debut had several push backs and then was slated for a mid January release, but unfortunately for the young Harlemite, the album leaked nearly a month early.  Now the head of Polo Grounds Music, which is distributed by RCA Records, talks about the leak.

Music executive Bryan Leach talks about not being able to release the album on Halloween, as was the original idea.  He then addresses the leak and how he was disappointed, but feels great by the response from fans, and still believes there is enough true supporters out there to help bolster sales. 

Check out excerpts of Leach’s interview with XXL below where he discusses dropping Long.Live.A$AP, and the disappointment, but positive feelings about the leak.


In terms of the pushbacks, one time, he said it was coming out on Halloween. And that was a Wednesday. Were there actually plans for it to come out that day?
The significance of that was that we dropped Long.Life.A$AP on Halloween. That’s why we really wanted to make it happen. But unlike a lot of artists, you can’t let the marketing, or some billing, dictate when you put your shit out. So that was what our goal was—we tried hard to work towards it, but it just didn’t feel right, so we changed the date again.

From both a business and personal standpoint, how did you guys handle the leak?
From a business standpoint, we tried to control it as much as we could, and also pay attention to the signs. From a personal standpoint, it was a gift and a curse. I was disappointed that it leaked so early, and I was concerned about whether that would affect us.

And from the response?

I think the word of mouth was great. I think people appreciated the body of work. I’m glad that what leaked was not super rough demos and shit like that. A lot of the comments have been, “I downloaded it; I’m still buying it.” Again, that speaks to Rocky’s core. They don’t want no bootleg shit. They want the real deal. It’s like, “Yeah, I download shit for free. But I also buy what I like.” Nevertheless, leaking a month away from the release during the holiday period, it definitely was scary.

So has that colored your expectations at all sales wise?

Nah, I still have faith. That’s not just shit-taking. I think this is a new world. This is the new way that shit works. Even if it never leaked I would have had to cross my fingers on January 15. Maybe I’ll cross two fingers instead of one.