Becoming a successful artist is a pretty difficult feat. Most of the time you need a large team focusing on different aspects of the operation. Marketing, videos, distribution, booking, and more need to be taken into account. On top of that, you need to actually make good music. In rare cases, terrible artists do get some shine but for the most part, you've got to be creative, innovative, and offer something that isn't already on the market. Kendrick Lamar's rise made a lot of sense as he was a breath of fresh air back then (and still is.) However, marketing tactics in music were a lot different when he came to prominence as opposed to now. In a new interview with Vibe, TDE's co-president Dave Free says that he doesn't think the same marketing strategies they used back then would work to break Kenny in 2018.

Free spoke on how it might seem like TDE has all the "cheat codes" to the music industry. After all, they've experienced major success with Kendrick, SZA, Jay Rock, ScHoolboy Q, and others. He admits that they've needed to adapt over time though. "None of the tactics we used back in the day to break Kendrick, Ab-Soul, Jay Rock or Schoolboy would work now, none of 'em," revealed Dave Free. "It’s a whole new game. Blogs were very influential back then and I’d have to build a lot of relationships with blogs and now it’s just more about streaming. You have to have the relationships with the streaming sites and it can’t just be a fake relationship. It has to be a relationship of understanding." 

Even still, many would say that TDE is winning with the Reason experiment. Read the full interview here where Free discusses the impact of SZA's CTRL and Kenny's Pulitzer win.