In an age where the CD has basically become obsolete, rapper Freeway’s latest release, The Stimulus Package, with its exorbitant packaging seems completely illogical. When you purchase the CD, it comes as a folded wad of oversized paper bills with the face of either Freeway or producer Jake One on one side and liner notes on the other. The actual CD comes inside a wallet that also contains a black credit card with a code to download the instrumental version of the album.
Even if the packaging is a little extreme, it’s a nice change from the lackluster album art that seems to have resulted from the digital age. Hopefully, this will encourage other artists to follow Freeway and Jake One’s lead and create unique packaging.
However, The Stimulus Package has more to teach other artists than simply being more creative with their album art. Freeway was once a part of the Roc-A-Fella clique but in the last few years, he has been struggling to find an audience and his reputation had steeply declined. His last two albums failed to gain much press and his career seemed to be grinding slowly to a halt. This changed with The Stimulus Package. Even though a lot of the buzz and write-ups are simply about the packaging, it has still gotten Freeway and his music mentioned on NPR and all sorts of blogs. So perhaps the lesson to learn from this is that if the way you package your product is interesting enough, people will talk about it regardless of what the actual product is.