"But the illusion of the monoculture had a real effect on culture's relationship with popular art. Pop culture is a realm void of originality, but though each product of it is a copy (of a copy [of a copy]), the experience of consuming your copy simultaneously with (seemingly) everyone else made the experience itself feel unique and entirely unlike anything anyone else had experienced before. Simultaneity conjured something that, in retrospect, felt much like the "aura" Walter Benjamin ascribed to a singular, un-reproduced work of art."
For Pazz & Jop, I wrote about Watch the Throne’s non-leak as Jay and Kanye trying to solve the coordination problem for listeners, the relationship between speed and simultaneity, how technological shifts change our understanding of the collective, and so forth and so on.
(There are also lots of other excellent things to read there; it is a list of writers among which I am very happy to find my name.)