Rhymefest: What do first week sales in Hip-Hop really mean?
by Winston "Stone" Ford
Rhymefest only sold 15,000 copies of Blue Collar in its first week, and this week, the CD dropped out of the top 200. Even by Allido standards, this is a disappointment by far.
However, Rhymefest tries to make the argument that sales don’t matter:
This is something that rap artists today have yet to fully understand the importance of. Just look at it: 9 out of 10 rap concerts are wack. After one or two singles, the rest of the album is intentionally trash, but we, as the artists, do not care because we have our singles. Also, some rappers are so insecure that if anyone gives us constructive criticism, or [in some cases] is just a little overzealous as a fan, we are ready to spaz out on them. Rappers have become divas (bitches), and the rap industry, radio, DJs and journalists have become complicit, spineless cowards.
Do not get it twisted; I am not heartbroken over my first week sales because I understand that through my appearances on shows like Jimmy Kimmel, Carson Daly & David Letterman, my forthcoming tours with Wu-Tang Clan and A Tribe Called Quest as well as many opportunities that are opened for me through the Creator ALL afford me the chance to do what no other rapper has done: truly earn fans that stick with me because of the quality of the product and not the smoke & mirrors of marketing & promotion.
Sounds like the rantings of a bitter man.
Unfortunately, first week sales do matter. It encourages bookings, video play, radio play etc. Mass media isn’t going to pay attention unless you have a solid sales record. You can’t have a sold sales record unless you have mass media. It’s a vicious cycle, but unfortunately that’s how it is until we can change the game.
Unfortunately, for Rhymefest, the dude didn’t have solid promotion from J Records. The dude made a terrible decision when he picked Allido/J over G.O.O.D. music. If you only hung around the Internet, then you wouldn’t know that “Brand New” got zero radio play in the top markets and I’ve yet to see a video for the dude on MTV or BET. Also, CD sales in general are on the decline, especially in Hip-Hop, where even Bussa Bus is struggling to get Gold. Let’s not forget that, the album was pretty wack, but in today’s industry, that means nothing.
Update: My bad…it wasn’t J Records. Bol blackballed Rhymefest’s career. (There might be some truth to this so don’t front)