apropos of nothing

How Did Lil Wayne Sell a Million Albums in a Week?

Photo: Getty Images

As some predicted it probably would, Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter III has sold more than a million copies in a single week (exact number: 1,005,545), the first album to do so since 50 Cent’s The Massacre in March 2005. What makes this even more impressive is that Carter III leaked a week and a half before its street date, Wayne’s fans — now used to just downloading free Internet mix tapes — haven’t been to a record store in years, and worldwide music sales are the worst they’ve been in twenty years, according to the results of a new survey (we’re not sure why they had to conduct a survey to deduce this, but whatever). So how did Wayne manage to pull off this seemingly impossible feat?

1. Kanye West
The last time album with first-week sales nearing a million was Kanye’s Graduation, released last August (it sold 957,000), benefiting from the rapper-producer’s massive fan base and even-larger blog readership that does anything the man says. For the past week, Kanye’s been urging subscribers of his RSS feed to help Lil Wayne beat his own sales, which seems like a noble gesture, even when you consider that Carter III features several of Kanye’s beats, and its success will likely earn him millions of dollars.

2. Oral-Sex Metaphors
Even if you’ve never heard it, you can probably guess what “Lollipop,” Carter III’s lead single (currently the No. 1 song on Billboard’s Hot 100), is about. “Candy Shop,” the first single from 50 Cent’s The Massacre, too, featured an unsubtle, non-clever central metaphor that compared a sexual act to the consumption of lollipops. For some abstract reason, American record buyers simply can’t get enough of this. If only Coldplay had realized that, there might still be hope for EMI.

Lil Wayne Cracks 1 Million With ‘Tha Carter III’ [Billboard]
Music sales fall to their lowest level in over twenty years [Times Online via Idolator]

Earlier: Will Lil Wayne Steal Coldplay’s Thunder? Yes, Say Experts

How Did Lil Wayne Sell a Million Albums in a Week?