So I predicted that Jay-Z would sell a few more CDs his first week out than T.I. did back in April, and – lo and behold – I was right. For the sake of everyone else’s self-esteem though, let’s just say that I wasn’t. Are we all feeling that much better? I know I am.
For a minute there, it looked like I was about to be wrong in the sense that I was actually wrong! Early reports from record sales tracking website Hits Daily Double by way of the esteemed AllHipHop had Jay moving Vs. numbers his first week out. What happened?
Presumably the 850,000 figure was a projection based on the first day of sales, i.e. an album that sells X amount of copies its first day in stores can reasonably be expected to sell 850,000 copies. Of course it didn’t, which suggests sales slid quite a bit after that first day.
Could it be that bad word of mouth began to erode potential album sales after the first day or so? Maybe a buncha people ran out and copped it last Tuesday, realized how wack it was, and told all their friends not to bother – just like I tried to do here.
[I know opinion here on the album is somewhat split, but it's worth noting that if you think this is a good album, you really are in the extreme minority. The New York Times, the LA Times, Pitchfork, and Stylus all gave Kingdom Come negative reviews.]
At any rate, it’d be silly to view Kingdom Come’s first week sales as some sort of coup for hip-hop. I mean, it would be one thing if this was capping off a year in which most of the rest of the albums released on Def Jam label did well, but it isn’t.
Think about all the time and resources sunk into Kingdom Come just so it could be the year’s best-selling rap album, if by only 150,000 copies. How much worse would the album have done if Jay had spent that much more time and money promoting the rest of the artists on his label?
To end things on a more positive note, that Dre-produced Nas and Game track really is the best shit evar. Check it out (in the Bangers section), if you haven’t already.