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Under shipped, or under performed?

Did the TIs really “under ship” copies of Asher Roth’s Asleep in the Bread Aisle?

I saw the report the other day here at XXL, and I figured that may have been what happened. I know something similar supposedly happened with the new Joe Budden album. Padded Room ended up doing Little Brother numbers its first week out, but the Internet Soldiers were claiming that was because the label underestimated demand for it. I know there was that video of some Budden stan going to Best Buy and buying up every copy. Maybe that’s what happened.

The thought that 100,000 copies of Asleep in the Bread Aisle in stores wasn’t enough seemed reasonable, in that I was never sure what to think about Asher Roth’s real commercial prospects. On the one, I’ve rarely seen the TIs ride for an album like they are with Asleep in the Bread Aisle. And in an age when motherfucking Jadakiss, whose name is practically synonymous with “really shitty albums,” did over 130,000 his first week out, I figured that alone might be good for up to 300,000 in first week sales.

As I mentioned here the other day, I didn’t think the demand was really there. I don’t sense that a whole lot of people even know who Asher Roth is, outside of the kind of people who post on this site. And you guys can’t stand the guy. I don’t know if it’s because this site’s readership consists of a lot of white kids who feel they have to prove themselves by taking out a lame white rapper (which I wholeheartedly approve of, mind you), or a buncha broke black rappers pissed at how much support the TIs are throwing behind their nephew, or what. I should conduct some sort of a poll.

Still, if they only shipped 100,000 copies of Asleep in the Bread Aisle, as Asher Roth was claiming the other day, I could see how that might leave a few stans stuck having to cop the new Rawse or whatever. But then I saw where the report on Bread Aisle being under shipped has been updated to note that the album is only expected to sell somewhere in the neighborhood of 70,000 copies its first week out. I read somewhere else that it might actually be outsold by a new album by motherfucking Depeche Mode. The fuck?

If the TIs shipped 100,000 copies of Bread Aisle to stores, and it’s only gonna sell 70,000 of them, you can’t really say it under shipped, right? More like underperformed! Let me guess: The TIs took a look at first day sales, on the stoner holiday, and realized it was only gonna sell about 100,000 copies, so they came up with the story about the album under shipping, and a call was placed to Rob the Music Ed. But it turns out Bread Aisle might not have legs. Three days later, it looks like it might only sell 70,000.

In retrospect, I should have known something was up when Asher Roth was talking about how they didn’t want to ship too many copies of the album to stores, what with the state of the economy. Which strikes me as roughly tantamount to only putting so much on a light bill, pending the amount of next week’s pay check. As much money as they’ve spent promoting Bread Aisle, it shouldn’t have mattered whether they shipped 100,000 or 300,000 copies to stores the first week. Surely they were expecting to sell at least a million.

Maybe they were, right up until last week, then they saw my post from the other day and curbed their enthusiasm. The real question is: is it too early to crack open a bottle of J. Roget?

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