Update: Wale Sells 28K in First Week, Manager Claims LP Was Under Shipped

After several push backs, Attention: Deficit—the debut CD from XXL Freshman alum Wale—finally hit stores last Tuesday (November 10). Seven days later his first-week stats are in, and unfortunately the CD failed to top any of the big dawgs from their top spots on The Billboard 200 sales charts.

According to the Nielsen SoundScan, the disc landed at the no. 21 spot, with 28,100 units sold. With all the hype surrounding the release, a guest spot on Jay-Z’s Blueprint 3 tour and a gig fronting the official house band of the 2009 MTV VMAs, many believed the Interscope rapper would have a bigger first week.

XXLMag.com spoke with Wale’s manager, Daniel Weisman, who claims that the label under shipped the disc to stores, much like what happened to fellow “Class of 09″ MC Asher Roth. ”Wale’s the type of artist who is bigger than the metrics (radio) say he is,” Weisman said. “That puts the label in a tough position in terms of physical distribution and because of twitter we are able to hear direct feedback from the fans about the problems they had actually finding the CD. But 64% of Wale’s sales came from digital outlets which makes sense for Wale. It’s a testament to Interscope and their confidence in Wale’s brand that they put the record out without a big single.”

The other only new hip-hop release to enter the charts this week was Wyclef Jean’s new collaborative effort with DJ Drama. The rap vet’s street CD, From the Hut, to the Projects, to the Mansion, debuted at no. 171, selling 3,300 discs. Drama—who executive-produced the extended EP—described it to to XXL as “Wyclef’s first all-around hip-hop project since The Carnival.”

Continuing his dominance at the head of the rap pack is Brooklyn rap giant Jay-Z. Despite falling one spot to no. 16 BP3 managed to ring up 33,000 more albums to his overall sales figure this go-round. After 10 weeks, the rapper’s latest opus has sold 1,271,200 units.

Four spots down at no. 20 is the Black Eyed Peas. The E.N.D. pulled in another 28,200 in sales this week, making its total tally stand at 1,356, 200.

Next week look for 50 Cent’s long-awaited fourth solo album Before I Self Destruct to make a huge impact on The Billboard 200. —Elan Mancini

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  • TheCoolest

    Artists always have an excuse when they flop. “I didn’t get any promotion or “My CD undershipped”

    Wale’s albums is decent but he’s too much of a bitch for me to like him…

    • Deadly MIME

      True, I mean the album might have been undershipped but does it make a difference cause either way he probably would have sold the same if not a little more than what he has sold now

    • sb

      you are so right

    • sunshine

      You’re a hater and a fool. The album is beyond decent. I wasn’t able to get it until Friday. Target never ordered it and Best Buy didn’t order enough. The did him dirty and his sales reflect undershipment. Maybe some artists use it as an excuse, but in Wale’s case, it is a FACT.

      • cmoney85

        he gets undershipped and now he is a bitch and would have only did a few thousand more… u must not know folks.. I bet his second week he will do twice as much providing shipping has gotten straightened out.. in the end it wont be a flop

  • folo17

    this is some bullshit…he shoulda done 80,000 all the haters should buy his album…DMV im not riding dick but he spits the truth…fuck interscope and the music industry…

  • Brahsef

    My college is in the middle of nothin, but lord knows it wasn’t bein sold at the trinity of music cheapness: Target, Meijer, and Walmart.

  • venemez

    I went to a Target and a Best Buy and they didn’t have any copies left(or at all). Mos def Under Shipped.

    What label is he under? I thought he was under Roc Nation? Who ever it was Wale got fucked.

  • Worley

    Low sales in the 4th quarter = tax write off.

  • The Wayno Show

    His management is weak! The CD is sick! However, there was no promotion. I didn’t even know it was dropping? I looked for it high and low at Target and it’s not there. Wale…get a new team! The team now is killing your career.

  • Ess

    There’s no doubt in my mind that this was highly undershipped….you couldn’t find it anywhere beside a few copies at Best Buy. Best Buy in midtown Manhattan had 4 copies total.

    What’s the excuse as to why “Pretty Girls” was never pushed via a Video and a single?

  • caino

    Shit, l’m in the UK and l caouldnt even find a copy in HMV !!!

  • Rob Markman

    The Wayno Show:
    Nah man Wale had plenty of promotion. Every time I looked up he was on TV. But if your CD is NOT in stores how can fans actually buy it?

    Even though I’m an editor at XXL i still buy albums. I went to Best Buy on 23rd St. in NYC last Tuesday, they didn’t have it. I went back Wednesday and they still didn’t have it.

    I finally checked back yesterday and they had tons of copies so I grabbed one.

    I just don’t understand how in the BIGGEST city in THE WORLD at one of the BIGGEST chains, that I couldn’t find a major label release on the day it was dropped. SMH.

    With all that being said, the album is dope!

    • westcoastaggie

      They should plan to drop two more singles this holiday season to move at least 40,000 more, if they were smart.

  • R

    @ thecoolest

    it’s actually a fact that it wus undershipped, they said the label shipped out 30K. So him sellin 28K out of that is damn good. enuff ppl were complainin that they couldnt find the album, so really the label fucked themselves out of money

    dope album btw

  • http://youtube.com/federalranga Federal Ranga

    Are you kidding me? 28k. That cant be right… But that undershipped shit definitely isn’t an excuse.

    E12 up. youtube.com/federalranga

  • Capital G

    His shit definitely undershipped. Best Buy ordered next to nothing, any other retail chain had like one or two copies. The album is next to impossible to find. I could find a fuckin South Park Mexican album but no Wale. The album didn’t flop on it’s own, Interscope dropped the ball when it came to shipping.

  • http://tonygrands.blogspot.com Tony Grands

    These execs only spend money if they’re sure they’ll recoup it.

    Only reason I even knew it was out is because of Dallaspenn.com.

  • bbpp

    sounds like an excuse for weak sales to me…but since a bunch of you believe his label and management are “ruining” his career – next week should be a good indication.

  • tommy gunz

    album is fire

    he got at least 4-5 solid singles on that album that could blow


  • datdude

    this dude had no promotion backin him yea he was on the jayz tour but he only had 1 single 7 months ago…. comon u on a major the lable didnt even put out enough copies if his cd in his own town in my city they only had around 20 cds total between fye and best buy and they sold out the first day….a lot of people gave upon tryin to find it and got the bootleg because of the confusion fyi the lable had to reship copies of the ablum the next day so they had to only have20000 copies advaluable the first day

  • E-Hustle

    It is an excuses when you have other options to puchase the album aka iTunes.
    Yeah so may want the hardcopy, but if you really want the shit you would download it off itunes and maybe one day copy the actual CD.

    It was probably undershipped, but that is still a BS reason to that’s the reason it didnt move more units.
    Anyways, everyone peep billboard.com and click on the billboard 200 article where it says Bon Jovi is #1 and scroll to the bottom and see how interscope will use 50′s 1st week iTunes sales and combine them with this weeks numbers for a debut next week that will technically count for two weeks.
    Fair or foul?
    I say 50 leaked the album to pull this move. I aint mad at him. He is using the system.
    I copped my iTunes copy the day it dropped and copped the Deluxe version at best buy yesterday.
    Joint was $16.99! WTF! I guess it was worth it for the 2 bonus DVD’s. The JMJ Doc was great, the BISD Movie,…uh, not so much. The album, 5 good cuts IMO.
    Hope 50 debuts huge next week.
    FYI, the Deluxe version comes in that Biggie Life After Death set. You know, the big ass CD casing.
    They shockingly only had about 5 or 6 of those, and about a dozen regular versions of the album.
    Well see next week.

    • S.I.O

      Damn E-Hustle You beat me to the punch about 50 slick shit (I was just typing the whole shit out and my backspace button erased my whole shit) yeah he trying to pull a fast one cause he caught a brick. Plain and simple Em And Jay set the bench mark for first week sales in 09 (600,000 and 475,000 respectively) and i don’t think he came no where near those numbers. he can’t blame the leak (your album ain’t poppin if it didnn’t leak), Interscope didn’t push the button (that nigga was everywhere promoting that album, every 2 clips on This is 50.com was about promotion with jay’s dick in his mouth i remind everyone) And who the fuck splits there album release by weeks apart by Digital and Physical Formats (My best Ed Lover Impression C’MON SON get the fuck out of here, you know you caught a brick 50, stop trying to get one over on the the ed lover) His album was # 1 on i tunes for at least 3 to 4 days last week so what that doesn’t count toward soundscan now (See Ed Lover Joke Above) As E Hustle (What up Son) Pointed out above, everyone knows the majority of albums sales come from Digital Format (I-Tunes,Amazon, Napster etc) VS Physical Format (Walmart, Target, Bestbuy or mom and pops spots if you can find any these days ( Damn i miss Beat Street Downtown BK). Sorry people that’s just the world we live in, but i digress (What Up Bol With Your Jay-Z Hating Ass Ha Ha) Pay Attention to This is 50.com today,see if they release his first week #’s (Clearly they have no problem reporting on Fat Joe 8,000 and Triple C’s 12,000) first week #’s. The fix is in people that nigga flopped, and real heads know sales don’t define real hip hop, but He (50, Curtis) defines himself and others by the #’s. So what ya’ll think, they trying to pull a fast one or what, Commission (Skyotic, Peirzy, Tony Grands) Holla at ya boy and keep this debate going cuz it’s going to be and interesting week with industry fuckery!!!

      • $ykotic/Don McCaine

        S.I.O what it do! I spent too many days hanging @ Beat Street. Shouts to Fulton St. Mall.

        I know most people missed the info last week because the Jay/Beans sh*t was going on but Interscope admitted that they under-shipped Wale’s project.

        The con of signing a 360 deal is that the label recoups money the artist would normally keep altogether(e.g. shows), so why would they press more than enough albums to sell? Keep the demand flowing with the under-shipping, keep recouping while said artist’s promo window is still open & getting a buzz. It was said Interscope only shipped 30K, son flipped 28K. Right on target. Now my homies are screaming “it’s Jay’s fault(RocNation)” but I think that was a co-sign(the curse of the Jigga co-sign) & Wale isn’t really down with them like that. But he wasn’t gonna do 100k plus out of the gate. Wale never had that one song that everybody knew like Cudi or Drake have/had.

        And with the 50 leak, hell yeah he’s using the system. Ill ass tactic right? One word gave away the game:

        PRE-ORDER(a confirmed count)

        Artists have been “streaming” the projects before they drop, but NO ONE has done a FULL viral campaign for “pre-orders”(confirmed count).

        And with the DVD’s it allowed dude to make the split feasible. The album was gonna leak anyway, why not do it yourself if you have a plan to counter it? The bonus cuts don’t really work anymore…Fab tried with a DVD, which BTW no one talks about, and that still didn’t make his project jump off the shelves.

        Fif is selling 3 things @ one time. The album he gets to split w/Interscope, the DVD’s are pretty much his $. Again 2 $5 DVD’s selling with a $10 album. Which one do y’all think dude is really interested in? He knows he will never go diamond again. BISD has a good 7 cuts on it. 3.5/5 * A good album to cement his legacy, but far from classic.

        But I wanted to show two types of industry fukkery. Wale on the hoe side(which is done 90% of the time) & Fif on the pimp side with a hoe w/implants(DVDs).

        And peeps can’t forget 50 now will have a publishing catalog, a movie studio, and a large media outlet(website) as bargaining chips when he’s shopping for the new deal.

    • cmoney85

      Before I self Destruct is Garbage. like really all the way through, there is no reason y he is even rapping anymore. To be honest he should make a living off of talking shit about people, at least its funny. U went out and broke off like twenty beans on 50 wack as shit but better works of art are left to be called failures. Sales mean something depending on where you are in your career Wale doing 28 k not so bad 50 doing 28k is fucking disgusting.. wait and see, this nigga will have everyone telling him to give it up. em, dre, hell even yayo bum ass

  • http://Www.fightforus.com Kwesi Ayo

    Let me just say how cats complaining about Wale sales when he laying in bed with some of the artist we deem as garbage? Can’t expect us to support or think it’s gonna be a classic worth my money… Cmon . I liked the mixtape but we’ve gotta learn that assimilation ain’t the answer. Just venting!!


  • sb

    ok undershipped… how many sales could he been off by? 25-50k? if dude sold 28k i dont think he lost 100k sales…c’mon son….

  • Justice4All

    Understand this, when these big companies make these distribution drop deals, in alot of cases, the retailers will only preorder/buy so many because they have tons of other music on the shelf already that’s collecting dust and they have to eat that overhead. So when an artist like Wales comes out, with a subpar commercial following, Best Buy -Walmart-Meijer-and Target will purchase like 4-6,000 apiece to be shipped amongst their multiple national chains. In other words, the music biz is in the toilet. If you are not an established artist with a strong following, you better just sell online pushes. Nothing wrong with selling out the trunk and at your shows. You get 80% profit.

  • dg47

    I had been waiting for this album, but still haven’t been able to find a physical copy anywhere. It’s not at Best Buy or the mall. He probably could’ve sold twice as much if people could find the album.

  • http://datsdope.blogspot.com/ SheedDaKidd

    The Cd was under-shipped and wasnt available in many stores so this is all true, when I was looking for this album many stores like target didnt carry it and actually issued wale an apology after they realized that many people wanted this album. Stores like Best Buy only had few copies I talked to an employee and he said interscope only let certain amount of copies for each store I guess they did not expect how many people wanted this actual amount

  • R

    @e-hustle billboard only includes physical album sales, not itunes sales. and i heard that wale’s physical album sales accounted for 36% of his total sales. so add that up and it comes up to just under 80K total sales. For an artists that i can still ask ppl who he is and they dont necessarily kno, thats damn good

  • Chi Town

    I’m in Chicago and Target did not have the cd and I went to three Best Buys before I finally found one copy. I was kinda shocked how good the cd was. Could not find the Wayne documentary either.

  • capcobra

    who cares if his 1st week sales is low or if they undershipped..if it’s hot then people gon get it…he just gotta keep grinding..fuck the numbers…it’s situations like this make me wonder why artists even sign to majors..if all you gon sell is under 300k anyhow then you mind as well slow grind and be independent…you don’t need interscope to flop..you can do that from the crib.

  • tronthadon

    *Chuck D voice* burn interscope burn!!!
    He a good artist but he got kicked to tha curb now lets hope tha same doesnt happen to J.Cole…J you washed up camel face fuck dont mess up the boys career..i like J im just venting..artist thats not doing anything for his benefit he pushes aside..i thought he was managed by Roc Nation so i guess that explains alot

  • http://www.sound-savvy.com Mack of Sound-Savvy

    I don’t understand the “undershipped” excuse. The label shipped 30K. According to Wale’s manager, 64% of his sales were DIGITAL. Digital, meaning non-physical (or non-shipped) CD’s right? So it sounds like there’s a lot of shipped copies sitting on shelves somewhere, right? I agree that Wale has a bigger digital buzz than a radio buzz, so if anything he needed a stronger digital push leading up to the release. Wale’s camp has been known to turn down interviews with bloggers, and folks on the digital circuit, which in my opinion shot his project in the foot. You can’t half-way build a buzz on the net, it’s either balls to the wall digital or it’s radio. Now he’s saying he didn’t wanna chase radio, but he’s gone on numerous Twitter rants about radio not playing his song. The bottom line = stop cryin and GRIND!! If first week sales are your only goal, hang up the mic and go home. It’s not where you start its where you end up. Keep pushin, gold success is still out there. Platinum success is a lil further but you can still get it. Show and prove dude.

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  • sideshowRaheem

    Under shipped my ass. In case you didn’t know iTunes is now the biggest music retailer in the world topping both Best Buy and Walmart because of that there’s really no such thing as under shipping an album any more. I like Wale and I thought his album was hot but that’s a bullshit excuse if I ever heard one.

    • deetruth

      these numbers dont include itunes

      • sideshowRaheem

        Yes they do!

  • james dean

    definintely undershipped……..here in baltimore…..i braved a walk up the street to MonDawmin Mall and almost came up dissapointed…. For some reason the folks at FYE were holding the PARENTAL ADVISORY copies behind the counter and left the CLEAN version out front

  • Prophecy_projectz

    This is kinda shocking considering how well he was promoted and he had a single on the radio.

    I would have thought he would do Cudi numbers

  • As A Man Thinketh

    Wale had PLENTY of promotion! Plenty!
    In all actuality he had more than all his other fellow “Freshmen” class.
    That being Cudi, Drake and Asher..and they all did better #s than him because they all had BIGGER records.

    I’m not gonna judge the album bc i haven’t heard it yet. But i’ve been in the music biz professionally for 10 yrs and this is biz based on metrics.
    The numbers don’t lie and those numbers are tabulated via a BIG record or undeniable presence, both of which Wale lacks. Hopefully, from what i’m reading the word of mouth helps him sell if he truly have a good BODY of work.

    But Best Buy, Walmart, etc are going to order LPs in there area based on demand. If the demand is there, they will supply is to the consumer. Wale at best is a coastal artist…meaning people in NYC, Northeast, DMV, Cali, Pacific NW will be into him heavy. I can’t see him being big in the midwest and south too much without a record,
    Not saying he can’t or won’t have fans there. But those areas are radio/retail driven.

    Y’all get the picture.
    My ONLY knock of Wale…which is why i can’t personally get into him is that he ACTS like he wrote the Magna Carta, Ready To Die, Illmatic, RD, Doggystyle, etc. He’s doesn’t have Cudi or Drake’s humility and personability…

  • Capt. Obvious

    kid cudi was the most successful freshman of ’09…FACT.

  • http://HipHopStan.com BB

    i liked the cd and i’m gonna be honest i downloaded the album when it leaked but it didnt want to buy it on itunes i wanted the actual album

    yea i could’ve easily put it on to a blank cd but i didnt want to…even tho i might be a person who is part of the problem i guess you can say i wanted to give back

    its fucked up that his album was pushed back then when it did only a few unit were sent out smh

    i live in florida and its already hard trying to find decent music then the bull they listen to down here but damn the few albums they did have i couldnt find any

    hopefully soon i will


    PEOPLEZ– letz be clear, no one really expected him to be a commercial hit– he is strictly internet fodder!
    No single, nothing for the dj’z to rock in the club, no image… he got what he dezerved for a so-so MC.


  • bryan

    Wale’s album was undershipped. On his twitter he even said Target sent him an apology for not ordering any and that they have ordered some..should be a steady sale..No reason that Wale should sell 28k and Asher Roth should sell in the 70k range..Wale should’ve been right around there too.

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  • Big Pinch

    What do u mean no promotion. They put out a video with Lady Gaga one of the biggest artists this year and it flopped. After that why would u spend anymore money to promote this clown.

  • SouljaBoy

    i think my album betta dan his heen got no lirics

  • #NT

    Big Pinch –

    Yea but they put that out months ago. PLENTY of artists nowadays put out a few singles AND videos before one catches the public. Record labels sit on the album until one catches fire.

    Why they didn’t wait to put a video out for Pretty Girls and push it as a single is the biggest question.

  • Tron

    ah… the internet rapper catch 22….

    pump your shit constantly on the internet, build huge internet buzz, then have your entire fanbase just download your album when it leaks a couple days (or weeks) early.

    28k sold first week, but probably 200k+ have his album on their laptops

  • sam

    Yea, I had a tough time finding it in my city but I grabbed one from Hastings out of all places. Hit up Best Buy and Target neither had them. Best Buy guys said they were only offering it online and told me to talk to customer service and that could order it for me, as if I don’t know how to order s*** online lol

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  • Mika

    Man !!!!!!!! So many fyckin comments i didnt bother reading all of em (after 2/3 actually)… anyway,i got that wale stuff tht everybody been talking bout ….and my say is – its just another album…honest !! you gon like the shit if you been following wale and know what he’s all about but besides that …. nthng really thts gon actually move units…. word !! and personally , i like his stuff….. but just nothing thts gon be word of mouf stuff…na mean ?

  • MauriceMillerisPosP

    I think the album is dope as hell but the music industry as whole has sucked for a couple of years! i tell ya the web is the future! kill the radio! kill the major labels! Long live the independents!

  • DoubleClutch95

    I went to 2 best buys and a target and none of the stores had the album so i believe it was under shipped, which is a shame. It would of been the second album i bought all year after blueprint 3.

  • Victor

    Undershiped is an understatement…… I went to 5 different stores on the day it was shipped before I finally found a store that even got a shipment.

  • Young 50

    Man they Jerked Wale period. Kept pushing his album back further than George Jefferson hairline. He had the “Chillin” joint and and the “Nike Boot” joint. Good artist though.

  • Spokensound

    Wale peeked after the Mixtape About Nothing dropped. The Lady Gaga and Gucci Mane collabs didn’t help either because their markets don’t mix. I live in Northern VA, we are considered part of the DMV. Now, if I am a label and I am only going to ship 30,000 units on the first week and I want to make sure they sell, I am going to send the majority of them there. At any given time I can go buy a Go-Go band, Rare Essence album at Best Buy, then on Wale’s release date his product isn’t in the stores?? Its not demand, because if that was the case their wouldn’t 30,000 Bluepeint 3 CD’s on the shelf. If he sold 64% digital that explains an allocation issue and not necessarily a lack of demand. The Best Buy in my area got it during the weekend. By that time the people that wanted it then bought it online. I on the other hand waited til today to get my physical copy. We all know Interscope isn’t pushing black music right now anyway…

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  • Big_seth

    Wale’s album was under shipped. I had gone to 3 best buys & 4 targets and didn’t see it. & they all told me they sold out.

    I finally copped at FYE… I got the last one.

  • TD

    First off, Attention Deficit is one of the best hip hop albums to come out this year. There is no denying good music. And it is a fact that it was under shipped because i went to 10 different places before i found an FYE that had a copy (and they only had 2 copys shipped in). One of my employees has been looking for a copy for the last 10 days and still can’t find a copy!!! I have NEVER been to a best buy of FYE and had them not carry a CD I was looking for. Its incredible how few copies there were in the chicagoland area.

  • Keith

    This is One of the better hip hop albums this year hands down and as a complete album its better than Kid Cudi’s and he sold 100K+… This album was hard to find though… Target didnt carry it at all and Best Buy only had 9 copies… WTF???

  • CaniBlog

    Ok i know many artist complain and make excuse but these claims about wale’s album being under shipped are real and i experienced it first hand i live out here in idaho where i know the demographic for people who buy albums are low but still out of the three XXL freshmen who have dropped albums asher roth, kid cudi and wale, wale’s album was the hardest to find actually i didnt find it at all, i went to bestbuy the day it came it out and the manager told me that not one bestbuy in the whole state of idaho had the album he told me that the nearest one was in salt lake city a 5 hour drive, are you fucking kidding me? i have to drive 5 hours to purchase a hardcopy of wale’s album now? btw i also called target and same story NOTHING! These are facts, they did my boy wale wrong i supported anyways and made my first buy on itunes which i hate but whatever fuck interscope!

  • LEscobedo

    Selling cds should not be a measuring stick to ones capabilities as a artist. Its hard you sell immieidate albums if you are not already established.. Its easy to sell records if you sell off of a already established name, such as Jay-z, Lil Wayne, or Eminem. Wale is not a familiar name with people who are saturated in radio rap. And the people who are familiar with him have probubley ripped mp3s of every song off of his album on blogs.

  • http://xxlmag.com junior 123

    fuck you all nigga i herd the first to songz and hes better then lil wayen cuz he can get on any beat and kill it in a good way you all hate you have to listen mad good to get wat hes trying to say cuz he got skillz and hes the future like it or not

  • fongi

    Look Wale is just ok and thats his problem if he had someone from his city to do it very very big and bring him on as a side kick artist them he would have sold more units but because he has no real punch lines and etc or nothing real catchy it breaks him he’s going to have to step it way up or get dropped
    people from dc are embarresed that he’s representing dc so thats what they think of rap from dc. There are millions of people who are better than him he has something diffrent with the go go mixed with the music so know he just needs to work on his flow his lyrics
    because you put him next to the artist who sells and you see why he only moved a disturbing number of 28,000 his first week people have sold more units from the trunk of there car on the underground level.