Nelly Airs Out Frustrations With Label Over Twitter

This weekend, Nelly expressed his frustrations with his label, Universal Motown Records, for the underwhelming record sales of his latest album, 5.0.

According to Nielsen SoundScan, his sixth solo release sold 63,000 copies sold stateside in its first week, and with a lead single, “Just A Dream,” that has already reached the double platinum mark, the Grammy winner was surprised to find out the label only shipped 200,000 units. The St. Louis rapper took to his Twitter account on Saturday (November 27) to address the situation, even retweeting angry fans that could not find the album in their city.
Check out Nelly’s comments below.

“A record deal is a 50/50 partnership,” he wrote on Saturday afternoon. “As an artist it’s your job to provide the record company with music that they (record company) can sell! Thing about the partnership is that [in] the public eye the responsibility is not 50/50! [T]he artist is always the 1 who catches 90% of the blame. When an artist doesn’t deliver sufficient material they (artist) gets its budget cut for next album or worse dropped from the label!

“So not only is the label [your] partner but also disciplinarian and 90% of the time the one who decides if the partnership continues,” he continued. “No doubt [when] an artist doesn’t deliver a song that does crack top of the charts or even top 10 the label is quick to say artist didn’t deliver. So [in turn] the artist must bare the brunt of that failure and take responsibility and consequences as handed out by his or her label!!

“So [whose] fault is it when a artist gives the label not only a #1 hit but [their] first top 40 #1 [in] label history,” he asked. “[S]ell 2mill [in] singles [in] 2.5 month[s]. Who should be held responsible when an artist has a history for selling records so [it’s] not like a new artist [and no one] knows his [or] her name? Benefit of the doubt: Maybe [no one] wants to hear music from that artist? [W]ell if that was true then the artist would not have a #1 song! Benefit of the doubt: Maybe [no one] is checking [for] the artist anymore? Well if that was true then how do [you] explain selling 2 [million] singles [in two and half months]?

“I care less about haters [you can’t] hate on #1 song [and] 2.5 [million] singles” he added. “[B]ut the fact is that [someone] need[s] to holdup [their] end of the partnership! If the music wasn’t good how do u get to #1 and 2.5mill!! [B]ut if folks say they didn’t even no [when] the album came out????? If [you] only ship 200 [thousand] of an album how many are u f#cking [trying] to sell?? [T]he artist [doesn't] control that nor does he or she control marketing. “5.0″ Every[one] [loves the] album [and] say its crazy! So [when you] hear folks say they [didn’t know] it was out [or] there were hardly any [in] the store! WTF?”Nicole LoPresti

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  • Axeo

    I can explain 2 million sales of a single and poor album sales in way less words then Nelly. Hot single shitty album. Comes back to that arguement of 2-3 good songs vs 10-12 filler

    • pap3rchazer

      well thats not fair to say. how do you know the album is shitty if you havent bought it…nor know it was becoming out/

      • iGotOnMyBackpack

        you listen to the leak or you check the snippets at amazon or itunes. it’s not hard to sample an album before you purchase it. Nelly sucks for the most part. that Country Grammar album was good though

  • Don mcCaine

    can anyone on here who’s gonna say Nelly has a sh^tty album also say they bought the CD to know this?

    this wreaks of Nelly catching on fire with that song, and the label just letting Nelly’s name be the promo.

    • iGotOnMyBackpack

      you don’t have to buy an album to know that it sucks. thank technology for that. it’s saved me a ton of money over the past decade

      • Don mcCaine

        of course there’s the download, but i can’t tell with a streamed snippet version what’s hot or not.

        To be honest, Nelly’s in a lane where the majority of people who bought this did it to complete their Nelly collection of albums. I can’t say he’s no longer relevant because he does have a chart topping single from this album.

  • pap3rchazer

    besides 63k out of 200k isnt bad!

    but that just goes to show you how much confidence(or lack of it) the industry has in an artist Nelly!

    50 seen it comin when he dropped BISD. what can you do when your label has no enthusiasm to work yo album. smh

  • brandon

    if the artist doesnt see the label doing shit for them then the artist should do their work to promote the album.. the internet is very powerful.. instead of blaming the label the artists should take it into their own hands and be able to be the one who said “i told you so….or release a sex tape.. theres no such thing as bad publicity lol!

  • Vhingrhamesonyo’momma


  • HU

    The album is generic as hell. I can’t differentiate it from anything that’s been on the radio the past 5 years. It was never destined to sell over 200k copies. Nelly should be glad as hell he sold 63k.

  • Q461

    I just think Nelly’s time has passed. No shame in it, the hip-hop game is fickle as fuck. It’s just crazy cause dude was a selling machine before. After that Sweat/Suit shit, too much time passed and tastes changed. Not everyone can have the longevity as Em or Hov. The people that were buying Nelly are now buying Cudi or Drake or Nicki. Yall think Luda is gonna do big numbers next time? I would tend to doubt it, he’s from around the same era as Nelly.

    No hate just my opinion. I actually like Nelly and respect dudes catalog. Can’t sleep on that many hits including that Just a dream shit.

  • yoprince

    c’mon guys. i know it may be fun to hate on nelly, but honestly it made no sense to only ship 200k of his album when he had a monster single like that.

  • Don mcCaine

    co-sign Q & yoprince

    Nelly on ‘Here I Am’>>>

    I was actually looking forward to that ‘Oceans 7′ project w/JD and them…

  • Joe Morgan jr.

    If you do the math there is a 143,000 albums collecting dust. It’s the Christmas shopping season.You don’t want product that doesn’t sell taking up valuable shelf space. I’m not dissing Nelly I hope nothing but the best for him. But from a business perspective it makes since. His last record sold under 100k in the first week and they shipped double that amount on this one. It costs money to physically manufacture and ship a CD. They probably spent 150-200k in cash just for this first shipment. If that turns out to be a good investment they will ship more.With only 63k units sold it looks like they made the right call. If you notice they were perfectly set up to sell over 2 million copies of “Just A Dream” over the computer.I wonder how that bread gets broken ?

    • http://N/A JD

      I’m sorry but I have to side Nelly on this one. If a record label is going to push a record(if it’s good or garbage) believe me, the label will push that record. Can we say Nicki’s “Pink Friday” or how about an artist that’s been around the same time Nelly has, Emenim both “Relapse” & “Recovery” hit 2 million or more. You’re right about one thing though, just because you have a hot single doesn’t mean your album will be hot also but labels will back you if they have confidence in your work. The Record Industry can be a fickle business.


    Honestly, I think he shouldn’t bother with wasting budget money on making albums anymore. Just keep making singles to stay relevant. It’s far less expensive but profitable….Ppl are gonna pick the hot songs and skip the fillers…so why not skip making the fillers and record about 6 or 7 hot songs and release them as singles. That would keep him busy and on the radio for the year. Not to mention get him back into touring with new material, which leads to making more money. The biz done changed, artists need to just change with it…..