KiD CuDi's WZRD Debuts At No. 3 Despite Being Swept Under The Rug By Universal

from the the-fans-have-spoken dept

Last week we wrote about WZRD, the new album from KiD CuDi on which he went in an entirely different direction from his usual style. That's the kind of thing that makes big record labels nervous (they'd prefer artists just keep churning out variations on their first success) and CuDi's label Universal Republic was no exception. After the release, CuDi took to Twitter to vent:

Ok so just a heads up, my weak ass label only shipped 55k physicals cuz they treated this like some indie side project tax right off. So i apologize on behalf of my weak ass major label. And I apologize for the lack of promo, again, my weak ass major label. They tried to rush me thru this so i can just give em another MOTM, but guess what? Fuck that, next album is WZRD. MOTM3 on hold til 2014. who mad??? not me and @DotDaGenius. So its def gonna be tough to find one in the stores guys, I'm sorry about that.

Apparently fans were prepared to make the effort, because WZRD debuted at #3 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. This is especially funny in the wake of RIAA CEO Cary Sherman's recent interview, in which he claimed record labels were needed to "separate the wheat from the chaff" and "designate who is worth promoting and marketing". It seems the legacy gatekeepers aren't quite as good at curation as they think—at least I bet Universal is wishing they'd gotten a few more copies of WZRD out there, and put some promotional weight behind the project. Maybe, if they'd put a little faith in their own artist, they could have had a #1 on their hands.

Filed Under: kid cudi, labels, music, promotion, wzrd
Companies: universal music, universal republic


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  1. icon
    PaulT (profile), 8 Mar 2012 @ 6:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I'm confused...

    "You don't get to dismiss my assumption and then assert your own baseless assumption. "

    Erm... I didn't? I presented some very different alternatives and stated that any of them could be right (including yours). How is that an assumption?

    You're the one who stated, essentially, that Cudi doesn't know his own audience demographic and then criticsed him for it (2nd & 3rd paragraphs in your first comment), with no basis other than your own assumptions. You're still at it above.

    At the risk of repeating myself it's possible that, say, only 15k physical copies sold and the rest were digital. In this case you're correct, digital sales were where it's at for this title and people wanting the album would have little problem in either format. However if, say, 35k of the sales were CDs, then many locations would have been out of stock. This would directly impact sales, and potentially lowered sale quite considerably in many locations. This would make your assumption about his label being right and him being wrong totally incorrect, and may have screwed him out of thousands of sales - in which case it appear that he's planning to make it as difficult as possible for the label to benefit from his next album.

    The only thing we can say with certainty is that an artist is feeling totally ignored by his label, yet still managed to debut at #3. At best, they've done a poor job of keeping their artist happy despite making the best business decision. At worst, they've screwed both them and him out of sales. The jury's out as to where the facts lie, but I tend toward the latter right now. Additional facts are welcome, but pulling assumptions about fanbase, demographics and so forth out of your ass isn't really an argument.

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