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), 9 Mar 2012 @ 1:15am

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

    "What you consider an attack was merely an observation."

    Your "observation" was "Kid CuDi apologizes for not being able to find the CD in stores as if most of his fan base isn't using iTunes.". In other words, you criticise him for not knowing his own audience, which is what I would consider an attack. A gentle one, perhaps, but still an attack on both his business knowledge and his communication with his own audience.

    "Where the physicals were sold is pretty much irrelevant."

    Not really, but you double down on your assumptions again. For example, I like Cudi's music, although I wouldn't necessarily consider myself a fan. I would consider myself a fan both of hip-hop and the more dance-oriented genres that made Cudi's name here in Europe. I'm 36 years old, and have been known to make impulse buys on CDs I spot while shopping for other things.

    Where the album was sold is indeed relevant. If all of the physical stock went to independent stores and online retailers, that would have a different effect than if they went mainly to Wal Mart. There doesn't seem to have been enough stock to cover all bases, hence the questions. If Wal Mart, or Kansas, or whatever was under-represented where people may have bought CDs if they were available, then losses were made due to this decision.

    "I'm again imagining that group of consumers who just couldn't find a copy and just gave up in disgust"

    Then you're completely missing one of my main points, stated extremely clearly above.

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