Did Kanye West and Nicki Minaj Live Up To The Hype?
After a very long wait, Kanye West‘s new album, My Beautiful, Dark, Twisted Fantasy is in stores. But he’s not the only highly anticipated artist who’s album was released. Nicki Minaj‘s debut album, Pink Friday, also hit stores. It seems like it took forever for their albums to drop. While building up for their releases, both Kanye and Nicki worked vigorously to get their buzz booming to ensure success come album release day.
Kanye West built his buzz by giving away free music every week. Realizing the constant need for new tunes, as blogs put out tons of tracks from artists each day, Yeezy came up with G.O.O.D. Fridays. On Fridays, ‘Ye would put out a brand new track featuring himself, various G.O.O.D. Music artists, and others who collaborated with Mr. West. He was really going in with the songs, too, putting out songs with Jay-Z, Swizz Beatz, Raekwon, Q-Tip, and various heavy hitters. This made the Yeezy fans want more. ‘Ye even inspired other producers to give away free music, prompting Swizz Beatz to start Monster Mondays, while Timbaland began Timbo Thursdays.
Young Money’s first lady, Nicki Minaj, went about building her buzz a little differently. She spent the last two years appearing on various tracks with big artists including Gucci Mane, Mariah Carey, Lil Wayne (of course), Usher, Trey Songz, and plenty more. This was a smart move for Nicki as not only was she able to prove she can hold her own with established acts, but she tapped into other artists’ fan bases to build up her own. Not to mention every time she appeared on a track, she went in. She was doing numbers before her album even dropped, grabbing countless #1 spots on the charts.
So after last week’s debuts, the first week sales numbers are in. Kanye West sold over 495,000 copies of My Beautiful, Dark, Twisted Fantasy while Nicki’s debut, Pink Friday, sold over 375,000 copies according to Nielsen Soundscan. Now I’ll admit, those numbers sounds impressive, but let’s not forget these two were perhaps this year’s biggest, most anticipated artists. But even with MBDTF almost already gold, Yeezy’s last album 808′s & Heartbreak did 450,000 copies it’s first week—his latest numbers don’t offer much improvement. And despite Nicki’s big first week numbers, to be the first chick coming out of Young Money and not hitting gold in that week is somewhat odd. I her defense, Nicki is the second best female when it comes to first week sales, as the last person to sell this much was Lauryn Hill with her debut album. But that was in 1998, when people actually bought records.
There’s no question both projects will go platinum, but with all the hype riding on Kanye and Nicki, will the time it takes for them to reach platinum status match up to expectations? Will their numbers match the hype of their releases?