Wednesday, June 18, 2008

platinum plaques


Lil Wayne's new album sold over a million records its first week. i didnt even know he was that popular. to sell a million records alone in this day and age, regardless of how long it takes, is a remarkable feat. but to sell them in the first week, well thats just astounding. it makes me wonder if he had released this record in the era before leaked albums and file sharing were normal practice, and people actually went to the store to buy records instead of downloading them on line, how many would he have sold then? 2 million? 3?

is he really THAT popular?

dont get me wrong, ive been aware of weezy since he was the novelty infant, rapping without a shirt, just a boy among men, during the unavoidable Cash Money Records phenomenon of 1998. but back then he was just an oddly underage rapper wearing jewelery too big for his wiry frame. i figured he would go the way of most child rappers, popular for a song or two, then forgotten by the masses until 5 years later when, as a young adult, he got arrested for robbing a liquor store or some shit. i mean, where is Kriss Kross now? where is ABC? Look at what happened to Chi Ali? and lets not forget Shyheim the Rugged Child. well, i guess we can forget him. most of us already have.

but thats my point, wayne actually grew more popular [and better at his craft] as he grew older, which in and of itself is pretty impressive considering the fleeting and fickle taste of hip hop fans these days. and amazingly, he seemed to put out a new mixtape or guest on a new radio hit every single week for the entirety of 2007 and half of 2008, and yet didnt succumb to the almost unavoidable backlash of overexposure. people not only love wayne, but they are more than willing to commit to him for the long haul.

how the hell did he pull that off? i mean, half the time i cant even understand what the he's saying. its just gibberish. intoxicated gibberish. he literally sounds as if he has no clue what hes going to say into a microphone, and just smokes two blunts, takes down a hit of ecstasy with a swig from cough syrup, and says whatever comes to his mind. here is a sample:

Ok you wanna zombie move instead,
Thats when you walk in ya house and everybody dead,
I can take a shit where i stand,
Where i stand...and watch you pussies piss in ya pants,
You aint a man your a hoe,
I can kill him with the flow,
And then play the guitar at the f**kin funeral

now i will agree, weezy does have a nice voice and his flow is original and sounds good over a beat, but at some point is anyone going to challenge these non-sequiturs? in one song he says simply that he liked the movie Gremlins. there was no lead in. no context. he just, in the middle of a verse, professed his love for that particular 80's horror classic. did it make sense? not at all. was it strange coming from weezys mouth? not at all. i think everyone agrees, lil wayne is not in the habit of writing long, well thought out rhymes. im sure he wouldnt argue this either. if i remember correctly, after he mentioned the Gremlins movie, he said something to the effect of, "that didnt even make sense, but whatever, i said it." indeed you did. well played, Wayne, well played.

but man, platinum in the first week? Not Usher, not Mariah, not even the High School Fucking Musical did those kinds of numbers. jesus christ! i wonder if kanye is all pissed off and screaming at his record label or if 50 cent is crying in his bathtub, lighting scented candles and trying to forget the whole thing. probably.

in any case, i wonder what this will do for waynes ego? he has said he will be the next rapper to die young, and from the amount of drugs he does, this seems pretty plausible. and i can only imagine success like this will only increase his use, at least for the next three month celebratory period [c'mon, you sell a million records in a week, youre gonna celebrate]. i just hope he doesnt start going on awards shows and saying he deserves every statue or promising the media that if he doesnt sell X amount of his next album he will retire [and then when not meeting his goal still not retiring].

oh well, i guess even if he does i wont care. it just seemed strange to me that he sold so many records. good on him for that. now i will resume not listening or understanding wayne nor his popularity. good day to you.

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:gray matters: by jkg is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at downtownalleys.blogspot.com.