It’s been a good week for a diverse range of hip-hop artists, as WZRD (Kid Cudi & Dot Da Genius), Estelle, Too $hort, Maino, and Ja Rule all charted. Then again, there are underground artists like west coast veteran Planet Asia and Columbus wordsmith Copywrite, both of whom struggled to make it to the triple-digit range. Despite drama with his label, Kid Cudi’s latest project sat plushly at number 2 on the Billboard 200. To his credit, the majority of these sales were digital, which may suggest that Universal Republic actually under-shipped the product; however the majority of first week sales for Cudder’s last album were digital as well. Much to my surprise, Maino outdid Bay Area legend Too $hort by nearly 2,000 units. I guess it shouldn’t come as such a shock considering the success of Maino’s radio single “Let It Fly” and the fact that Short Dawg has always (and sadly) been pigeonholed as a ‘regional artist.’ With that said, I felt that No Trespassing was promoted on a much grander scale than Maino’s latest fare, but I guess even Snoop Dogg laced viral videos don’t always catch on. I know that I’m not the only person in 2012 that’s not checking for Ja Rule (I honestly had no idea he was actually releasing a new album), but it’s crazy how his album sales have dropped by over 99 percent since the release of 2001’s Pain Is Love. We could sit here all day and debate that piracy has significantly changed the retail game and 11 years later we shouldn’t expect artists to perform the same way they once did, but going from 361,000 units a week to 3,200 is pretty rough.
WZRD “WZRD” – 66,102 (68% digital)
Estelle “All Of Me” – 15,202 (37% digital)
Maino “The Day After Tomorrow”– 6,343 (34% digital)
Too $hort “No Trespassing” – 4,603 (36% digital)
Ja Rule “PIL2 (Pain Is Love 2)”– 3,200
Copywrite “God Save The King” – 531 (75% digital) [read review]
Planet Asia “Black Belt Theatre” – 423 (17% digital)