*Kanye West’s album “Yeezus” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 charts but only sold 327,000 units the first week, the lowest first week sales since he released his 2004 debut, “The College Dropout.”
Last week, the fourth week since the album released, “Yeezus” sold 29,000 units. As of last week, Nielson SoundScan reported total units sold of only 459,356.
Editor of Billboard, Joe Levy, feels that the album is performing just fine considering it hasn’t been promoted in the traditional sense.
“With almost absolutely no promotion and certainly nothing traditionally defined as album release promotion, no single, no video, no magazine covers. … This is a fan reaction based purely on interest and anticipation,” he said. “I think given the way he’s approached this release, he’s doing quite well.”
“Yeezus” is a lot darker than many of West’s previous albums and is far from the mainstream margin. The album has no big singles with the song “Black Skinhead” released two weeks after the album dropped and it’s music video days later.
“It’s like the difference between making an art piece and something that’s just driving for commercial success, and I think he’s at a level of celebrity where he can do that, and the next record he can come back and have an album with five singles on it if he chooses to,” said Faith Newman, the A&R executive who signed Nas and also works with 2 Chainz. “He’s just in a different class of artists.”
J. Cole’s album released the same day and it’s sales have surpassed West with 478,647 albums sold. It features collaborations with Kendrick Lamar and Miguel, who appears on the radio hit “Power Trip.”
Jay-Z also is responsible for grabbing much of the attention from West with Samsung giving 1.2 million copies of “Magna Carta Holy Grail” to its Galaxy mobile customers, the album sold 528,000 units this week, debuting at No. 1.
“If you look at Jay-Z, who staged an enormous media event around the release of his record and is following it up with a tour, you’re looking at an artist who is utilizing all available channels to promote his record, and, in fact, creating new ways to distribute and promote his record,” Levy said. “If you look at Kanye, he’s an artist who consciously decided to use no available channels to promote his record, and he’s got good reason for it. Not only has he intentionally made a difficult work of art that he wants to stand on its own terms, he’s just had a baby. He’s got other things on his mind.”
To read more on the story go to MSN Music.