A mere two days before the release of Yeezus, Jay-Z bought three minutes of commercial time during Game 5 of the NBA Finals (which will probably set you back like 50 bucks these days) to tell the world, "Surprise, I have a new album coming out, too!" As if breaking the news of your surprise album (Magna Carta Holy Grail) two days before baby brother is set to release his isn't overshadowing enough, he also announced that not only would the album be coming out on the Fourth of July, but it would be delivered to 1 million Samsung Galaxy owners for free at midnight 72 hours prior to the physical release date.
Yeezus H. Christ, is there anything else? Will Jay-Z hand deliver a copy to 1,000 fans in each of the 50 states? Does the album come with the deed to a new state? These are probably the kind of under-the-breath questions Kanye West was muttering to himself after hearing those plans.
Aside from being kind of a dick move, though, it didn't really have any impact on Yeezus, right? After all, the album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 200 charts and, at an impressive 327,000 copies sold, marks the biggest first week sales numbers for a rap artist since Drake's Take Care album in 2011. But ...
Yeezus stopped selling as quickly as it started selling, suffering an insane 80 percent sales drop-off in the second week, moving just 65,000 copies. That's the fourth biggest drop by an album that debuted at No. 1 in the entire SoundScan era. To his credit, at least when Kanye West fails, he still does it in history-making fashion.
As for Jay-Z and Magna Carta Holy Grail, the first week sales of 528,000 copies made for the second biggest opening week for any artist all year (Justin Timberlake sold damn near a million his first week out).
The Kanye West camp blamed online piracy for killing Week 2 sales, but seeing as how Jay-Z literally gave away a million copies and still had one of the best weeks of the year, Yeezus shouldn't rule out that the weak sales are the result of something a little closer to home.
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