When word came out that Amazon had inadvertently shipped out a handful of Wayne’s Rebirth album the net was dumbfounded. How could they make such a boneheaded mistake? Unfortunately, they’ll more than likely be the scapegoat for this when it’s all said and done. But the brunt of this mishap falls squarely on the shoulders of Universal Music Group; guilty of pushing Rebirth back so many times that I didn’t even think they were actually close to a finished product. Which apparently wasn’t the case:
The release date change – the sixth time Rebirth was pushed to a new date – was made earlier this month by Universal Motown, the distributing label for Cash Money, and its distributor Universal Music Group Distribution. Universal Motown and UMGD recalled the album, but roughly one million units were manufactured and about one-third were shipped to accounts when the decision was made to pull Rebirth from the schedule, sources say. – Billboard
I was always under the impression, that these delays were about stringing along a cash cow until he lost interest in his passion project getting samples cleared and reworking/re-doing/replacing songs to make the album better. Now I see the labels just wait for enough mainstream buzz and radio spins to maximize sales. In a time when nothing is guaranteed sales wise, at some point you have to cut your losses. As far as timing goes, a Dec. 21st release would have been a perfect. Potential buyers will be out finishing their holiday shopping. So, the potential for sales is even greater than an early February release (which also sees a sales bump due the Grammys).
Rebirth could have also been doubled up with We Are Young Money, to boost sales for that album which despite Drake & Nicki Minaj’s appearances, isn’t highly anticipated nor expected to light Soundscan on fire. It would have increased both albums (We Are Young Money more than Rebirth) chances of going platinum and given his Young Money imprint more exposure.
Now, in efforts of retaining that potential big sales day they were hoping for, the Young Money camp has announced that the leaked version will not be the Rebirth released in 2010.
If Wayne can drum up a completely new “rock” LP in under two months, it speaks highly of his work ethic but what does that say for the record’s quality? We shall see. The current Rebirth will now be judged in the court of public opinion and most likely become a frisbee collector’s item.
But wait, there’s always more. TMZ reports Wayne & Co. were stopped at the Texas border with Miss Mary Jane playing a key role in the incident.
Universal, your work is now cut out for you and outlined in magic marker with smiley faces. Good luck.
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