There’s pretty solid deductive reasoning as to why Hip-Hop doesn’t sound much like its conventional self these days. Those sample clearances are a mother. If the only event that helps a retired veteran of the industry sell their back catalog is an untimely death, you know they’re going to devour every opportunity when someone opts to “borrow” from their work. And if there’s a hold up on the clearance issue, all sorts of problems will arise, including banning the record(s) from ever being released. Just ask Big Boi.
Young Tyga is the latest to experience a monkey wrench being thrown his mastermind plot to get rich off rap. Just as he was poised to cut the ribbon on his true debut, Careless World: Rise Of The Last King, and all the “Rack Cities” in its jurisdiction, Best Buy and Target — i.e. the few chosen physical music retailers — removed the album from its shelves shortly after stocking them this past Tuesday. The opening title track segues into a bit from Dr. Martin Luther King’s legendary “I Have A Dream” speech and the late freedom fighter’s estate didn’t give out the proper permission, according to Carolyn Aberman, Best Buy’s Public Relations Senior Manager per XXL.
Despite the obvious disappointment Tyga’s camp and Young Money Records feel from the incident, total devastation did not sweep the coronation of the sophomore outing. According to the HITS Daily Double, …The Last King is projected to sell somewhere between 70-80,000 copies in its first week — all from digital outlets. Albeit those numbers are far from calling for a passing of the buck amongst young artists with a sizeable buzz, they do fall in the line with the average tally we’ve grown accustomed to seeing after seven days of shelf life. Big Sean’s Finally Famous: The Album rounded out to 87,000 copies scanned in its first week, while Yelawolf’s Radioactive and B.o.B’s The Adventures Of Bobby Ray saw their initial numbers top out at 41,000 and 84,000, respectively.
So with that, the inevitable questions are put into play. Did Best Buy and Target’s actions really hinder Tyga from breaking six figures or were those actual CDs just a minor sum that would have been rounded off regardless? And do more digital retailers look to make a profit in the near future just off the strength of pure availability?
Whatever the answers shape themselves to be, it’s apparent that the Digital Age’s omnipresence is glaring. Cop Tyga’s album on iTunes since the MP3 is giving the CD a convincing gut check.