Kid Cudi Slams ‘Weak AssLabel’ Over Handling of RockAlbum


After releasing a pair of well-
received hip-hop albums, Kid Cudi
** has switched up his sound
with “WZRD,” A PSYCH-ROCK
EXPERIMENT between the
Cleveland hip-hop artist and
producer Dot Da Genius. On
Tuesday (Feb. 28), the day of
“WZRD’s” release, Cudi took to
Twitter [ LINK] to thank fans for
supporting the side project —
and to badmouth his label,
Universal Republic, for shipping
what he considers to be a low
number of physical copies of the
album.
“Ok so just a heads up, my weak
ass label only shipped 55k
physicals cuz they treated this
like some indie side project tax
right off [sic],” Cudi posted.”So i
apologize on behalf of my weak
ass major label. And I apologize
for the lack of promo, again, my
weak ass major label.”
Cudi also claimed that Universal
Republic “tried to rush me thru
this so i can just give em another
MOTM [“Man On the Moon” album]
, but guess what? F— that, next
album is WZRD. MOTM3 on hold til
2014.” He later added, “Im lettin
Universal Republic have it, f— it.
What they gon’ do, spank me??
hahahaha.”
While 55,000 is a small shipment
in light of the fact that his
previous album, “Man On The
Moon 2: The Legend,” scanned
169,000 units in the first week
(of which 77,000, or 45.6%, of
sales were CD, according to
Nielsen SoundScan), and that
Universal Republic probably
shipped approximately 200,000
units of that album initially.
Indeed, his two albums have
scanned 1.19 million units, with
his debut, “Man on the Moon: The
End of Day” (featuring the hit
single “Day N’ Night”) selling
693,000 in total, 104,000 the
first week; and “Man On the
Moon 2” selling a total of
493,000 units.
However, the rock-based new LP
represents a dramatic stylistic
shift from the hip-hop of his
first two albums.
“He is accurate that Universal
shipped about 55,000 units, but
this album is not in the vein of
his prior releases,” a source told
Billboard.
At retail, Trans World Music urban
buyer Christina Amadore-Smith
said that despite the change in
musical direction, she brought
the album in heavy and it is
already outselling her aggressive
projection.
But she also added that the
album is projected to have first
week sales of about 55,000 units
in the U.S., split evenly between
digital and CD.
Industry experts told Billboard
that the label’s CD shipment
should be more than enough to
meet demand.
“I have been a fan since 2004
and I think this album is
different but good,” Amadore-
Smith said. “I think the sales
projection is a pretty decent
number for him putting out a
random rock album. I thought it
would overperform and he will
blow past our first week
projections,” although she
declined to specify just how
much.
The album has been at the top of
the iTunes album chart for most
of Tuesday.
Of course, Universal has
experience with rock albums by
successful rappers. After Lil
Wayne released three platinum-
plus albums, his 2010 rock album,
“Rebirth,” scanned 175,000 units
in its first week of availability –
just 17.5% of the 1 million units
his prior hip-hop album, “Tha
Carter III,” achieved in its first
week. It’s probably safe to
assume those numbers played
into Universal’s thinking with
“WZRD.”
At a listening session for the
“WZRD” album in New York last
week, Cudi said that the album
was inspired by artists like Pink
Floyd, Pixies, Nirvana and Electric
Light Orchestra, and eventually
grew agitated with some of the
questions during a special Q&A.
“When two individuals who are
putting their life out there
through song, and they ask for
your attention, you [the
listeners] give it to them,” Cudi
told the crowd. “You came here
for a purpose… to hear our
music. So f—ing listen to it
because we’re trying to educate
you on what we’re doing… it’s as
simple as that!”
At press time, reps for Universal
Republic had not responded to
Billboard’s requests for
comment.

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