‘We just want to get a perfect point across,’ YMCMB captain tells MTV News of valuing art over sales.
By Rob Markman, with reporting by Travis Laurendine
While performing on Sunday night’s American Music Awards, Drake had a moment. The Young Money MC was in the middle of the second verse to his single “Headlines” when he switched up the lyrics to reflect the projected first-week success of his sophomore album, Take Care.
“If we talkin’ bout the numbers/ Man, it look like 700, they know,” Drake rapped in response to the Billboard prediction that he will debut atop the albums chart this week with as many as 700,000 copies sold. However, if you let Young Money head honcho Lil Wayne tell it, the numbers are not as important as the cultural impact.
“As far as expectations, we don’t have those around here. Expectations are a weakness in the music business because if you expect anything, 10 times out of 10 it’s not gonna happen, so we don’t have expectations around here,” Lil Wayne told MTV News on Friday when we caught up with him on a trip to New Orleans where, he gave out Thanksgiving Turkeys in his old neighborhood on Saturday.
“What we do expect is … to work very hard and we expect people to respect our hard work and our effort,” Weezy continued. “Now as far going to buy the album, as far as going to get 750,000 copies, that’s never a problem with us; that’s never important to us.”
In 2008, Wayne sold more than a million copies of Tha Carter III in its debut week. And this past August, he moved 960,000 units of Tha Carter IV in the first seven days of release, but the Louisiana rhyme animal is more concerned with his Young Money artists making their creative mark. “Pardon me for sounding however I sound with this statement, but we rich as sh–, so numbers and record sales that doesn’t matter to none of us,” he said.
Take Care hit retail last Tuesday, but leaked several days prior. After it hit the Net early, Drizzy didn’t seem too concerned about how the leak would affect his bottom line. Instead, he invited fans to a digital listening party. “Listen, enjoy it, buy it if you like it…and take care until next time,” he tweeted. Songs like the Rick Ross-assisted, Just Blaze-produced “Lord Knows” quickly became a trending topic on Twitter.
So far, the critical opinion to the LP has been fairly positive. The Toronto artist blends rap bars and R&B melodies with equal expertise on the album, and even if some find it too different at first, Wayne hopes that eventually everyone will come around and recognize Take Care as a great body of work.
“We just want to get a perfect point across, a swell opinion across,” he said. “We want our opinion to be different from everybody else’s opinion, but so different and so great that everybody else joins that opinion. And if we get that done with the album, mission accomplished.”
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