The early sales prognostications are in, and they are very telling. Unsurprisingly, Nicki Minaj looks to be the top-selling new album come next week. The Pinkprint is highly anticipated – or so it’s suggested. Some shade in that last statement – yeah a little bit. Billboard suggests that The Pinkprint will start in the 150,000 copies ballpark – ugh! On the one hand, any album that sells 150,000 copies in this day and age is “doing big things.” However, during the jam-packed holiday season – the famed fourth quarter – those numbers are just so-so. Nicki Minaj has sold better than that with her two previous albums, so honestly, those numbers should feel like a letdown.
How big could the Nicki Minaj letdown be? Well, it will likely cost Minaj a #1 album – 150,000 copies likely won’t seal the deal (you don’t have to be an industry buff to see that). Look at previous weeks and ‘pure sales’ as Billboard refers to it now – Taylor Swift has been selling greater than 200,000 copies of 1989 as has Pentatonix of That’s Christmas To Me. Unless both albums dip in sales or Minaj has a big sales spike, she likely won’t bow any better than third.
Even with such realizations, it is hard to see Minaj fall beyond third (this weeks fourth place album just cleared 100,000 ‘units’ and 94,000 copies in sales), but after scoring two #1 albums a potential third place finish is disappointing. Still, what is The Pinkprint really underperforms – can someone else steal a higher charting position or two? After so many singles and a valiant effort by Minaj, she has to be disappointed, regardless whether she lets on or not.
Nicki Minaj may underperform, but D’Angelo could be one of the ‘torch bearers’ in sales for R&B. According to Billboard, D’Angelo could potentially sell 100,000 copies of Black Messiah. For an artist who hasn’t released an album in 14 years and had no promotion, the fact that D’Angelo could sell that many copies is amazing. Think about it – Mary J. Blige sold only 55,000 copies of The London Sessions and we all know how shocked we were that Mariah Carey only sold slightly better (58,000 copies) of Me I Am Mariah. So cheers D’Angelo on a brilliant album with potentially strong first week numbers.
A tale of two artists on two different paths – well something like that.