EVERYTHING THATS OLD IS NEW AGAIN:WELCOME BACK
In an era where emcees want to be praised both critically and commercially, what happens when the year’s best-selling album is flawed?
Barring some fourth-quarter heroics by Drake, 2011’s best-selling album will likely come from either Lil Wayne or the duo of Jay-Z and Kanye West. We were assured of seeing either Watch The Throne or Tha Carter IV on every media outlet’s year end list when both albums earned plaques during their first week of release. Watch The Throne tallied 436,000 units during its first week, while Wayne’s Tha Carter IV nearly went platinum in a week by selling 965,000 copies. But in an era of diminished sales, what exactly does it mean to have a number one album or even the year’s best-selling album when critics and large groups of listeners think the album is flawed?
It should be noted that you can’t really compare Watch The Throne and Tha Carter IV, because even a cursory listen shows they were made with different goals in mind. While the former was a consolidation of power that took nearly a whole calendar year to create and spanned several continents, the latter was an attempt at reclaiming retail and water cooler convo dominance. Yet, you can make a solid argument that both projects fell short of their stated goals.
The Carter Conundrum