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Lil Wayne’s million album sales phenomenon
Rapper Lil Wayne&rsquo;s latest album <em>Tha Carter III</em> sold one million copies in its first week, the first album to do so since 50 Cent&rsquo;s <em>The Massacre</em> in 2005.
W

hat happened
Rapper Lil Wayne’s latest album Tha Carter III sold one million copies in its first week, the first album to do so since 50 Cent’s The Massacre in 2005. Some critics are wondering how the 25-year-old hip-hop star managed such a feat considering the record industry’s current slump, while others think Wayne’s accomplishment may soon be overshadowed by his legal troubles. (AP)

What the commentators said
“Frankly, I was starting to think that the days of albums selling a million copies in a week were gone forever,” said Paul Grein in the Yahoo! music blog Chart Watch. What’s especially remarkable about Lil Wayne’s accomplishment is that, while “downloading of individual songs is on the upswing” and “CD sales are in decline,” Tha Carter III “sold more than twice as many copies this week as any song has ever sold in any one week in digital downloads.”

It’s not too surprising, said Jess Harvel in Salon. Wayne has spent “a decade-plus as a hip-hop workaholic” and has become regarded by “thousands of hip-hop fans” as “‘the best rapper alive.’” But as for the album itself, Tha Carter III “as frustratingly patchy as any overlong, slapdash mainstream hip-hop album from one of Wayne’s far less talented peers.” But to be fair, “sometimes it’s jaw-droppingly brilliant, too.”

Lil Wayne may have “the hottest CD of 2008,” said Michael Daly in the New York Daily News, but legal troubles may spoil his party. He’s waiting for the results of “a DNA report that may put him behind bars for a minimum of 3-1/2 years,” stemming from an arrest in 2007 for possession of a loaded semi-automatic pistol that “showed evidence of discharge.” Wayne may soon learn that “That even rappers who sell a million CDs have to adhere to Tha Rules.”

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