About 500 [artist id=”510062″]Lil Wayne[/artist] fans got a pleasant surprise this week when the rapper’s frequently delayed new album, Rebirth, showed up in their mailboxes. According to Billboard magazine, Amazon.com shipped out several hundred copies of the album this week to fans who had preordered it. Unnamed sources and an e-mail to the magazine from an Amazon customer uncovered the unprecedented snafu.
Cash Money boss Bryan “Baby” Williams recently tweeted that Rebirth had been pushed back from December 21 to February 1 — a week before Wayne is scheduled to be sentenced and begin his one-year prison term on a gun charge. But the disc reportedly began showing up in mailboxes on December 14.
Spokespeople for Amazon and Wayne’s label, Universal Motown, could not be reached for comment at press time. Quoting unnamed sources, Billboard reported that following the sixth release-date change for Rebirth last month, Universal Motown recalled the estimated 1 million units that had already been manufactured, one-third of which had been shipped to retailers. Though Amazon got a notice to return its copies of the disc, around 500 were reportedly sent to customers.
A number of tracks from the disc have been leaked or released as singles, including “Prom Queen,” “On Fire” and the latest, the Eminem collaboration “Drop the World,” which hit the Net on Tuesday. Other new tracks that have surfaced include “Hot Revolver,” “Fix My Hat” and “Da Da Da.”
Due to the slow digital sales of some of those songs, Cash Money and Universal reportedly believed the album hadn’t gotten the proper set-up and decided to delay the release once again, falling into a similar pattern to Wayne’s previous album, Tha Carter III. Not surprisingly, anonymous sources told Billboard that Wayne may tinker with the track listing for the album given the latest leak, meaning the Amazon customers who received their copies could have a collector’s item on their hands.