Lil Wayne always makes his fans wait longer than they might want to for his new albums. But when he does finally drop them, Carterites always show up to support their man. According to Weezy's label, Tha Carter IV sold more than 300,000 downloads on iTunes in its first four days of release last week, beating out the first-week sales record recently set by Jay-Z and Kanye West's Watch the Throne.
The album, which was released digitally right after the 2011 VMAs, is also on pace to have the second biggest first-week sales of 2011, according to the Hollywood Reporter, with expected sales of 850,000. The combined physical and digital sales would make for the biggest first week for a hip-hop album since Tha Carter III, which sold 1.01 million in its first week in June 2008.
While he will undoubtedly have an impressive bow on Wednesday when the final figures are released by Nielsen SoundScan, it will still likely fall short of the year's biggest debut to date, Lady Gaga's Born This Way, which moved 1.3 million in its debut in June.
Weezy, who closed the VMAs in memorable style, said that he wasn't sweating the fact that Carter IV leaked five days early. In fact, he was kind of glad that fans got a sneak peek.
"It just means people want to hear it," Wayne told MTV News. "I mean, 'cause there're people's albums that come out that can be leaked and don't leak, so I'm glad mines leaked."
Jay and Kanye avoided a leak with their Watch the Throne album, but the YMCMB camp has said they aren't too concerned about how the leak could affect album sales. Via his Twitter account, Cash Money CEO Birdman has been promoting Weezy's album for the past week or two, even predicting that Carter IV would sell a million copies in its first week, just like Carter III. Last week, he wrote, "C4.BMJR.#Dont Lie 1m. 1week They Know."