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Nelly Blames Label For Disappointing Album Sales

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Nelly tweeted away his anger about his album sales. Find out what the rapper had to say about his record label when you read on...


Nelly's latest project, '5.0', debuted November 16th and took the #10 spot on the Billboard's Top 200 albums. However, '5.0' only sold 63k in it's first week. In comparison, label mate Kanye sold 530k of 'My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy' the following week.  Nicki Minaj's 'Pink Friday' also sold over 400k in it's first week.

Nelly vented via Twitter about Motown/Universal's lack of marketing for his album.

The rapper tweeted, "A record deal is a 50/50 partnership!As a artist its your job to provide the record company with music that they(record company) can sell,Thing about the partnership is that n the public eye the responsibility is not 50/50!the artist is always the 1who catches 90% of the blame."

He continued tweeting saying, "If u only ship 200 thound [thousand] of an album how many are u f#cking tryen [sic] to sell?? the artist does control that nor does he or she control marketing."

Nelly's previous album, 'Sweat/Suit' dropped in 2005 and sold over 400k in its first week.  And he dropped Brass Knunckles in 2008 which didn't push many units.

Hmmm.  Is the lack of album sales for '5.0' the label's fault? Or is Nelly past his prime?



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I like looking @ Nelly. I

I like looking @ Nelly. I dislike the thought of every buying a single piece of mess that he produces. I used to be a fan, but I can't justify helping these dudes earn money when they either perpetuate black women as ass face down ass up hoes or NOT at all in their videos. I'm done. Good luck on that career Nelly.
TooSmartForDumbIsh's picture

hmmm, sorry Nells but blame

hmmm, sorry Nells but blame yourself for putting out crap; "sing song rap" does not work and you can forward this message to FloRida SING SONG RAP IS CRAP
Anonymous's picture

Who is Nelly? Oh that guy who

Who is Nelly? Oh that guy who sang It's Hot in Here which was in 2006 right Goodbye your career is over
Anonymous's picture

no nelly u suck either which

no nelly u suck either which way..even in ur prime u still weren't that serious. bye boy!
SARCASMIC's picture


Anonymous's picture

The truth is this Nelly

The truth is this Nelly hasn't been relevant in years. Very few artists can maintain a high level of success over 10 or so years. If Michael Jackson, L.L. Cool J., and Mariah Carey have had severe fall offs from where they once were, then certainly Nelly can't expect to sustain the success of Country Grammar forever. Kids purchase most music and their taste have changed. Now go a few years without a hit and the new kids coming up wont even recognize you. This is Nelly's problem.
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Anonymous's picture

TwitterPlaylistGuy broke it

TwitterPlaylistGuy broke it down very well! I think the album was rushed, but it might have been because they wanted to put out the St. Lunatic album, but the smart thing was to build a buzz with a Nelly album first. Also, many of the songs that I have heard so far aren't the type of songs that his core fanbase is used to. I hate to say it, but I think he should just go back in the studio after this loss and take those emotions to fuel the hunger for success. Maybe he'll produce another Nellyville/Country Grammer type album (as far as the lyrical content is concerned). The Tic album is going to be very nice though.
513hotgirl's picture

Nelly needs to quit blaming

Nelly needs to quit blaming the record company for his album sales. If people really like your album they will buy it. WORD OF MOUTH is a marketing tool. No amount of marketing can beat word of mouth. If you give out quality, you will get back in quantity. Another thing is retailers like Walmart and Target monitor sales of cds everytime people buy cds and if they see that your cds are not moving units, they will not stock up on your cds and if the retailers don't demand your cds, the record company have no choice but to ship less. It's the law of demand and supply. Nelly would have a case against the record company had he sell all the 200,000 units that they had shipped but when you only sold 63K in the first week, you need to fall back!
Nappy Head Tar Baby's picture

well if he had concentrated

well if he had concentrated on his music career instead of running his mouth on the radio arguing with ho's like katt stacks and fooling around with spineless aka -"c'mon son" ashanti...ooh and not to mention the horrible tip drill song, then maybe just maybe he would have had sales...BUT Then again ..i just think he's train has left the station...sooooo BYE!!!!
baby j's picture

Give us 16 bars like Kim just

Give us 16 bars like Kim just did.
Ms. B's picture

As a record label exec I can

As a record label exec I can context to the fact that sometimes labels don't know exactly what's going on depending on the label and where the artist is from. ex. most labels are home based in NY/LA and most artist signed are from the South and the higher up execs based in NY are out of touch. Think about the bigger southern artist: T.I. is Grand Hustle through ATlantic, Ric Ross is through Khaled (big DJ in Miami) through Def Jam that's with Universal, Little Wayne-Cash Money-Yung Money managed by G (he manages Drake, Kanye, Wayne, Jeezy) through Universal, Jeezy through CTE, managed by G through Def Jam thats under Universal...these artist have multiple pushes that gives them more of a push. I agree that Nelly didn't have a huge push at radio or online...
Anonymous's picture

ummm when did nelly have a

ummm when did nelly have a hit single? didnt even know he had an album out
Flow's picture

Twitterplalistguy- Your

Twitterplalistguy- Your comment very well thought out and I agree. Nelly should have had a solid release. If artists like Flo-Rida can come out with decent album sales, why cant he and he's a vet in the rap game? Promotion should have been better.
MsStarkitty's picture

I don't understand who told

I don't understand who told him people want to hear him sing. I see him and Ashanti got the same work ethic and it's not working. When what you doing ain't working...TRY SOMETHING ELSE or return to perfecting your craft doing what you were doing when you FIRST came out. Don't switch it up on your fans and expect them to go along for the ride. Sometimes they will, most times they won't.
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Anonymous's picture

I am not sure he can do this.

I am not sure he can do this. If he was a new artist ok, because his name needs to be out there for us know about him. But, Nelly is a well known artist and even I knew he had a new album coming out but did not see it as the Nelly that we knew from his old days. Since his time with Ashanti and its "its getting hot in here," he has not produced anything on a highly successful level
Anthony 's picture

You don't sell 2.5 million

You don't sell 2.5 million singles of just a dream. Which was number one on the charts for 2 weeks. And then only sell 62 thousand copies of your Album. Somebody dropped the ball on his project. Neither kanye nor Niki had a number on single going into the release week of their album. Bottom line is. Nelly gave the record label a smash single. And they gave him lack of support.
Anonymous's picture

Nobody dropped the ball here.

Nobody dropped the ball here. If the label would have shipped 1 million units as opposed to the 200,000, it still would've only sold 63,000 units as it did. There are still 137,000 units still on the shelves.
Anonymous's picture

I mostly agree with you. I

I mostly agree with you. I agree in this regard: Single sales DO NOT EQUATE to album sales. Especially these days. I guess in context the euphamism, "dropped ball" is off-base. Everyone; Nelly, his management and the label should have never agreed to drop this album just yet. As of 12-1-2010. He has only sold 94k albums.
TwitterPlaylistGuy's picture

Yo Nelly if U want Big sells

Yo Nelly if U want Big sells U need to follow Kanye's Blueprint. His record label didnt do any pub for him, he generated his own Buzz with Twitter. U just got to put yourself out there, know what Im saying...
Number 33's picture

Nelly needs to take his

Nelly needs to take his country ass back to bama and call it a RAP.
Anonymous's picture

Ya'll need to get over

Ya'll need to get over yourselves quit being haterzz and being jerks just cuz hes famous his music is good And ya'll are being jealous.. Its not like he is the only one rapping about tht stuff so get over it I love nelly!!!! QUIT BEING HATERZZ
Anonymous's picture

Nelly is not from Bama. You

Nelly is not from Bama. You need to check your facts before you tell someone where to go back too.
Anonymous's picture

Lmao he's from st. louis but

Lmao he's from st. louis but your right he should just sit down lol
Anonymous's picture

No one is checking for that

No one is checking for that bubble gum/ sing-song (when you can't sing) rap anymore. Gimmicks never last forever....
Tee's picture

"Just a Dream" had good

"Just a Dream" had good lyrics, but was too pop-centric (and if you listened closely, had some country elements too) in the instrumentals. He shot too high for the crossover single and forgot to appeal to his core audience of black women.
deep.honey's picture

Right on!

Right on!
Anonymous's picture


TwitterPlaylistGuy's picture

Nelly should really look into

Nelly should really look into investing into a nba or nfl team because the rap game has dried up! Time for plan B homie!
Katt's picture

He's invested in the Bobcats

He's invested in the Bobcats with MJ and Bob Johnson (ex exec and founder of BET)....honestly I think nobody is checking for Nelly because he has realistically been absent from the Rap game since 2006 or 2007 (whenever SweatSuit buzz faded)....Brass Knuckles flopped and then he didn't do anything quick enough to redeem himself. His album now is decent and consistent with the old SweatSuit era but I would've liked to hear that Nellyville Nelly....his style on the album is all over the place although there are good songs on the album its not put together well, I give it a 6 out of 10.
A Black Man's picture

Sorry to say bruh! Nelly its

Sorry to say bruh! Nelly its time to stop already. He Paid Anyway...On To The Next One! The RapGame done changed.
Motivation's picture

I'm sorry, he is way past his

I'm sorry, he is way past his prime! No one checking for you boo!!! NEEEEXXXXXXTTTTT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous247's picture


Big Mama Cornbread's picture

nelly if you'd stop singing

nelly if you'd stop singing like your somebody's trey songz or chris brown, then MAYBE you would've done better.
Miss GQ's picture

Nelly was done when he did

Nelly was done when he did that "Tip Drill" garbage. He disrepected black women in a major way, and he's never apologized for it. On top of that, his ass can't rap worth a damn.
Kd's picture

"Tip Drill" is a matter of

"Tip Drill" is a matter of opinion. I'm a woman of color and I liked it. I thought it was entertaining and the females involved did it because they wanted to just like every other video hoe/vixen. Ludacris' video for "Pu$$y Poppin" was just as disgusting but you don't see people constantly harping on that song nor did it effect his future album sales or validity as an aritist that "cares".
513hotgirl's picture

For real. I almost forgot

For real. I almost forgot about that! Then he threw a hissy fit and cancelled his bone marrow drive at Spelman because the women asked to have a sit-down/talk-back about his nasty video! Considering his departed sister's condition and the fact that she, too, was a WOMAN, you would think that he'd have been more open to the suggestion. Not like I respected him in the first place, but I thought that was so grimy and selfish.
Akimbo's picture

so agreed!......

so agreed!......
baby j's picture

Good point. I wonder if that

Good point. I wonder if that is why his sales arent good? tip drill was/is very disrespectful. He claimed it was a vid for the fellas, but it is the ladies who buy his music!
lilkunta's picture

Nelly is dunzo. He was hot a

Nelly is dunzo. He was hot a long time ago but he's been out of the game too long. Hopefully, he saved up his money because it's a wrap.
I'm Just Sayin's picture

I blame the label. I did not

I blame the label. I did not see any promotions of the cd. Out of no where, here comes a video with Tpain. I think Pink Friday was promoted more than anyones cd. Especially on 106&park.
Ann's picture

nelly i think that it is time

nelly i think that it is time to give it up... be a model or do a reality tv show. no one is buying that rap cd. no one
Mscece's picture

Nelly still trying to

Nelly still trying to rap............ROFLMAO.......This dude can't be serious.....Nelly always was WACK and a sing-song rapper.
Big_Mike's picture

Nelly is a Fraud! He's not

Nelly is a Fraud! He's not even from st louis he's from Texas! And how can he think he's gonna sell more and he hasn't been consistent? I can't even tell you how his single sounds!
Smitten's picture

he was born here in tx not

he was born here in tx not raised her, hun. just like me...born somewhere else but i say im from texas.
myMAMAsaid's picture

Nelly is past his

Nelly is past his prime...Give it UP! Need Money Fast? Here Are 6 Free Ways You Can Make More Now (This is a Must Read) http://creambmp.com/FastMoney Need Money Fast? Here Are 6 Free Ways You Can Make More Now (This is a Must Read) http://creambmp.com/FastMoney Need Money Fast? Here Are 6 Free Ways You Can Make More Now (This is a Must Read) http://creambmp.com/FastMoney Need Money Fast? Here Are 6 Free Ways You Can Make More Now (This is a Must Read) http://creambmp.com/FastMoney
Diary of a Young Black Asshole's picture

1.) Nelly is not wack. We

1.) Nelly is not wack. We didn't think so 10 years ago. Nelly even deserves full credit for understanding the art of recording and taking rap some place else melodically. He did that. Everyone from Flo-Rida (respect) to TI (respect) among others should agree with this without refute. 2.) Nelly is absolutely right about the partnership. How he treated the partnership by airing it out on Twitter is ALL wrong though; disloyal, disrespectful and a smack in the face to a staff at his label that feeds their families working for artist like him. 3.) Marketing is NOT about the ability to actually annunciate the word and it's three syllables. There are VERY few artists that truly understand the process of marketing musically recorded products in a day and age where the recording industry is not just shrinking, but evolving. Artists like Tech 9ine, who is not a mainstream artist continues to succeed and make a living off of a fanbase that has never vacated him. Jay Z is 40+. He still sells records...he really does understand marketing...and it's processes. Cash Money and it's artists have somewhat of a hang of it. Coincidentally, they belong to the same label that Nelly's been signed to for 11 years. Cash Money's been partners with this label for 12 years. Nelly, respectively does not speak for anything more than his own challenges with this album and its poor sales. 4.) What happened with Nelly's "5.0" project is a number (no pun intended) of things: i. He's been absent for 5 years (that previous release did not fair well either) ii. Nelly's fanbase does not react off of 1 chart topping single. They released his album off of the hype of the "Just A Dream" single. That's a trap these days. It worked in 2000 (pre-Napster and iTunes). iii. Nelly's 'core' fanbase ARE older 22-34/35-44. Many are female...African American, at that. iv. He had NO record at 'black radio'. Someone chose to contend in Beiber, Perry and Black Eye Peas world at Crossover and Pop radio stations. Those listeners bought the single and were out. v. Nelly should have been on tour since the top of the year. People must be scratching their head at him on the same bill as Enrique Iglesias and Justin Beiber...VERY confusing. vi. This album SIMPLY should have not come until 2011. PREMATURE release for a hugely successful and iconic-like recording artist. 5.) "Move That Body" is a better single than "Just A Dream". Everyone should have PAUSED and let this record blow...Nelly tours...more PUBLICITY...etc...a remix for the record...then...(I'm not giving it all up)...this #failure was not the label's fault exclusively...it's a collective problem (in partnership). At this point in his career, with all of his history-making successes and earned status as a heavy hitter in the business, he's savvy enough to have seen this coming and experienced enough to have corrected it. 6.) At this juncture in his career, he MUST look to his management to accept the blame for this. Management should have seen this coming. Nelly's a better, smarter and more seasoned artist than what he displayed via Twitter. After 11 years signed to a label, he owes more respect. He owes accountability for his successes and failures too. His management should inherit full responsibility for his error in professionalism. I say this as a fan of his and with minimal knowledge of the recording industry. I predicted this a month ago. QUESTION: How well do you guys think these albums are going to do next month? Diddy-Dirty Money, "Last Train To Paris" Ciara, "Basic Instinct"
TwitterPlaylistGuy's picture

::Applause:: Very well

::Applause:: Very well thought out.
.:*WhitneyEclectic*:.'s picture

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