Prior to the July 4 release of Magna Carta Holy Grail, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) was left to change its certification policy due to Samsung’s purchase of one million digital copies of Jay-Z’s twelfth studio album. The RIAA’s updated policy consequently sparked some debate in regards to album sales and among those to share their thoughts on the policy change was LL Cool J.
The Queens rapper didn’t mention Magna Carta Holy Grail or Jay-Z by name during his interview with Revolt TV, but he did allude to the project as he stated that selling millions of album copies to a major corporation will never compare to selling an album to a fan on an individual basis.
“It’s not anything different,” said LL. “I mean, if Wal-Mart buys a million records, they bought it. I mean the difference is…If I go sell five million records to Bill Gates or if I sell 10 million records to Bill Gates, I guess I’m diamond. I may not touch 10 million people, but I’m diamond. Numbers are numbers, but I think that in the numbers is truth. But in terms of touching the people it’s a little different.”
LL Cool J went on to stress his “numbers are numbers” notion as he showed his support for the policy change, but also expressed that he would rather touch people “directly” when it concerns his albums.
“I think that for me as an artist, I still want to be able to touch the people individually,” the Authentic rapper revealed. “It still matters to me that people individually went out and bought my record. Although I do think a million records sold is a million records sold, there’s no question about that. You can’t argue with math. It is what it is and that’s truth. For me, I like to touch the people directly. I like to know that a million people went out and bought my album. Not that I sold a million records to a company. That’s different…But that being said, I think it’s definitely the right move for the RIAA. I agree with that move.”
The RIAA announced their policy change in early July, stating that, “…sales of albums in digital format will become eligible on the release date, while sales of albums in physical format will still become eligible for certification 30 days after the release date.”