With record sales falling and rap artists frequently finding themselves dropped from major labels, Jadakiss [click to read] has surpassed expectations with his latest Island Def Jam debut, The Last Kiss [click to read]. After a five-year long hiatus, Jada’s newest album managed to sell over 130,000 copies in its first week, a more than commendable number for a project that had little publicity. The album, Kiss’ first release after leaving Interscope, faced setbacks when Def Jam pushed it back from December ’08, to early ’09 [click to read].
On Tuesday, marketing magazine, Advertising Age, explored Jada’s methods for promoting the album, praising him for “passing up short-term successes and not succumbing to the pressure to make quick-hit radio records.”
As radio stations lose advertising dollars, programming directors have been pressured to shrink playlists, leaving less room for records and giving hit singles more spins. Rapper Flo Rida saw his huge radio single “Right Round” sell over 2.5 million singles, while his album R.o.o.t.s [click to read] sold only 55,000 copies in its first week—less than half of what Jadakiss sold.
According to Ad Age, Jadakiss did many things in order to promote the album and connect with his fanbase despite a lack of radio play. He went on the road seven weeks before the album released, performing clubs every night as well as interacting with those in attendance. He made mall appearances, spoke with fans through blogs and Hip Hop sites, and released several videos on YouTube. It is this kind of accessibility, as well as Jada’s longevity, that led to the unexpected number of record sales.
“I ain’t know what to expect now with the way the game is,” ‘Kiss said in an interview with XXL earlier this month. “But I know I got a core fanbase. I don’t think Def Jam expected that, so now we gotta get on the same page. I will say that’s a great number for the climate and the way the music industry is right now and that’s without a big hit at radio…I got longevity, that’s why I got legs…It’s always good when you can say I told you so. It’s always good when you get the last laugh. But I’m just happy to be embraced after all these years, ’cause Hip Hop fans’ ears change hourly. I’ma be here for a while.”
The Last Kiss has sold over 210,000 copies to date [click to read].