St. Louis, Missouri rapper Nelly released his sixth album 5.0 on December 16. With multi-platinum success in the past, Nelly garnered a Top 10 debut for his first album in over two years, behind the hit single, “Just A Dream.” Selling approximately 64,000 first-week units, Nelly voiced his displeasure, and took longtime label Universal Motown to task.
Hip Hop journalist/blogger Karen Civil compiled Nelly’s open-letter criticism (via Twitter) to his label. Here is an unedited excerpt: “So who fault is it when a artist gives the label not only a #1 hit but there first top40 #1 n label history!sell 2mill n singles n 2.5month. Who should be held responsible wen a artist has a history for selling records so its not like a new artist n no1 knows his r her name? Benefit of the doubt: Maybe no1 wants to hear music from that artist?well if that was true then the artist would not have a #1 song! Benefit of the doubt:Maybe no1is checking 4 the artist anymore?Well if that was true then how do u explain selling 2mill singles n 2.5month?”
Additionally, Nelly expressed his frustrations for the label only shipping 200,000 physical CD units to stores, as well as a broken 50/50 partnership by the label.
Universal Motown has yet to respond. Similar under-shipping accusation claims have been made recently by Asher Roth and Lloyd Banks.