Published on December 3rd, 2012 | by Boman12l0
Bo & Arrow: Hot 97, Record sales and Nicki Minaj
Yo crew what’s good? Boman here once again bringing you something new, welcome to Bo & Arrow! For the first, in what might turn into a recurring series, we will be looking at the continuing war of words between Hot 97 and Nicki Minaj, which has been one of the biggest stories in Hip-hop all year.
Hot 97 radio host and media personality Peter Rosenberg has for a long time expressed his dissatisfaction with Young Money artist Nicki Minaj and it all came to a head at Summer Jam. While introducing Kendrick Lamar to the stage, Peter Rosenberg referred to Nicki’s song “Starships” as “Bullshit” and not “real Hip-hop” much to the delight of the crowd. Lil Wayne however did not like the comments and made the decision to pull the entire Young Money set from the festival. Meaning Nicki, billed as one of the top acts, would not perform. Controversy ensued. As the iconic radio station and the Megastar have been at each other in the months since.
Once again the two parties are at it. After first week sales figures for Nicki’s re-release, Pink Friday: Romans Reload – The Re-Up, came to light, Ebo, the programming director for Hot 97, came on the Rosenberg show and joked that the latter’s comments killed Nicki’s career and is the reason why her latest release only sold 36,000 copies. The next day, Ebo returned to the show. This time to discuss a new conversation he had with Nicki. She heard the segment and did not find it so funny. She requested that the station never play her music again.
This latest chapter is all hearsay on the behalf of Hot 97. As of right now we have not heard anything from Nicki that could corroborate their story, but let’s back up and take a look at the whole situation. First – Rosenberg’s comments did not hurt Nicki’s career. One could argue it was not the right time or place for Rosenberg to say what he said; other than that, nothing about the comments were surprising or changed people’s feelings towards Nicki. Another similar situation happened over on fox News this past week, when author Tom Ricks said the conservative news network “hyped” the Benghazi incident and Fox News is “operating as a wing of the Republican Party.” Nothing about Rick’s comments were surprising. It’s where he said it that’s interesting – while being interview on Fox News. It’s the same with Peter Rosenberg. He simply reflected what many in the hip-hop community were thinking. It’s only he did it at a venue where that artist was about to perform.
Secondly let’s get this out the way – This disc was promoted poorly. If you ask Nicki, this new Re-Up was something special to her. She went back and recorded eight new songs that would appeal to her core hip-hop fans that felt like they were forgotten about on her last disc plus would include a new DVD filled with concert footage. Sounds good right? An EP worth of new material, DVD, all repackaged with Romans Reloaded. The new songs alone could have sold it, but that was not the case. If this was a package for her core fans, they did not get the message. Around the web, the new songs were posted, but buzz never went anywhere, they already had their fill. Many casual fans were not sure what this new disc was, thinking they had already bought one re-release from Miss. Minaj already. Truth is there was no excitement surrounding this release.
But let’s keep it one hundred –Nicki’s new re-re-release did not sell because it was not in stores. Contrary to popular belief, most Americans, for some strange reason, still buy their music from Wally-World. If you are not stocked there, you are not moving monster units. During a visit to the Breakfast club, Nicki expressed concern, at the time, for the then unknown performance of her latest re-release. Nicki stated that America’s two largest retailers Wal-Mart and Target would not be stocking the disc because of diminishing returns on previous re-releases and Best Buy only took limited orders. When the soundScan came in and The Re-Up only sold 36,000 during Black Friday week, Nicki’s underwhelming performance is not so surprising.
In a time when physical sales of CDs are down year over year, labels turn to things like re-releases to try and make more money with the lease amount of effort on their part. A few months down the line, an album that performed well gets repackaged with a few new songs or bonus DVD and is given a fancy new subtitle. Nicki’s no stranger to the practice and she’s definitely is not alone, this year has already seen re-releases from Lana Del Ray and Rihanna while in the past Lady Gaga and Eminem have done it; hell, even Raekwon’s Only Built for Cuban Linx pt. 2 saw a Gold Edition. These re-releases provide a small bump in sales; however retailers are often left with large amounts of product that will not sell as much as the original, while still having copies of the first version of the album also. It would seem Wal-Mart and Target said enough is enough, unfortunately for Nicki, it will result in a lighter pocketbook (for now).
While it’s funny to laugh and say things like “Peter Rosenberg Killed Nicki Minaj’s career” That’s clearly not the case (Hot 97 knows that. That’s why they had so much fun joking about it). Poor promotion and negative retails reception hurt Nicki. It should be noted: Pink Friday: Romans Reloaded – The Re-Up was received warmly among critics. If Nicki had release The Re-Up has a standalone new EP, dropping the confusing naming structure and stigma of a re-release, it would have fared better.