The excessive leaks and bootlegging of Lil Wayne’s new album haven’t prevented it from being a hot seller: The rapper’s “Tha Carter III” sold 423,000 copies in its first day of release, according to Billboard magazine, citing figures from Nielsen SoundScan.
With such sales, Lil Wayne is on pace to sell about 900,000 copies of the CD in its first week and post the best sales debut of the year. Last year’s first-week top-seller was from Kanye West, who sold some 957,000 copies of “Graduation.”
Though Lil Wayne has been on the rap scene for years, “Tha Carter III,” released Tuesday, was expected to be the album that catapults the critically acclaimed rapper into pop superstardom. Ubiquitous on mixtapes and a frequent collaborator, he has owned the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 pop chart for the past few weeks with his song “Lollipop,” and “Tha Carter III” is among this year’s most anticipated CDs.
His last two albums, “Tha Carter” and “Tha Carter II,” sold 1.1 million and 1.4 million copies, respectively.
The release date for “Tha Carter III” was pushed back several times because the album was frequently leaked and bootlegged.
The year’s best first-week seller so far was posted by Mariah Carey. Her “EMC2” sold about 463,000 in the first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan.