Not surprisingly, Universal Motown confirmed yesterday (May 21) that it was once gain pushing back the release date of Weezy’s rock manifesto, Rebirth — for something like the fourth or fifth time (lost count).
For obvious reasons, the album might never see the light of day mainly because it’s a rock album, with guest spots from the likes of Avril Lavigne. The block might not be so hot for that.
It’s not that 14-year old New Jersey girls won’t eat it up Rebirth like they did Tha Carter III. It’s an instance of the “Mesmerize” phenomena. Remember when Ja and Ashanti pranced around like Danny Zuko and the blonde chick who made “Let’s Get Physical” in a scene out of mu’fuckin’ Grease? Sure, Ja was a retail monster leading up to and with that album, The Last Temptation. But once that video hit Rap City, homey’s career was a wrap afterwards. Tha Carter 4 could be the one to struggle if Wayne gets his syrup-induced Rebirth.
There’s also Hova The God, who bought out his Def Jam contract and his last remaining album obligation to the label. Hov got his independence, but for $5 milli. Was it worth it? Well, when you take into account the fact that he’ll have to cover promotion and production — I doubt baby bro is giving Big Brother free beats unless that’s the reason Hov ditched Timbo — that album, almost certainly to be Blueprint 3, is gonna cost Chinese Democracy money. And as faith would have it, Axl’s status thus suffered.
So, BP3 may be the in-case-shit album for Jay’s Roc Nation. To make that $5 milliion worth it, he’s probably gonna have to build Detox-like anticipation by having Gay Fish speak on it every few months or so. In the mean time, Roc Nation will probably put out the Mickey Factz, Young Chris, and State Property albums. And in case shit happens and they all flop — which is the likely outcome in this climate— only then will Hov throw up the Hail Mary with BP3 to balance the books.
And then there’s Dre. Today, hiphopdx published a story confirming that a member of Dre’s new practice production squad — unfortunately not Mel-Man — has been working with Dre around the clock since they wrapped production on Relapse. However, December will mark a decade since Mel-Man and Scott Storch made the pifftastic 2001. At some point, you start to lose faith — as most have done so already.
Cuban Linx 2 could’ve been thrown in the mix but folks from some rap mags said they heard it and it’s raw as hell.
And so, all the aforementioned dudes carry impeccable Soundscan reps. So too did Eminem. But Relapse is reportedly only gonna move 650,000 units. That gets a pass for now but when you consider the promotion — Jimmy Kimmel stints, Skinemax music vid debut, etc. — is that good enough?
By the time any of those long-gestating albums drop, that 650,000 might be half and surely that wouldn’t cut it.
If the allure of the game keeps calling Jay, Wayne, and Dre’s names, then surely they may no longer be worth their weight in platinum, let alone gold.
– Devin Chanda