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Kanye West’s ‘Yeezus’ Takes Second Week Sales Plunge

The Image Gate, Getty Images

It looks like ‘Yeezus’ will not become the soundtrack to the summer that Kanye West imagined it would be. The album took a precipitous drop in sales in its second week, selling a mere 65,000 copies. This is an 80% decrease from its first week numbers, the largest decline between first and second weeks since Madonna’s ‘MDNA’ album last year.

‘Yeezus’ fell to third place this week, behind Wale‘s ‘The Gifted,’ which sold 158,000 copies in its first week, and J. Cole‘s ‘Born Sinner,’ which sold 84,000 copies. After two weeks, Cole and Kanye West are neck-and-neck in album sales, an incredible coup for Cole.

The dramatic fall in sales for Kanye is due to a variety of factors, perhaps starting with his whole “no strategy” campaign. Not only was the initial rollout minimal, restricted to wall projections of ‘New Slaves’ and select concert appearances (almost all of which occurred in New York City), but the album’s packaging itself, with no artwork at all. Meanwhile, the music itself was a huge departure from Kanye’s last album, ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.’ It would appear that ‘Yeezus’ did not resonate well amongst potential buyers, who have perhaps moved towards ‘Born Sinner’ because it fits a mold better. However, it is worth noting that ’808s & Heartbreaks,’ Kanye’s last experimental album, entirely done in autotune, sold over 450,000 copies in its first week.

That said, there is no reason to consider ‘Yeezus’ a commercial failure just yet. Def Jam has rolled out ‘Black Skinhead’ as the official single for the album, and a video is expected to come out soon.

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