You might have known by now, French Montana had an album coming. It was promoted everywhere from Worldstar to Hot 97 to 106 & Park. Montana also had videos with Fat Joe listening to the album and even mentioning “Illmatic” and “Reasonable Doubt” at one point. French himself said it would be album of the decade.
Well, last week saw the release of the New York MC’s debut album titled “Excuse My French“. The numbers are now in that shows that the album has sold only 56,000 copies in it’s first week.
The reaction to this news from the Hip-Hop community varies from: not surprised, amusement and shock. It seems like Hip-Hop hasn’t seen a reaction to news like this since Slaughterhouse dropped their album.
There were a few reasons why everyone was so shocked at the fact Slaughterhouse sold only 52,000 copies in the first week. One being: the fact that they had the Shady/Interscope records juggernaut behind them. Another being: The amount talent within the act with Crooked, Budden, Royce and Ortiz all being rated as lyricists by Hip-Hop purists.
“I’m trying to crack that big number when I drop. Man, I gotta crack at least 200 [thousand] or better.”
French Montana – Sirius XM Interview
French Montana has one similarity to Slaughterhouse in that respect and it is certainly not his lyricism. French Montana has been everywhere promoting “Excuse My French”. As noted before, he has been on all the usual shows/stations, doing the rounds in the media and also had the main advertisement spot on WorldStarHipHop.com – a website visited by millions per-month. He has Diddy and Rick Ross’ labels supporting his promotions. Yet, he has only amassed 56,000 in sales in the first week.
During his media tour, French Montana made a few interesting comments. When asked by MTV if he would buy any copies of his own album he said the following:
“Probably about… I’mma buy me enough to give out when I go out on tour. Like, a hundred out of my pocket. That’s $10 a piece. I’ll have the label buy a 1000 or something and I’ll take it from them. What I’mma buy? A hundred.”
This seems to be a huge contradiction to what he told AskMen.com:
“Um, honestly, I really believe it’s not what you sell, but where you end up at. I feel like it doesn’t matter how much I sell; I know what kind of product I have. It’s going to be legendary. I know it’s going to last forever. I know once people hear it, people will be like, “Damn. This is really it.” Look at Akon. He sold 17,000 first week; he ended up selling five million copies. Look at Shaggy. He sold 10,000 and ended up at 10 million.”
Although he has just made a fair point about Akon and Shaggy (who are singers) , it is a contradictory statement. If he believes it’s not what you sell, then why have his own label buy a 1,000 and buy 100 copies himself? He can’t be too confident in his own work if he has to buy his own product just to bump up numbers which apparently he thinks don’t matter.
Going by another statement made by French Montana, he believes you need a good product in order to get good numbers.
“The only thing that’s gonna sell is good product.”
French Montana – MTV Interview
With the current trend of album streams on the internet before any subsequent releases, the 56,000 number must reflect that people heard the streams and didn’t believe that it was worth purchasing when released.
It is no secret that not just Hip-Hop album sales are down but music sales are down, generally speaking. However, if you are hot then you will sell. Just look at Kendrick Lamar.
His debut album has sold 905,000 copies so far and it seems like it is only a matter of time before he hits the platinum mark. People might argue that Kendrick had assistance from a few features from Drake and Dr. Dre. On the flip-side, French Montana had features from Drake too, as well as Nicki Minaj (so far, “Freaks“ has 14 million hits on YouTube), Rick Ross, Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz. All artists that do big numbers themselves. He even tried to boost his album by getting the lyrically respected artists on the album too. Raekwon, Fabolous and Scarface all helped out Montana. It seemed like he had all the angles covered.
Even though album sales are down, “Excuse My French” has to be considered a flop. From the not 1 but 2 labels of MMG and Bad Boy Records it was released on; to the marketing and media put behind the album; to the feature-heavy track-list that boasted mainstream and lyrically acclaimed artists – “Excuse My French” had everything you could ever ask for if you wanted a successful album. However, from the average-at-best reviews and low first-week album sales, “Excuse My French” is going to be memorable – for flopping hard.
Hey, let’s give the guy some credit – at least he sold 4,000 more records than Slaughterhouse.