A few weeks ago, we clarified reports that Troy Ave‘s Major Without a Deal album had flopped after social media exploded with jokes about the LP’s weak first-week sales. Why would people celebrate someone’s failure so vigorously? Who knows! Perhaps people are evil, or perhaps it has something to do with Troy Ave’s none-too-humble attitude — aside from the album’s title brag, he tweeted the record was “selling the f— out in Best Buy,” a claim that the physical sales numbers simply don’t back up. Plus, the low sales were surprising: This album features numerous heavy-hitters (Rick Ross, Jeezy, Ty Dolla $ign and A$AP Ferg) and it got plenty of hype. So at the very least, its failure was surprising.
Anyway, Twitter was partially correct. The album did move fewer than 5,000 (approximately 4,000, in fact) copies in its first week — but the judgment was premature. Unlike most albums in their first sales frame, Major Without a Dealwas only available digitally for three of the seven tracking days. In short, mocking Troy Ave’s album sales wasn’t quite fair — at least, at the time.
Well, three tracking periods later (this includes two full sales weeks), it’s time to make a judgment on his debut sales. And looking at the numbers, it seems like Twitter’s was right to ridicule — Major Without a Deal is a flop.
Despite a healthy amount of coverage, hype and guest stars, Major Without a Deal has moved approximately 9,000 copies in three tracking periods.
For comparison, Joey Bada$$ — whom Ave recently went after on Twitter, blasting him as “fake independent” — moved 54,00 copies of B4.DA.$$ in its first week. Who’s fake indie vs. real indie might be a subjective question, but one thing is objectively true: This album is not selling. It moved 4,000 in that first abbreviated sales week, followed by 3,000 copies in its second frame. And finally, it sold less than 2,000 copies in its third week.
Could things turn around? Sure. Troy Ave seems to be able to keep himself in the media narrative one way or another. And of course, sales are separate from quality — it’s easy to get lost in the winner-takes-all music business mentality, but low-selling classics can often outlast blockbuster mainstream albums in the long run.
Is Troy Ave’s album one of those? Well, that’s up for history to decide. Check back on Billboard.com in 10 years.