More of Lil Wayne's 'Rebirth' hits the Web; leak linked to Amazon
The seemingly never-ending delays may have come to an end, at least for those willing to traverse file-sharing sites. More tracks from Lil Wayne's long-awaited rock 'n' roll effort "Rebirth" have leaked, and industry trade Billboard is reporting that online retailer Amazon.com may have had a hand in getting the album in the hands of the as-yet-unknown culprit. About 500 copies of the album, writes the magazine, were shipped to fans who had pre-ordered the record, which had most recently been scheduled to be released on Dec. 21.
Universal Music Group has repeatedly delayed the Cash Money / Universal Motown effort since last spring, and it now set to finally be released on Feb. 1. Billboard writes that about 1 million copies of the album have been manufactured, and about a third of those have been sent to retail accounts.
Representatives for the Universal Music Group and Amazon.com did not respond to requests for comment.
Billboard's report follows the high-profile leak this morning of the track "Drop the World," which features Eminem. If true, Lil Wayne's "Rebirth" would not be the first album to hit the Web as the result of an Internet retailer. Earlier this year, Rolling Stone reported that Kelly Clarkson's "All I Ever Wanted" had made its way to the Web due to an error with the Norwegian outpost of Apple's iTunes store.
Lil Wayne is the last artist to sell more than 1 million copies of an album in a week, a feat accomplished by his "Tha Carter III," when it debuted last year. While the initial tracks released and leaked from "Rebirth" have failed to capture the sort of attention of his rap efforts, his star power isn't necessarily in doubt. To date, "Tha Carter III" has sold more than 3.3 million copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan.
The first single to emerge from "Rebirth" was "Prom Queen," which Billboard notes has sold 725,000 copies. More recently, the album's "On Fire" and "Da Da Da" were officially released. "On Fire" has yet to penetrate any major charts, but Billboard reports that it has sold 6,000 downloads since its Dec. 6 release.
If Universal does not bump up the release of "Rebirth," it will be arriving in stores just as Lil Wayne is expected to receive a year-long prison sentence. While it was known that the artist's sentencing would occur in February, the hearing is now officially set for Feb. 9, according to multiple reports.
-- Todd Martens
Photo credit: Jake Danna Stevens / Los Angeles Times