Wiz Khalifa’s Taylor Allderdice mixtape once again showed us the power of digital music, and how powerless physical music is. Khalifa’s Taylor Allderdice almost immediately crashed DatPiff due to the thousands of fans rushing to download Khalifa’s first solo project since Rolling Papers. Rostrum Records CEO, Benjy Grinberg, tweeted that Khalifa’s DatPiff page was getting over 20,000 refreshes a second! LiveMixtapes soon followed and crashed as well. In total, Khalifa Man took down two websites in a matter of 15 minutes. Although these numbers are impressive, they shouldn’t really surprise anybody anymore. Rick Ross’ Rich Forever crashed LiveMixtapes itself. Led by “Stay Schemin'”, Rozay had every blog in the sphere buzzing. These events combined with the Careless World & WZRD stats, reassure that physical music is no longer necessary to survive in this era. The physical CD is irrelevant, just like any artist who completely relies on it.
Wiz Khalifa, and Rick Ross proved that an artist doesn’t need an album to create hype. Actually, sometimes more hype surrounds around a mixtape. It’s just a different experience when everyone listens to the same thing at the same time. Leaks have ruined that experience for physical CD’s. As of right now, Taylor Allderdice has 2.5 million views on DatPiff with 680,000 downloads. On DatPiff, Rozay has 2.3 million views, and 1.1 million downloads. LiveMixtape numbers have been excluded since they do not provide exact download numbers. Like I said, sometimes mixtapes stir up more buzz than albums. At one point, mixtapes were considered compliments to albums, but they’re starting to become the main attraction. Musically, many fans appreciate mixtapes more than albums. How many times have you seen, “Kush & OJ>Rolling Papers,” or “Dedication’s>Tha Carter’s?” A mixtape is no longer just a compliment to an album.
Rich Forever, and Taylor Allderdice definitely raised more than a few eyebrows. But, nothing raised more eyebrows than the Careless World, and WZRD sales figures. Due to an unauthorized sample on his album, Tyga’s Careless World was recalled from retailers. Little to no physical copies were sold during Tyga’s first week. Surprisingly, Tyga still moved an impressive 61,000 albums nabbing him a #4 debut. Many of his teenage fans were going to digitally buy his album anyways, so the impact of these numbers were somewhat downplayed. A few weeks after that, Kid Cudi & Dot Da Genius dropped WZRD. WZRD fans are a little older than Tyga fans, so when Cudi accused Universal Republic of under-shipping the album, not many expected a top 5 debut. Shockingly, WZRD debuted at #3 with 66,000 copies sold. If it weren’t for Adele’s 21, and Whitney Houston’s Greatest Hits, Cudi & Dot would’ve topped the charts. In both of these cases, physical albums played a minor role, yet albums were still sold at an impressive rate. Physical CD’s are no longer necessary to survive.
These Tyga fans who bought Careless World, their children will not even know what a CD is. We all know the CD is going out of fashion, but we never knew it was disappearing this fast. We’re 3 months into the year, and we’ve already had 4 events that prove that physical music is practically worthless. As proved by Rick Ross, and Wiz Khalifa, you no longer need an album to generate hype. Their mixtapes will probably generate more hype than their albums. Tyga, and WZRD showed us that even with little physical albums on store shelves, an artist can still produce big numbers. Personally, I’d rather have a physical album because I feel like I actually bought something. I might have to change my habits though. In 5-10 years, CD’s will probably become extinct because as of right now, they’re an endangered species.