As chart disasters go, few come as high-profile as Mariah Carey‘s latest album ‘Me. I Am Mariah…The Elusive Chanteuse’.
An apt title, the LP has experienced elusive sales – and that’s putting it politely.
Debuting with career low numbers in the US (see: 58k), the set also tanked in the UK where it premiered at #14 with sales of 6500.
Recent trend among the singer’s fan-base has been to blame her manager, friend, and longtime collaborator Jermaine Dupri – who this week clapped-back at the critique.
During a stop at The Breakfast Club yesterday, where he visited to promote R&B quad Jagged Edge, the hitmaker couldn’t escape the Mimi questions and was flat-out asked about the project’s appalling numbers.
Find out what he had to say after the jump, where TGJ’s weigh-in on the madness also awaits…
Charlamagne: JD, why do you think the Mariah Carey’s album didn’t do so well?
Jermaine Dupri: Er….er….it was….uh…put out in a way that made it difficult for people to understand. Um. She didn’t want people to hear the music before the music actually came out. So that makes it difficult for you to promote a project. And the public is drawn to the (traditional) way we (as an industry) promote. We come up here on The Breakfast Club and talk about their records before their records come out, like we’re doing right now (with Jagged Edge). She did that. But at the same time, she wasn’t playing music. And I feel that has a lot to do with it. I have to respect the way she wants to put her record out. That’s her (decision) as an artist. She’s not really concerned about sales because she understood that she put her record out in a certain way and that’s the way she wanted to do it. She went on Letterman and didn’t perform. She wanted to talk about the record instead. And for some people, they don’t want to listen to talking.
DJ Envy: Why did she want to do that?
JD: She wanted people to hear the music as a body of work. Wu Tang done something similar. So, as a person who respects artists, you have to respect how they want to put their music out.
I also come from the era where you sold 15,000 records the first week and you go on to sell ten million. So, ultimately, I know what the plan is for Mariah’s record right now, so I think people are going to be talking about what happened afterwards rather than what happened in the beginning. She’s known for selling a lot of records, so people talk about the first week but I think we got to get out of that (way of thinking) anyway.
DJ Envy: I hear this is her last album with Def Jam/Universal and that she might be moving back over to L.A Reid. Any truth to that?
JD: We don’t know. Right now we’re at Def Jam. I learned my lesson from (telling people what we’re doing) (laughs), so…we’re working with Def Jam and we’re going to make it do what it do.
Watch from the 36:19 mark…
TGJ Weighs In…
The fairytales and fallacies.
Do we respect JD and all he’s accomplished? Of course. Yet, there comes a point where one must call a spade a spade. And the fact he’s not doing that – even after “those” sales – is a smouldering hot mess.
Given that Dupri only came on as Mimi’s manager late last year, it’s entirely unfair to burden him with the blame for the muckiness of this album’s near two-year campaign. However, his comments here highlight what the ultimate problem is. Mariah herself.
For an artist so seasoned as she, it’s almost tragic to see her so unaware of her own predicament that she’d hire a friend to manage such an important phase of her career.
Should a manager respect their client? Naturally. However, they should also have the foresight and the firmness to say “no” when presented with silly ideas such as Mariah’s to shun promo and let folk hear it as a “body of work”.
Sis, this is not 1995 and sales very rarely start steady then boom; especially for an artist like Mariah. Slow-burning sales more often than not occur with acts that the masses are just getting to know and not major names like Mimi that that most have had over 20 years to form an opinion about.
Worse still, even if she does cross over to a new label, there is the automatic task of sanitizing her stained reputation of this nightmare campaign to entice the masses to buy her next. Not an impossible task, but a hefty one nonetheless.
Put simply, Team MC has a lot to do. Perhaps the first step should be offering a truthful explanation for this mess of an “era” – even if coated in P.C. After all, people respond much better to truth than concocted spin that serves only to make the matter worse.
Moral of the story? Stand firm in your word and walk in your talk.