After a digital only release, this Def Jam/Cash Money/4mm partnership hints at labels limiting physical releases to increase profits.
Customers who purchase the “Def Jam Rapstar” video game at Best Buy retailers from October 12 through October 19 will receive a free included copy of I Am Not A Human Being. The inclusion of Wayne’s latest album in what is essentially a branded Hip Hop, karaoke video game, is another experiment in seeing how profitable it is for one of Rap’s best-selling current artists to abandon the physical platform altogether.
Earlier this year, retailers expressed concern because I Am Not A Human Being was digitally released two weeks prior to its physical release. The “Rapstar” partnership coincides with Tuesday’s physical release of the album, and appears to be part of Best Buy’s ongoing efforts to improve the decreasing sales of physical albums. Apple’s iTunes is currently the country’s number one retailer of legal, licensed music, while physical retailers such as Best Buy and Wal Mart are reducing the amount of space dedicated to selling physical albums.
Lil Wayne’s co-manager, Gee Robertson of Hip Hop Since 1978 explained the reasoning for the partnership in a prepared statement saying, “Part of our work as managers is to develop new ways for the artist and brand worlds to intersect. Lil Wayne himself is an avid gamer, and ‘Def Jam Rapstar’ is a new way for fans to interact with music, so it was a natural fit.”