When physical cd were still a thing before digital took over selling gold or platinum in a day was a common thing with some of the industry heavyweights.
Infact before my time artists like Lucky Dube we selling American platinum numbers like a million tapes.
To achieve this you also needed the support of a major recording company like Sony,BMG,Gallo or Universal to get this type of confidence from the buyers as an artist.
Over time the indusry shrunk and selling 500,000 was a benchmark which artists like Mandoza,TKZee, Brenda Fassie etc achieved
As the world was approaching a slump selling 100,000 cds was the new benchmark and groups like Mafikizolo were selling those numbers.
Turn to 2015 selling 20,000 is a big deal but to sell that in hop hop is even bigger.
Until Cassper Nyovest the only artists that sold platinum in hip hop were Pitch Black Afro and Skwatta Kamp.
So how did a first day gold album work in those days you ask?
Artist who had a track record of selling well received pre-orders when they released their new albums. Its something like what iTunes does but instead of one user making a pre-order it's a company ordering for a lot of chain stores that inlcude Musica,CNA,Shoprite,Clicks,Reliable Hawkers etc.
There’s a differene between pre-order gold or platinum and sell-through gold or platinum.
Pre-Order Gold or Platinum means you have an order of stock worth platinum or gold that will be in a store, sell through means people have walked in the store and purchased your album till it went gold or platinum.
An artist can only receive a certificate and gold plaque from RISA - a company that protects artist rights - once the albums have sold in store.
Record lables or artists would be required to submit invoicing and sales to RISA to verify this.
It is said that receiving a gold plague or platinum plaque before your pre-order is sold is unethical, but to still have a pre order like that is a sign of huge confidence in the industry and is applaudabe.It also requires a lot go capital to print 20,000 cd at one go.
If Redds purchased iFanis' albums which they are denying its not a big deal cause like I told my friend Sizwe Dhlomo we shouldnt hate on a brother when he works smarter.
If he sold pre-orders but he has a plaque experts say that its probably not verified by RISA.
You see what everyone is missing is that there are two representatives from Sony that are handing iFani the plaque.
Also remember I said pre order deals were something only major companies could do and they also did it for their key artists. They normally make these artists sign artists deals where the lable takes a chunk of the profit cause they take the highest risk.
So when you see iFani posting videos on radio stations,doing promo tours and signings at cd stores the lable is carrying all those costs hoping to recoup.
Therefore iFani had a dream and he achieved it cause it's a big deal to have a pre-order of 20,000 but the people that really need to come clean is the recording company cause they obviously taking the most risk and therefore are benefitting the most from this.
They need to tell us how they helped iFani achieve it instead of keeping quiet cause like Xenophobia we’ll keep attacking our own but won't ask the right questions from the institutions.
If it's a big secret Sony should atleast share it with AKA cause his also signed to them.
You see how they got us fighting each other while they silently eat in the background?
Anyway I digress.
Basically iFani had a dream but when it came to facilitating Sony had the answers.
So lets redirect our questions to Sony not to the visionary…….this is if Redds really didn't buy the album.
On a personal note I want to make all y'all aware that AKA,Ifani,Cassper and even KO sales are a huge achievement and hip hop is probably the only youth genre making these sales. I think our focus should be celebrating that,everything else is in the spirit of competition this for me was all a dream a few years ago and Im grateful Im alive to see it happen. Please listen to a track from Skwatta Kamps KhutnJoyn called One Day. You'll understand where we come from and they never thought hip hop would take it this far.
What are your thoughts?