Russ Questions Burna Boy's U.S. First Week Sales For "I Told Them..."

The math ain't mathin' for the rapper, and he hinted that Burna's much bigger and successful than any U.S. sales numbers could indicate.

BYGabriel Bras Nevares
Russ Burna Boy First Week Sales Hip Hop News

Burna Boy cemented himself as one of the biggest international artists of the past few years, and that's not because he's not from the United States. Not only does he find a lot of traction in those markets, but fans all over the world celebrate his talents and skill. Recently, the Nigerian singer, songwriter, and producer released his latest album, I Told Them..., and it debuted in the U.S. with 21K sales in its first week. While that's definitely a successful benchmark for someone of his caliber, some expressed disappointment with these numbers and surprise that it didn't sell more. Even rapper Russ had to step in on social media to give his thoughts, pointing to Burna's worldwide appeal and success.

"If Burna Boy is doin 21k (in America) and sellin out arenas in America as well, how come artists who sell more than that (in America) aren't doing arenas (in America) ?" Russ asked under DJ Akademiks' coverage of the sales numbers for I Told Them... "Take a wild guess [crying-laughing emoji]." Of course, many pointed out that these sales are just in U.S. markets, and don't reflect the attention he garnered in other countries. With this statement, the Atlanta-based MC posits that numbers aren't everything, whether that's artistically or commercially.

Read More: Burna Boy’s “I Told Them...” First-Week Sales Shock Social Media Users

Russ Speaks On Burna Boy's U.S. First Week Sales

In fact, Russ has his own issues with album numbers, as he recently claimed that Billboard disqualified sales from his recent project SANTIAGO. "Billboard & Luminate took away ANOTHER 4,000 of my REAL sales over the weekend," the 30-year-old tweeted. "Making that 10,000 sales total they took away from me while allowing major labels to fake their streams and sales and do monopolistic merch bundles. Only major labels are allowed to do merch bundles because the only approved vendor is a major label vendor. These numbers and charts are made up. The impact however is not. Shoutout to the fans."

Meanwhile, he actually sold 42K album-equivalent units, which is quite impressive nonetheless. Conversations around numbers expect the highest feasible success, and nine times out of ten, they don't forgive. Still, despite his complaints, the main takeaway is that any support from fans you get weighs much more than the commercial value you chase after. On that note, stick around on HNHH for the latest news and updates on Russ and Burna Boy.

Read More: Russ Recalls Drinking Before Interviews, Flexes Dr. Dre Co-Sign

  • Link Copied to Clipboard!
About The Author
Gabriel Bras Nevares is a music and pop culture news writer for HotNewHipHop. He started in 2022 as a weekend writer and, since joining the team full-time, has developed a strong knowledge in hip-hop news and releases. Whether it’s regular coverage or occasional interviews and album reviews, he continues to search for the most relevant news for his audience and find the best new releases in the genre. What excites him the most is finding pop culture stories of interest, as well as a deeper passion for the art form of hip-hop and its contemporary output. Specifically, Gabriel enjoys the fringes of rap music: the experimental, boundary-pushing, and raw alternatives to the mainstream sound. As a proud native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, he also stays up-to-date with the archipelago’s local scene and its biggest musical exponents in reggaetón, salsa, indie, and beyond. Before working at HotNewHipHop, Gabriel produced multiple short documentaries, artist interviews, venue spotlights, and audio podcasts on a variety of genres and musical figures. Hardcore punk and Go-go music defined much of his coverage during his time at the George Washington University in D.C. His favorite hip-hop artists working today are Tyler, The Creator, Boldy James, JPEGMAFIA, and Earl Sweatshirt.