It might have slipped by, but during Drake's performance on the American Music Awards Sunday night (Nov. 20), the MC dropped in a lyrical reference to Billboard's prediction that his critically lauded second full-length, " Take Care," will debut with more than 700,000 first-week sales when the charts are published tomorrow.
As noted by MTV News, while Drake was performing "Headlines," he switched up the lyrics to reference the projected first-week numbers of "Take Care."
"If we talkin' bout the numbers/ Man, it look like 700, they know," Drake added to a song whose lyrics are already about the temptations, trappings and isolation of fame; that verse begins, "I be yelling out money over everything, money on my mind / Then she want to ask when it got so empty / Tell her I apologize, happened over time."
Drake's mentor and label chief, Lil Wayne, however, told the site he's not concerned about numbers - with the caveat, "Pardon me for sounding however I sound with this statement, but we rich as sh--, so numbers and record sales that doesn't matter to none of us."
"As far as expectations, we don't have those around here," he continued. "Expectations are a weakness in the music business because if you expect anything, 10 times out of 10 it's not gonna happen, so we don't have expectations around here. What we do expect is ... to work very hard and we expect people to respect our hard work and our effort. Now, as far going to buy the album, as far as going to get 750,000 copies, that's never a problem with us; that's never important to us."
Of course, Wayne can afford to feel that way: His "Carter III" LP moved more than a million copies in its first week in 2008, and in August, his "Carter IV" sold more than 964,000 units in its first week.
Drake's 2010 debut full-length, "Thank Me Later," sold an impressive 447,000 in its first week and debuted at No. 1 in June of last year.
Drake told Billboard.biz earlier this month that leaks "can only help" - much of "Take Care" leaked nine days before its release - and it looks like in his case, that may be true.