Less than three weeks after the U.S. iTunes Store's single-week album sales record was broken by Jay-Z & Kanye West's "Watch the Throne," it's been smashed again -- by Lil Wayne's new "Tha Carter IV."
"Carter" has sold over 300,000 downloads via iTunes in only its first four days of release, according to Cash Money/Universal Republic Records. That outpaces the 290,000 that "Throne" moved through iTunes in its entire first week.
"Carter's" achievement is all the more impressive because it's available through all digital and physical retailers, not just iTunes. Comparatively, "Throne" was sold exclusively through iTunes for its first four days of release.
Further, "Carter IV" is on its way to an overall first-week start of more than 850,000 copies -- digital and physical sales combined - according to industry prognosticators.
If "Carter IV" shifts 850,000 or more, it will instantly mark the biggest sales week for a hip-hop album (or one by a male artist), since his own "Carter III" bowed with 1.01 million on the June 28, 2008 chart according to Nielsen SoundScan.
"Carter III" is one of only 17 albums to have sold a million or more in one week since SoundScan began tracking data in 1991.Ã¢Â€Â¨Ã¢Â€Â¨"Carter IV" follows a pair of top-two sets for Wayne in 2010: "Rebirth" (No. 2) and "I Am Not a Human Being" (No. 1). They launched with 176,000 and 110,000 copies, respectively.
The tracking week ends on Sunday night, Sept. 4. We'll have the final, official Nielsen SoundScan weekly sales figures on Wednesday morning, Sept. 7.