Rapper and business mogul, Kanye West, turned heads and got tongues wagging over his historic album listening for his 10th studio album, ‘Donda’ named after his late mother.
This is not the first big album listening for the super star but this was overly huge and had business written all over it – a cue most of our Ghanaian artistes can emulate.
Here in Ghana, artistes, including the A-List acts do take album listening seriously but not as critical as their major concerts. Out there, persons like Kanye West take every venture seriously.
While you have the likes of Sarkodie and Stonebwoy use bars and outlets for their album listening, Kanye chooses a stadium!
Mercedes-Benz Stadium has a seating capacity of 71,000. The venue sold out in less than a week for the listening party. It attracted a crowd reflective of hip-hop’s wide reach — fans from all diverse backgrounds and age groups who wanted to get a glimpse into his 10th studio album.
Most album listening organized by Ghanaian artistes are done for free or via a special invitation, except for Sarkodie, who charged minimally for his ‘No Pressure’ album listening in Kumasi recently.
The listening party for Kanye West, announced on a week prior, set off a scramble for tickets originally priced at $20 and $50, which sold within days. West donated 5,000 tickets to the Atlanta University Center Consortium, which includes heralded HBCUs Spelman College, Clark Atlanta University and Morehouse College. Local restaurateur Pinky Cole gave away 1,000 tickets.
Kanye has won big in fashion after such a successful run in music and it was just clear that he would make a fashion statement during the album listening and he did.
He has a shoe/sneaker partnership with Adidas and a clothing partnership with GAP, so when it came to his outfit choice, all eyes were glued to what he’d pulled out of his wardrobe. Dressed in a red puffer jacket from his upcoming YZY Gap line, a tan mask, red pants and a pair of unreleased Adidas Yeezy 1020V, Kanye came ready to show out.
Once outdoored, the expectation is for fans to go out there and purchase and the orders are already up.
Ghanaian artistes are lackadaisical when it comes to merchandizing. For some reason, they are still lost on the business power in that regard, sadly!
Merchandise t-shirts sold at Kanye West’s listening party begun to resell for several times their value online, with some lots listed for $1,000.
The long-sleeved tees were available for sale exclusively at the listening event held at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The cream t-shirts featured the Mercedes-Benz logo and event details on the front while the back shows a childhood picture of Kanye’s late mother Donda West who inspired the album’s title.
The shirts retailed at the event for $120 and have begun to trickle online for resell with listings of the tees looking for up to $1000, with tops selling on average for $300-$400 each.
According to the photos that circulated on the social media platform, Yeezy’s air from the event was selling online for over $3,000. Yes, Ziplock bags of O2 were for sale to the highest bidder.
The sold-out session of 42,000 fans and celebrities who were present were made to pay more, where basic refreshments like popcorn, chicken tenders, hot dogs and other snacks were at exorbitant prices.
That’s how you take advantage of your celebrity status to make money.