Artist Salute Mixes


NEWS: How Did Tyrese Achieve A No.1 Album?

NEWS: How Did Tyrese Achieve A No.1 Album?

Tyrese’s objective was straight forward; make his sixth and final solo LP Black Rose the No. 1 album in the country independently and prove to the naysayers that pure R&B is still a viable genre despite the lagging numbers. By. Any. Means. Necessary.

Mission accomplished. Toss the confetti. Do the Tootsie Roll. Light the cigar. After three and a half years in the making, his swan song was released on July 10 and has since accumulated 86,000 equivalent album units earned, according to Nielsen Music, making it the No. 1 album on the Billboard 200.

It took an extraordinary effort. Gibson sometimes had to make a slam fool out of himself to accomplish his feat. Without the backing of a major label, the singer/actor took it upon himself to take care of the ground work for the project. Aside from your standard press run that involves radio and show appearances, and in-store signings, he went the extra mile (more like mile and a half) in order to ensure the album’s success. That required him to do some rather non-standard things. Like, bro, what in the ha-el are you doing, type of things. No matter how awkward, whether it was accosting random people on the subway in NYC, or trying to show fans that he still has the juice on the dancefloor, Tyrese wasn’t above putting that work in to reach his goal.

Here are 9 stunts Tyrese pulled in the name of album promotion that probably helped him obtain the first No. 1 album of his career.

He Became Tyrese-Astotle

In the year leading up to the release of this album, Tyrese became a social media maven, building up a huge following on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. How’d he do it? By becoming Steve Harvey without the game show. All he needed was a book deal and the “I post up in middle school parking lots” mustache. Every time you looked up, the “Sweet Lady” crooner was posting lengthy, in depth, thought provoking motivational speeches. If you post it, they will come. And the Fast and Furious actor has amassed over 4 million Instagram followers, 26 million likes on Facebook, and 3.2 million Twitter minions.

Resulting album sales: 20,322

He Advertised on the Subway

A great way to promote is to take your message straight to the people. Gibson tried to do just that walking onto a subway car in Brooklyn and advertising his album directly to the riders. It faired a little bit better than Brandy’s attention seeking subway ride (not much), but still not everyone was feeling the message. Others were impressed by the grassroots vibe. But one guy was extremely, extremely receptive. For. No. Apparent. Reason.

Resulting album sales: 29, half of which were purchased by that one guy.

He Did Promo with a Hobo

Next, the singer took it to the streets using a homeless woman who was catching some ZZZs as a means to hilariously drive home the point that labels think people are sleeping on R&B. Yeah, that really happened. He didn’t even toss an envelope of cash in her pocket for her services, like Akeem in Coming To America. He apparently caught some flak for the stunt as he later apologized for disrespecting the destitute. But he made his point in the faux ad. Any publicity is good publicity anyway, right? Right? (Kanye smile turned deadpan face).

Resulting album sales: 0 (boycott considered)

He Reenacted His 1994 Coca-Cola Commercial

The 1994 Coca-Cola commercial put Tyrese on the map. So what better way to bring things full circle when closing out his solo career than reenacting the whole thing 21 years later? Corny? Yeah. Nostalgic? Hell yeah. For those of us old enough to remember that long ago, at least. The bus was slightly less crowded this time around, and there was no chick giving him the googly eyes. But it still came off as yet another slick promo move.

Resulting album sales: 3,000 (all by Coca-Cola)

He Held an Album Signing at Century 21

Tyrese Album signing

Most people have their album signings at young hip locations like the mall or shoe stores where people come to get their LP signed as well as the latest pair of Js or a Supreme hoodie. Not Rese. Of all the spots in NYC, he chose discount retailer Century 21 to hold his meet and greet. Which is something like a few steps up from having the event at the Goodwill. A man of the people.

Resulting album sales: 256 (all by MILFs and BBWs)

He Called Fans

All he wanted was a little feedback. In the midst of his campaign, Gibson promised to call fans directly in exchange for their proof of pre-order and written review of his two videos. It was like the opposite of the Mike Jones strategy, probably lighter on the phone bill too. Equal amounts of struggle, though. Yet, probably somewhat effective.

Resulting album sales: 104
Resulting stalkers acquired: 2

He Went to the Store and Checked on the Product

Following their release date, most artists sit back and wait for the numbers to come in. Not Tyrese. After hearing that stores were selling out of his new album shortly after it dropped, he took a field trip to a Target in Atlanta to see if his product was moving, like a paranoid drug dealer. He even stamped a few copies with the scorpion seal signed a few of the CDs that were on the shelf. Every sale counts, we guess.

Resulting album sales: 5 (all by that one Target employee who promptly put the CDs on Ebay)

He Took the Black Rose Challenge

If you were a business owner what would you do to get an advertisement for your product out to 74 million people? Put up your entire budget? Offer a cut of your company? Tell the person offering the advertisement, you got these cheeseburgers? (wink, wink) Will Smith offered to post an ad for Black Rose on his Facebook page which has 74 million likes. But there was one catch. All Tyrese had to do was jump in a pool, fully clothed in winter attire. Did he do it? You damn right he did? (cash register sound) Thanks, Mike Lowrey!

Resulting album sales: 10,206
He Put Out a Pure R&B Album!!!!!!


August 14th, 2015

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