Superstar albums and early leaks go hand in hand, as Lil Wayne knows too well. In 2007, songs from the rap titan's sixth LP, Tha Carter III, leaked months in advance, forcing him to retool the set for a 2008 release. Online habits haven't changed since, but when Wayne's manager, Cortez Bryant, spoke to Rolling Stone on August 24th, he had high hopes that Wayne's new album, Tha Carter IV, would break the streak.
"I think we're lucky this time." Bryant said of Wayne's ninth album, which was officially set to premiere on iTunes at midnight on August 29th after his closing performance at the MTV Video Music Awards, and everywhere else that same day. "We held it until the last moment we could, and we didn't send any songs or beats by e-mail - we used iChat, or a person had to get on a plane to share music...I'm knocking on wood before I get off the phone with you and it's all over the Internet."
Hours later, Tha Carter IV leaked. As fans sucked up bandwidth to download it, others wondered