Lil Wayne - 1

Despite intentional leaks and controversies with mixtape djs, New Orleans rapper Lil’ Wayne has sold over one million albums in his opening week.

According to Billboard, Tha Carter III will officially debut on Nielsen’s SoundScan tomorrow morning just over the million mark; the first album to do so since 50 Cent‘s 2005 project, The Massacre.

Universal Motown president Syliva Rhone was one of the few who believed the rapper could reach the one million mark. She credited this probability to Weezy’s ever-growing fanbase and the rapper’s constant guest appearances translating to loyal consumers eager to buy the album.

“Over the last three years, Lil’ Wayne has addressed his fanbase through tours of clubs and arenas, going into markets three and four times, appeared on other artists’ records and made plenty of mix tapes,” she told Variety last week. “He nurtured the fanbase, and it grew. Go to [his] show and you see an audience that is 50 percent black and 50 percent white and mostly male. I think this record will start to increase the female audience.”

In addition to physical sales, Wayne set records on digital services like iTunes, ringtones, and MySpace plays, which totaled 130 million last Friday alone.

As previously reported by SOHH, the self-proclaimed “Greatest Rapper Alive” was in line to out-sell both Mariah Carey and Usher‘s latest albums total first week sales combined just a day after his album dropped. Carey’s E=MC2 and Usher’s Here I Stand sold 463,000 and 433,000 respectively.

Before Tha Carter III hit stores last week, speculation of the release not performing well grew as various djs including DJ Chuck T intentionally leaked the album due to controversial comments made against them.

The Massacre was the last album to have reached the one million mark in a week’s time span. Released in March 2005, it sold approximately 1.14 million copies in only four days.