Lil Wayne’s success has been used as an example from the pro-filesharing camp. Countless outlets have reported that while Lil Wayne was, at a handful of points of time, the most pirated artist- he has been the most legally downloaded artist as well. And when his albums were leaked, it only seemed to increase the hype and sales (particularly of Tha Carter III). This phenomenon has only been witnessed in a handful of artists, however- the situation does not arise often enough for a definitive trend. Another aspect is cellphone ringtone sales- Lil Wayne tops those charts too- which offer considerable profit to the label and the artist.
Analysts also attribute his success to his mixtapes. While the industry discourages unofficial releases such as these mixtapes, analysts insist that it creates a growing interest in the artist, which turns into more ticket sales.
Lil Wayne embraced his unauthorized leaks and offered a fix to take advantage of his leaks:
“We have to find out exactly what’s out there. I’ll probably just [collect] all the songs that’s floating around and make my own mixtape called “The Leak” since people want the music so bad.”
And in a third interview for XXL Magazine:
“I hear people’s stuff that get leaked, and nobody be knowing that that’s they album, because they just not into it. But for something of mine to get out there—“Oh my God, we got Tha Carter 3!” To know they that excited about a song makes me keep doing my thing. To me, you gotta be better than your last.”