13K is about where his level of recognition is. They count streams, if someone had trouble finding a physical they could've streamed or copped digitally, at the end of the day he sold 13K And that's counting the copies Def Jam bought.
Son is doin Troy Ave #s on Def Jam.
People barley know him, lining shelves with his album wouldn't change that.
Level of recognition is a tricky one these days. Is 13K representative of his static # of followers? Or does it represent ones followers that actually were willing to give you money for their art in a landscape where music is free?
I'd say it was the latter. One of the ill things about the current landscape is that it's easier to identify artists from all over the world with relatively significant audiences. things like soundcloud, audiomack, YouTube, etc, have become tools to create art and interface directly with your desired audience(s). It's essentially the digital age's approach to flipping CDs out of the trunk. only this time, you're giving out samples that you hope will entice one enough to become a regular customer.
I say all that to say this: if you look at Vince's soundcloud, YouTube, or any other places where you can listen to his work for free, the views/streams are in the millions. Isn't that more of an indicator of one's true reach?
I do agree that a major is not a place for Vince staples, or someone like Troy ave. it's more sense for them interface directly with their consumers and monetize their art independently.
He could have honestly done 13k or something close to it on his own.