Rap 2015, By The Numbers (So Far)


Tyler the Creator, Cherry Bomb © Odd Future

Last week, Brent Music Reviews was ‘blessed’ with R&B in 2015, By The Numbers (So Far). This week, enjoy the more fruitful Rap 2015, By the Numbers (So Far). The differences in the streaming and sales impact of rap in 2015 are dramatic. That said everyone knows that hip-hop has been one/if not the most successful genre of the year on the Billboard 200 this year. On this list, five albums sold greater than 100,000 copies. In R&B, nobody has surpassed that number. Here, for your reading pleasure, is Rap 2015, By The Numbers (So Far). 

1) Drake, If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late (Cash Money)

Drake, If You're Reading This You're Too Late © Cash MoneyRelease Date: 2/13/15

Chart peak position: #1

Debut impact (pure sales, tracks, streaming)535,000

Debut pure sales: 495,000

Commentary:  

Drake easily commands the boards as far as rap album streams and sales. The figures speak for themselves – 535K in overall impact with 495K pure sales (~93%). At the time of publication, If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late remains a fixture in the upper echelon of the Billboard 200.

 

2) Kendrick Lamar, To Pimp A Butterfly (Interscope)

Kendrick Lamar, To Pimp A Butterfly © Aftermath : Interscope

Release Date: 3/16/15

Chart peak position: #1

Debut impact (pure sales, tracks, streaming): 363,000

Debut pure sales: 324,000

Commentary: 

Kendrick Lamar boasts another one of 2015’s success stories, regardless of genre. It outsold his debut album, good Kid m.A.A.d City, in its first week. Good Kid m.A.A.d City was no slouch in the sales department itself. As of publication date, Kendrick Lamar’s album remains relevant on the Billboard 200 chart.

3) Meek Mill, Dreams Worth More Than Money (Atlantic)

Meek Mill, Dreams Worth More Than Money © Atlantic

Release Date: 6/29/15

Chart peak position: #1

Debut impact (pure sales, tracks, streaming): 246,000

Debut pure sales: 215,000

Commentary:

2015 has been a big year for Meek Mill and a good one so far. His numbers are stellar, infusing some life into the often-listless Billboard 200. Not only does Mill own the third largest impact/sales week for a rap album, his numbers also rank among the elite overall. 

4) Big Sean, Dark Sky Paradise (Def Jam)

Big Sean, Dark Sky Paradise © Def Jam 

Release Date: 2/24/15

Chart peak position#1

Debut impact (pure sales, tracks, streaming): 173,000

Debut pure sales: 139,000

Commentary:

2015 has been a much better year for Big Sean than 2013 was. His sophomore album, Hall of Fame never seemed to click with buyers. The same hasn’t been the case with Dark Sky Paradise, which gave the rapper his first number one album along with robust, six-figure numbers. Probably hasn’t hurt having hits like “I Don’t F**k With You” and “Blessings” boding in his favor.

5) A$AP Rocky, AT. LONG. LAST. A$AP (RCA)

A$AP Rocky, AT.LONG.LAST.A$AP © RCA

Release Date: 5/26/15

Chart peak position: #1

Debut impact (pure sales, tracks, streaming): 146,000

Debut pure sales: 117,000

Commentary:

While A$AP Rocky’s numbers were down from his 2013 debut album, they weren’t that far off. Plus, how many R&B artists were wishing their album could just break the 100,000 mark (non have as of publication). Rocky hasn’t been as successful as the aforementioned as of yet, but he’s selling more albums compared to others, particularly without having another hit like “Fuckin Problems” on his hands. 

6) Wale, The Album About Nothing (Atlantic)

Wale, The Album About Nothing © Atlantic

Release Date: 3/31/15

Chart peak position: #1

Debut impact (pure sales, tracks, streaming): 100,000

Debut pure sales: 88,000

Commentary:

Well the good news is that Wale scored another number one album with The Album About Nothing. Not so good is the album hasn’t had much staying power as far as mainstream relevancy. A single like “The Matrimony” isn’t likely to change that. Another “Slight Work,” “Bad,” or even “Clappers” maybe… 

7) Ludacris, Ludaversal (RCA)

Ludacris, Ludaversal © Def Jam

Release Date: 3/31/15

Chart peak position: #3

Debut impact (pure sales, tracks, streaming): 73,000

Debut pure sales: 62,000 

Commentary:

The numbers for Ludacris are actually ‘worse’ than they are because of how big he was at one time. No Ludaversal hasn’t sold well in the least, but there’s many a artist in 2015 who would love to brag that they sold 62,000 copies in week one.

 

8) Chris Brown & Tyga, Fan of a Fan the Album (RCA/Cash Money)

Chris Brown & Tyga, Fan of a Fan the Album © RCA/ Cash Money

Release Date: 2/24/15

Chart peak position#7

Debut impact (pure sales, tracks, streaming): 67,000

Debut pure sales: 51,000

Commentary:

Tyga should look at Fan of a Fan The Album this way – at least one of his projects sold a respectable amount of albums. That’s not to say Fan of a Fan The Album has been a big seller because IT HASN’T. But if you heard the same album that I heard, well, you’d ask yourself the question, “Does this deserve to sell more copies than it did?” The answer is a big fat NO.

 

9) Tech N9ne, Special Effects
Tech N9ne, Special Effects © Strange Music

Release Date: 5/4/15

Chart peak position: #4

Debut impact (pure sales, tracks, streaming): 66,000

Debut pure sales: 58,000

Commentary:

An artist like Tech N9ne is likely never to blow you away with his sales. That said the sales for Special Effects the first week are terrific, particularly considering its independently distributed.

10) Boosie BadAzz, Touch Down 2 Cause Hell (Atlantic)

Boosie Badazz, Touch Down 2 Cause Hell © Atlantic

Release Date: 5/26/15

Chart peak position: #3

Debut impact (pure sales, tracks, streaming): 64,000

Debut pure sales: 59,000

Commentary:

Boosie BadAzz has been around for a while – formerly as Lil Boosie – but he’s not exactly a household name to the mainstream. Therefore, the 59,000 copies he SOLD in pure sales is respectable. Now does anyone see Touch Down 2 Cause Hell going gold? NO.

11) Yelawolf, Love Story (Shady/Interscope)

Yelawolf, Love Story © Interscope

Release Date: 4/21/15

Chart peak position: #3

Debut impact (pure sales, tracks, streaming): 59,000

Debut pure sales: 51,000

Commentary:

Yelawolf came up in 2015. There’s no shame in 59,000/51,000 when Yelawolf’s debut album went nowhere back in 2011. Like Boosie no one expects gold status, but the improvement in sales can’t be undervalued.

12) Joey Bada$$, B4.DA.$$ (Cinematic/Pro Era)

Joey Bada$$, B4.DA.$$ © Cinematic Music Group / Pro Era

Release Date: 1/20/15

Chart peak position: #5

Debut impact (pure sales, tracks, streaming): 58,000

Debut pure sales: 54,000

Commentary:

Who is this guy? EXACTLY. Pro Era and Joey Bada$$ are very much underground and not household names in the mainstream, yet the first week numbers for B4.DA.$$ outpace that of more established pop and urban artists. Yeah this album plummeted, but hard to question the legitimacy of those first-week sales/streams.

13) Tyler, The Creator, CHERRYBOMB (Odd Future) 

Tyler the Creator, Cherry Bomb © Odd Future 

Release Date: 4/13/15

Chart peak position: #4

Debut impact (pure sales, tracks, streaming): 58,000

Debut pure sales: 51,000

Commentary:

If you still consider Tyler, the Creator underground, well then the numbers for CHERRYBOMB are respectable. However, if you consider Tyler as more mainstream or somewhere in between, the numbers are clearly underwhelming. 51,000 copies in sales is a better week in this day in age, but the unapologetic MC’s previous album Wolf fare better by nearly 40,000 copies. 

14) Rae Sremmurd, SremmLife (Interscope)

Rae Sremmurd, Sremmlife © Interscope

Release Date: 1/6/15

Chart peak position: #5

Debut impact (pure sales, tracks, streaming): 49,000

Debut pure sales: 34,000

Commentary:

For newbies, the numbers for Rae Sremmurd are okay. Notice, however, that streams/track sales make up 15,000 units of the first week, or ~31%. Wonder how much of that 31% is attributable to a hit like “No Flex Zone” or “No Type” being downloaded x number of times? 

15) Action Bronson, Mr. Wonderful (Atlantic)

Action Bronson, Mr. Wonderful © Atlantic

Release Date: 3/23/15

Chart peak position: #7

Debut impact (pure sales, tracks, streaming): 49,000

Debut pure sales: 44,000

Commentary:

Sales were okay for Mr. Wonderful considering the lack of a notable hit to drive bigger hype to the mainstream. The album hasn’t went anywhere, but then again, what would make it sell if not an electrifying single?

16) Lupe Fiasco, Tetsuo & Youth (Atlantic)

Lupe Fiasco , Tetsuo & Youth © Atlantic

Release Date: 1/13/15

Chart peak position: #14

Debut impact (pure sales, tracks, streaming): 42,000

Debut pure sales: ~39,000

Commentary:

For many, Tetsuo & Youth ranks as Lupe Fiasco’s best album. Unfortunately, sales and streams don’t support the critical enthusiasm. These numbers are the worst of Lupe’s career, no question.

17) Earl Sweatshirt, I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside: An Album By Earl Sweatshirt

Earl Sweatshirt, I Don't Like Shit, I Don't Go Outside- An Album by Earl Sweatshirt © Tan Cressida/Columbia

Release Date: 3/23/15

Chart peak position: #12

Debut impact (pure sales, tracks, streaming): 31,000

Debut pure sales: 27,000

Commentary:

Numbers are down from Doris, which debuted in the top 10 and nearly doubled up I Don’t Like in sales. The underground argument is legit her of course, particularly given the abrupt release of this project. Still, 27,000 copies won’t get you too far.

18) Vince Staples, Summertime ‘06 (Def Jam)

Vince Staples, Summertime '06 © Def Jam

Release Date: 6/30/15

Chart peak position: #39

Debut impact (pure sales, tracks, streaming): 14,000

Debut pure sales: ­~12,000

Commentary:

Vince Staples official debut has received critical raves, but the lack of promotion is an issue. Great if you have a terrific piece of artwork, but what about promoting it so more people can experience it’s excellence?

19) Kid Ink, Full Speed (RCA)

Kid Ink, Full Speed © RCA

Release Date: 2/3/15

Chart peak position: #14

Debut impact (pure sales, tracks, streaming): 39,000

Debut pure sales: 29,000

Commentary:

This was a no go. The album was panned and the sales didn’t pan out. End of story.

 

20) Lil Durk, Remember My Name (Def Jam)

Lil Durk, Remember My Name © Def Jam

Release Date: 6/2/15

Chart peak position: #14

Debut impact (pure sales, tracks, streaming): 28,000

Debut pure sales: 24,000

Commentary:

Can’t remember his name if he’s basically an unknown. His low impact and sales are representative of the fact he’s an unknown. 

21) Tyga, The Gold Album: 18th Dynasty

Tyga, The Gold Album- 18th Dynasty © Cash Money

Release Date: 6/30/15

Chart peak position: didn’t chart on Billboard 200

Debut impact (pure sales, tracks, streaming): N/A

Debut pure sales: 2,200

Commentary:

Tyga is not popular enough to drop a surprise album and expect it to sell, period. Yes, there’s a lot of noise behind the release of The Gold Album, but the way he went about it sure hasn’t paid any dividends. Epic Fail Tyga.

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