Drake takes over the number-one spot in the Billboard 200 albums chart dated April 8, knocking off Ed Sheeran‘s “÷” which held the top spot for the last two weeks. And he does so in dramatic fashion. The Canadian rapper’s new collection, “More Life,” was released on March 18 and dominated the week with 505,000 equivalent album units. That includes a record number of online streams for the album’s songs.
In calculating album sales, Billboard translates 1,500 streams into one album unit, and in one week the songs from “More Life” were streamed an astonishing 384.8 million times, translating to 257,000 units. That smashes the previous record, which was also held by Drake: his 2016 album “Views” was streamed 245.1 million times in its first week (163,000 album units).
“More Life” achieves another milestone for Drake in that it’s his seventh straight number-one album, tying him with Kanye West and Eminem for second place among hip-hop artists; Jay Z leads with 13 chart-toppers. The feat is especially impressive since these first-week numbers are fueled entirely by digital sales and streams. Physical copies of the album won’t be available until this Friday, March 31.
Will this commercial success set up Drake for awards success later on? This past year “Views” became his first album to earn a Grammy nomination for Album of the Year, and that was with reviews that aren’t nearly as glowing as he’s getting for “More Life.” This massive 22-track set has scored 84 on MetaCritic, which is his highest score ever on the review aggregator. However, Drake has expressed mixed feelings about the Grammys, claiming he doesn’t want the two rap awards he won for his hit song “Hotline Bling” as he felt he was in the wrong category.
Have you listened to “More Life” yet? Is it really his best album as the reviews would indicate? Comment below, and discuss this and more with your fellow music fans in our forums.