Kendrick Lamar released his critically acclaimed fourth studio album, “DAMN,” on April 14, and in its first seven days it passed Drake‘s “More Life” to become the biggest debut of 2017. It tops the Billboard 200 albums chart (dated May 6) with 603,000 equivalent album units, which beats Drake’s 505,000 units back in March.
Billboard’s equivalent album unit measure is based on multiple factors: traditional album sales, individual track sales, and online streams. Lamar’s debut was even bigger than expected, with 353,000 traditional sales included in its tally. That’s the biggest one-week sales figure of 2017 so far. On top of that, songs from the album were streamed a whopping 340 million times.
This is the third number-one album for Lamar, following his Grammy winning “To Pimp a Butterfly” (2015) and “Untitled Unmastered” (2016), but “DAMN” is his biggest debut to date. And those aren’t the only big numbers for the album. It has also scored 96 on MetaCritic as of this writing, which makes it the most acclaimed album of the year so far.
Now that it’s a critical and commercial success, could Grammys be far behind? Lamar’s last two studio albums, “Good Kid, M.A.A.D City” (2012) and “Butterfly” (2015) both earned Grammy nominations for Album of the Year. The latter helped earn him 11 Grammy nominations in 2016, a record for a hip-hop artist in a single year. To date Lamar has won seven Grammys overall, but never in the general field.
Have you listened to “DAMN” yet? Let us know what you think in the comments below, and discuss Lamar with your fellow music fans in our forums.