Drake album topped the Billboard 200 chart for three weeks after selling 505,000 album equivalent units in the first week. But just when Drake was getting comfortable in having the biggest debut of the new year, Kendrick Lamar came in and changed all that with his new album DAMN. The project sold 603,000 equivalent album units in the first week of it’s release to debut at the top of the chart and is showing no signs of slowing down. This position the TDE rapper to have the biggest hip hop album of the year, and possibly across all genre unless Rihanna, Taylor Swift, or Adele decides to release an album.
This is the third number one album released by Kendrick Lamar over the last two years after his 2015 project To Pimp a Butterfly debut at the top of the chart and his last year LP Untitled Unmastered also topped the chart. The first week sales for DAMN is even bigger than expected and marks the biggest debut for the Compton rapper to date. The LP was projected to sell anywhere between 530,000 and 550,000 units in the first week, but a surge in sales over the last few days of the week pushed it to 603,000 units as of April 20, Nielsen Music reported.
Breaking down the numbers, DAMN sold an impressive 227,000 streaming equivalent album units which equate to 340.6 million streams across streaming platforms. 353,000 copies came from traditional album sales through downloading of the digital copies while the rest of the sales from physical copies. This gave Kendrick Lamar the second biggest streaming debut in history for an album only after Drake’s More Life which was streamed 384.8 million times and holds the record for the most streams in one week.
Kendrick Lamar released the album on April 18 and made available four edition for the digital copy and also an autographed vinyl LP or CD version.