J. Cole’s fifth studio album, KOD, roars in at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart with 2018’s biggest week for an album, as the set earned 397,000 equivalent album units in the week ending April 26, according to Nielsen Music. The album — released on April 20 via Dreamville/Roc Nation/Interscope Records — also notches the largest streaming week of the year, and the third-largest streaming week ever.
KOD is J. Cole’s fifth consecutive No. 1 on the Billboard 200, following his four previous studio sets: 4 Your Eyez Only (2016), 2014 Forest Hills Drive (2014), Born Sinner (2013), and Cole World: The Sideline Story (2011). Four of his five No. 1s opened in the top slot. Only Born Sinner missed a No. 1 debut, as it bowed at No. 2 and then moved to No. 1 in its third week on the list.
The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). The new May 5-dated chart (where J. Cole bows at No. 1) will be posted in full on Billboard's websites on Tuesday, May 1.
Here are some fast facts about J. Cole’s debut at No. 1 with KOD:
-- Biggest week of 2018 for an album: KOD launches with 397,000 equivalent album units earned. That surpasses 2018’s previous largest week, registered when Justin Timberlake’s Man of the Woods bowed at No. 1 with 293,000 units on the chart dated Feb. 17. KOD logs the biggest week for any album since Taylor Swift’s reputation started atop the tally dated Dec. 2, 2017 with 1.238 million units.
-- Biggest week for a hip-hop album in nearly a year: KOD’s debut of 397,000 units is the biggest week for a hip-hop album since Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. opened at No. 1 with 603,000 units on the chart dated May 6, 2017 (reflecting the tracking week ending April 20).
-- Largest streaming week of 2018 for an album: Of KOD’s overall starting unit sum, 215,000 were in SEA units. That figure translates into 322.7 million on-demand audio streams of the album’s tracks in its opening week (each SEA units equals 1,500 on-demand audio streams). That’s by far the largest streaming week of 2018 for an album, surpassing the debut of Migos’ Culture II (149,000 SEA units; 224.6 million on-demand audio streams on the chart dated Feb. 10, reflecting the tracking week ending Feb. 1.)
-- Third-largest streaming week ever for an album: KOD’s tally of 322.7 million first-week on-demand audio streams for its tracks is the third-biggest streaming week for an album. The only larger weeks were posted by the debut frames of Lamar’s DAMN. (340.6 million on-demand audio streams of its tracks in the week ending April 20, 2017) and Drake’s More Life (384.8 million, week ending March 30, 2017). (Also impressive: KOD achieved its streaming sum with only a 12-song track list. DAMN. and More Life have 14 and 22 tracks, respectively.)
-- Second-largest sales week of 2018: With 174,000 in traditional album sales, KOD has the second-largest sales week of the year, trailing only the debut frame of Man of the Woods (242,000).
At No. 2 on the new Billboard 200, Cardi B’s former No. 1, Invasion of Privacy, moves up one spot in its third week on the list with 91,000 units (down 30 percent).
A Perfect Circle returns with its first studio album since 2004, and fourth top 10 set, as Eat the Elephant debuts at No. 3 with 68,000 units (of which 63,000 were in traditional album sales). The act was last on the list in 2013 with the hits compilation Three Sixty, which debuted and peaked at No. 38. Before that, the remix album Amotion hit No. 57 in late 2004.
A Perfect Circle’s last studio release, Emotive, opened and peaked at No. 2 in 2004 with 142,000 copies sold in its first week (the chart was purely sales-based in 2004). The rock act also hit the top 10 with its two earlier studio sets: Thirteenth Step (No. 2 in 2003) and Mer de Noms (No. 4 in 2000).
The Greatest Showman soundtrack continues to hold on strong in the top 10 for an 18th consecutive week, as the album is a non-mover at No. 4 (68,000 units; down 12 percent).
Jason Aldean’s Rearview Town falls from No. 1 to No. 5 in its second week, earning 38,000 units (down 79 percent), XXXTENTACION’s ? moves up one position to No. 6 with 35,000 units (down 13 percent) and Migos’ Culture II climbs 8-7 with 33,000 units (down 8 percent) and The Weeknd’s My Dear Melancholy dips 6-8 with nearly 33,000 units (down 26 percent).
At No. 9, rock group Lord Huron claims its first top 10 hit as its third studio effort Vide Noir starts with 32,000 units (of which 29,000 were in traditional album sales). The band previously visited the chart with its first two sets, Strange Trails (No. 23 in 2015) and Lonesome Dreams (No. 179 in 2012).
Closing out the top 10 is Black Panther: The Album which falls one slot to No. 10 with nearly 32,000 units (down 7 percent).
Editor's Note: This story was revised at 3:45 p.m. ET on April 30 after Nielsen Music updated its chart data. Lord Huron now debuts at No. 9 instead of No. 10.