The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption as measured in equivalent album units. Units comprise album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). The new May 2-dated chart (where Blame It on Baby debuts at No. 1) will be posted in full on Billboard's website on April 28.
Blame It on Baby’s start of 124,000 equivalent album units consists of 110,000 SEA units (equaling 158.84 million on-demand streams of the set’s songs during the tracking week), 12,000 in album sales and 3,000 in TEA units.
Blame It on Baby gives the Billboard 200 its eighth week in a row where an R&B/hip-hop title is No. 1 -- the longest stretch for the genre in over a year. It follows four weeks of The Weeknd’s After Hours at the top, two weeks at No. 1 for Lil Uzi Vert's Eternal Atake, and one week at No. 1 for Lil Baby’s My Turn. After Hours is an R&B effort, while the latter two are rap titles. All three also led the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. The last time the Billboard 200 had a longer streak at No. 1 for R&B/hip-hop efforts was a nine-week run between Dec. 2, 2018 and Feb. 2, 2019.
Back on the new Billboard 200, The Weeknd’s After Hours falls to No. 2 after four weeks at No. 1. The set tallied 55,000 equivalent album units in the latest tracking week (down 26 percent). Meanwhile, Lil Uzi Vert’s former No. 1 Eternal Atake is a non-mover at No. 3 with 54,000 units (down 11 percent).
Fiona Apple returns to the Billboard 200 after nearly eight years, as her new album Fetch the Bolt Cutters debuts at No. 4. The new studio album earned 44,000 equivalent album units, with 30,000 of that sum in album sales, 13,000 in SEA units and less than 1,000 in TEA units.
Apple last debuted an album on the chart back in 2012, when The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do debuted and peaked at No. 3 on the July 7, 2012-dated list.
Apple is an infrequent visitor to the Billboard 200, having placed just five albums on the tally. Before The Idler Wheel…, she hit the chart with Extraordinary Machine (No. 7 in 2005), When the Pawn… (No. 13 in 1999) and her debut effort Tidal (No. 15, 1997). (When the Pawn’s actual 90-word album title is abbreviated for this story.)
Interestingly, her last three albums all made the top 10, one each in the last three decades (2020s, ‘10s and ‘00s).
Lil Baby’s My Turn dips from No. 4 to No. 5 on the new Billboard 200 (42,000 equivalent album units earned; down 6 percent), Post Malone’s Hollywood’s Bleeding is steady at No. 6 (37,000 units; up 2 percent) and Bad Bunny’s YHLQMDLG falls from No. 5 to No. 7 (36,000 units; down 7 percent).
Roddy Ricch’s Please Excuse Me for Being Antisocial falls 7-8 with 34,000 units (down 5 percent), Rod Wave’s Pray 4 Love is stationary at No. 9 with 32,000 units (down 4 percent) and Tory Lanez’s The New Toronto 3 drops 2-10 in its second week with 28,000 units (down 56 percent).