Chart Beat

Nas' 'King's Disease II' Reigns Atop R&B/Hip-Hop Albums Chart

Nas "King's Disease"
Courtesy Photo

Nas "King's Disease"

Nas returns to the throne of Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart for the first time in just over nine years as King’s Disease II debuts at No. 1 on the list dated Aug. 21. The set starts with 56,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending Aug. 12, according to MRC Data.

Of the album’s first-week total, just under 35,000 units derive from streaming-album equivalents -- representing 47.4 million on-demand streams of the set’s tracks ­-- 19,500 are from traditional album sales and the remaining 1,500 arrives via track-equivalent units. (One unit equals the following levels of consumption: one album sale, 10 individual tracks sold from an album, or 3,750 ad-supported or 1,250 paid/subscription on-demand official audio and video streams for a song on the album.)

King's Disease II marks the hip-hop legend’s 10th No. 1 on the chart and first visit to the penthouse since 2012, when Life Is Good posted two weeks in charge that August. As Nas’ new LP joins its nine predecessors, here’s a look at the rapper’s chart-topping collection on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums:

Album, Artist (if other than Nas) Weeks at No. 1, Date Reached No. 1
It Was Written, seven, July 20, 1996
The Firm – The Album, with Foxy Brown, AZ and Nature, one, Nov. 8, 1997
I Am…, three, April 24, 1999
Stillmatic, six, Jan. 5, 2002
God’s Son, one, Jan. 4, 2003
Hip Hop Is Dead, one, Jan. 6, 2007
Untitled, two, Aug. 2, 2008
Distant Relatives, with Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley, one, June 5, 2010
Life Is Good, two, Aug. 4, 2012
King’s Disease II, one (to date), Aug. 21, 2021

King’s Disease II is the direct follow-up to 2020’s King’s Disease album, which peaked at No. 3 on the list. Among its achievements, the latter-mentioned album won Nas his first Grammy Award, for best rap album, ending a streak of 13 previous unsuccessful nominations.

Thanks to the new leader, Nas becomes only the 12th artist -- and sixth rapper -- to register a double-digit sum of chart champs on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums since the ranking began in 1965. He follows the overall leader, The Temptations (who have 17 such albums to their credit), Jay-Z (14), Future and R. Kelly (12 each) and Drake (11), and matches Aretha Franklin, Eminem, Lil Wayne, Mary J. Blige, Stevie Wonder and The Isley Brothers, all of whom claim 10 No. 1s.

Elsewhere, King’s Disease II begins at No. 1 on Top Rap Albums and at No. 3 on the all-genre Billboard 200. On the latter, the entrance gives Nas his 15th top 10 credit.

As Disease II arrives, three of its songs debut on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, led by “EPMD 2,” featuring Eminem and EPMD, at No. 27. The track registered 5.4 million U.S. streams in its opening week -- the second-highest sum of the album’s tracks, just a hair behind “Rare” (also 5.4 million) -- and is the top-seller of the set, with 5,000 downloads in the same period. “Rare,” meanwhile, opens at No. 39, while “Nobody,” featuring Ms. Lauryn Hill, kicks off at No. 42.