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See the Top 10 Debut Sales Weeks for Rap Albums in 2015 (So Far)
Even though Dr. Dre's Compton arrived at No. 2 on the charts (arguably in part because it was exclusively available through iTunes and Apple Music for its first two weeks), the returning rap icon notched one of the best debut weeks for a hip-hop album in 2015.
Compton arrived on the charts with 276,000 albums sold, behind only two other rappers' debut sales weeks this year: Kendrick Lamar and Drake, with the latter notching the best debut sales week in 2015 for an album of any genre.
Yes, hip-hop -- after a slow 2015 both critically and commercially -- is back. In addition to the impressive debut weeks earned by To Pimp a Butterfly and If You're Reading This, It's Too Late, those records have also become two of this year's 10 best-selling albums so far -- a notable feat given that zero of 2014's 10 best-sellers were rap albums.
Which other rappers notched the biggest debut weeks in 2015? We ran down the rest of the top 10 best debut weeks for rap albums in 2015 in a graphic below. Note: The Empire soundtrack, which includes hip-hop and R&B songs but is not from a hip-hop artist, is not included on this list.
After Drake, Kendrick and Dre, Drake's beef partner Meek Mill comes in fourth. His Dreams Worth More Than Money is one of the few albums to move more than 200,000 copies in its debut week this year.
Following Meek are Big Sean, Future and A$AP Rocky, all big names who tend to attract headlines in the hip-hop world and beyond -- their albums all moved more than 100,000 copies apiece their first week out.
Nos. 8-10 might surprise a few people, however. Seinfeld-loving MC Wale, veteran rapper/Furious star Ludacris, and Boosie BadAzz -- who released his first post-prison album in 2015 -- are the final three on this list.
Of the 10 rappers represented here, only three of them qualify as veterans. N.W.A aside, Dr. Dre debuted in 1992, Luda in 1999, and Boosie in 2000. The other seven rappers on this list are relatively new, all releasing their debut albums within the last six years. So for the most part, rappers who are enjoying strong debut sales weeks in 2015 are fresh faces instead of long-time champions.
That's not to say this trend is permanent, though. Obviously, if Jay or Eminem drop a new album, it would probably blow most of these first-week sales figures out of the water.