Kendrick Lamar Aiming for Biggest Debut of 2017 With 'DAMN.' Album

Austin Hargrave
           

The album is set for a No. 1 bow on the Billboard 200 chart & could beat the 505,000-unit launch of Drake’s “More Life.”

The forecast for Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. has grown, as industry prognosticators now suggest the set could debut with around 500,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending April 20. (On April 17, it was estimated to bow with perhaps 475,000.) Further, the set has a chance of scoring the largest week of 2017 for an album. The current biggest week of the year is owned by Drake’s More Life, which debuted with 505,000 units earned in the week ending March 23, according to Nielsen Music.

The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week based on multi-metric consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). The top 10 of the new May 6-dated Billboard 200 chart (where DAMN. will likely debut at No. 1) is scheduled to be revealed on Billboard’s websites on Sunday, April 23.

Lamar is heading for a robust sales week with DAMN., as the title could bow with around 300,000 in traditional album sales. That would earn the set the largest sales week of 2017 for a hip-hop album (beating Drake’s More Life, which started with 225,000 sold) and the second-biggest sales week of the year overall, behind only Ed Sheeran’s ÷ (Divide), which launched with 322,000 copies sold in the week ending March 9.

If DAMN. debuts at No. 1, it will give Lamar his third leader. He previously led the Billboard 200 with his last two albums: 2016’s Untitled Unmastered. (178,000 units in its first week, 142,000 of which were in album sales) and 2015’s To Pimp a Butterfly (363,000 units; 324,000 in album sales).