Future could be aiming for an unprecedented achievement in the next two weeks on the Billboard 200 chart, thanks to the one-two punch of his pair of new albums: a self-titled set (which was released Feb. 17) and his upcoming HNDRXX (due out Feb. 24). Both were released through A-1/Freebandz/Epic Records.
Industry forecasters suggest his self-titled album could debut at No. 1 on the March 11-dated list with perhaps 150,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending Feb. 23. If HNDRXX performs just as well, it too could open at No. 1 (on the March 18 chart), granting Future a first: back-to-back No. 1 debuts in successive weeks.
In the Billboard 200’s nearly 61-year history, no act has debuted at No. 1 in consecutive frames, although acts have replaced themselves at No. 1 — just not with back-to-back debuts in the penthouse. The Beatles, Herb Alpert and The Monkees, for example, have all managed to supplant themselves at No. 1. As for Future, it’s unusual that an artist would release separate albums so close together, as one title could cannibalize the sales and streams of the other and could potentially cause consumer confusion.
In the past, we’ve seen acts release albums a few months apart, such as Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience Parts 1 and 2, which bowed a little more than six months apart in 2013, or on the same day, like Guns N’ Roses’ Use Your Illusion I and II, back in 1991. Other acts that notched a pair of No. 1 debuts within 12 months include The Beatles, One Direction, Jay Z, Justin Bieber, DMX, Kenny Chesney, Susan Boyle and System of a Down.
Further, in recent years, some acts have defied convention and dropped multiple albums in a relatively short span. Future himself earned three No. 1 debuts on the chart in less than seven months between August 2015 and February 2016, Drake scored three No. 1 bows in about 15 months between February 2015 and May 2016, and Green Day released three top 20-charting albums in less than three months back in late 2012 (Uno!, Dos! and Tre!).