I've been trying to kick the habit of reading the charts. In the internet age they're an increasingly less accurate reflection of what real people are really listening to, and I have a tendency to obsess over the numbers.
But I just couldn't help myself and clicked on HipHopDX's report on this week's charts. Rihanna's ANTI was still number one, interesting. The Flatbush Zombies debuted at number ten, not bad for a true indie act (not a mindie). And then I saw a number that blew my mind open.
The chart is below, do you see what I see? Here's a hint, look closely. That first number is "equivalent album sales," a number that combines sales and streams and that no one really understands. The second number is the number of pure sales, and the third number is pure streams. I'll bold that last number, the pure streams, to make things easier.
Now look again.
- #1 Rihanna ANTI: 54,370 (17,035) [36,385,676]
- #5 Kendrick Lamar untitled unmastered.: 38,402 (26,830) [15,108,596]
- #9 Kevin Gates Islah: 30,418 (12,885) [16,897,976]
- #10 Flatbush Zombies 3001: A Laced Odyssey 28,291 (23,692) [5,758,286]
- #11 Bryson Tiller Trapsoul: 28,070 (8,152) [24,688,579]
- #13 The Weeknd Beauty Behind the Madness: 26,595 (9,068) [17,970,181]
- #16 G-Eazy When It's Dark Out: 24,224 (4,888) [18,663,979]
- #18 Fetty Wap Fetty Wap: 19,044 (3,706) [15,415,946]
- #20 Flo Rida My House: 18,359 (1,790) [8,536,909]
- #22 Future EVOL: 17,036 (2,961) [17,410,451]
HOLY SWEET BABY JESUS BRYSON TILLER GODDAMN!
TRAPSOUL had the second most streams with an astounding 24 million, not quite able to top Rihanna but significantly better than The Weeknd, Fetty Wap, Kendrick Lamar and a lot of other superstars, which kind of makes Tiller a superstar in his own right, right? TRAPSOUL dropped six months ago, for it to still be doing those kind of numbers is absolutely astounding.
I'd now place money on Tiller becoming a huge force in music over the next couple years, but if I had only been looking at sales I would have come to the exact opposite conclusion, which goes to show that it's just not the numbers that matter, it's which numbers. Right now sales are still absolutely a factor, but moving into the future streaming's only going to become more popular, and Tiller's currently doing bigger streaming numbers than Future.
I feel a little bad for underestimating Tiller's impact until now. I liked him, knew he had some serious buzz going, but didn't quite comprehend the level of his popularity. Those numbers were a welcome wake up call, and I promise, I'm not sleeping on TRAPSOUL again.