First-week sales numbers are in for Lupe Fiasco's sixth studio album DROGAS Light and, while they might pale in comparison to his previous album releases and many of his major label peers, they are not as bad as you might think for an independent.
According to HDD, DROGAS Light sold 19,702 SPS (sales plus streaming) album-equivalent units, 14,416 of which were traditional album sales (physical and digital).
Lupe's last album, 2015's Tetsuo & Youth, moved 32k SPS units, but Fiasco had additional marketing and promotion through his former label home Atlantic. DROGAS Light was released independently through Fiasco's own 1st & 15th label and distributed by Nashville-based entertainment company Thirty Tigers.
So, how does Fiasco's latest LP stack up against his biggest independent peers?
In 2015, Joey Bada$$' B4.DA.$$ sold an SPS equivalent total of 58k units—26k more units than Fiasco's Tetsuo & Youth, which was released the same week—and in 2016, Childish Gambino's "Awaken, My Love!" moved an impressive 101k equivalent units, Chance The Rapper scooped up 38,000 equivalents (stream only) for Coloring Book and Tech N9ne's The Storm's muscled up 37k equivalents.
While Fiasco's numbers don't stack up against Gambino, Joey, Chance or Tech, his 19,702 first-week album-equivalent units are more than Ab-Soul's Do What Thou Wilt. (under 10k), Danny Brown's Atrocity Exhibition (7,889), Isaiah Rashad's The Sun's Tirade (19,481), Joe Budden's Rage & The Machine (11,341) and Snoop Dogg's Coolaid (11,127).
Considering the album, according to Fiasco himself, is a "7 out 10"—which is quite generous if you ask Yoh, Greg Kot of the Chicago Tribune or Damien Morris of The Guardian—the Chicago veteran should be fairly happy with the support his fan base showed him on his first independent release.
By Z, who loves to argue with you on Twitter. Especially Lupe.
Art Credit: duaneplanes