Happy 2019, friends. Before we get too deep into the new year and the flood of new music that is sure to drop, let's take a spirited look back at the 20 biggest first weeks for hip-hop albums in 2018. The pure sales and streams total is in parenthesis.
1. Drake Scorpion (749K)
2. Travis Scott ASTROWORLD (553K)
3. Lil Wayne Tha Carter V (480K)
4. Post Malone beerbongs & bentleys (471K)
5. Eminem Kamikaze (434K)
6. J. Cole KOD (395K)
7. Cardi B Invasion of Privacy (254K)
8. Meek Mill Championships (229K)
9. Kanye West ye (210K)
10. Migos Culture II (200K)
11. Nicki Minaj Queen (190K)
12. Logic YSIV (167K)
13. Various Artists Black Panther The Album (156K)
14. KIDS SEE GHOSTS (Kanye West & Kid Cudi) KIDS SEE GHOSTS (140K)
15. XXXTENTACION ? (134K)
16. XXXTENTACION Skins (132K)
17. 21 Savage i am > i was (131K)
18. Lil Baby & Gunna Drip Harder (130K)
19. THE CARTERS (Beyoncé & JAY-Z) EVERYTHING IS LOVE (124K)
20. Logic Bobby Tarantino II (117K)
In a grand surprise to no one, Drake tops this list for a few reasons. One, he is Drake. Two, the dance challenges for his album Scorpion helped to boost his already impressive streaming numbers. Three, releasing a double album helped inflate his streaming numbers. Four, again, he is Drake.
Eminem clocking in at number five is also surprising to no one. He creates a perfectly inelastic product that fans always purchase. Good for him. Few artists can galvanize fans to hit the stores and digital service providers like Eminem.
Only one of the Wyoming Sessions albums (ye) made it into the top nine. Coming in at No. 14 is KIDS SEE GHOSTS, and the remaining Sessions albums miss the cutoff. For those curious, Pusha-T's GRAMMY-nominated DAYTONA finished at No. 34.
Though 21 Savage dropped his sophomore album at the very end of the year, December 21, the superb i am > i was had the 17th highest opening week of hip-hop albums in 2018, beating out Lil Baby and Gunna, Logic, and Beyoncé JAY-Z for his spot. Good for 21. 21. 21. 21.