Leave it to Jay-Z to break his own record — or at the very least, hold fast to his title, as he remains the solo artist with the most No. 1 albums to his name after the release of his latest full-length effort.
The first week of sales numbers are in, and 4:44 — Jay-Z’s hugely personal, 13th studio album — came in first on the Billboard 200. It’s his 14th album to do so, taking his collaborative efforts with Kanye West (2011’s Watch the Throne), Linkin Park, and R. Kelly into consideration. That means that every single Hov album save hist first two — 1996’s Reasonable Doubt, and 1997’s In My Lifetime, Vol. 1 — has come out a winner within days of its initial drop.
4:44 moved 262,000 units, and that discounts the streaming via Tidal and promotional giveaways courtesy of Sprint that were available to fans before July 7, when the album hit digital retailers and other streaming services (except for Spotify).
Compared to his 2017 competition, Jay-Z’s latest is now officially the fourth best debut of the year. Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. is the reigning champ, having sold 603,000 units; Drake followed that up with More Life (505,000), and Ed Sheeran comes in third with ÷ (451,000).
Mr. Carter is likely celebrating this massive achievement with his gorgeous family today, so go do the same and stream 4:44 while you’re at it.