Kanye West ties with Eminem & The Beatles with eighth straight No. 1 album in a row
Kanye's latest album 'Ye' amassed 208,000 equivalent album units in the first week of release, out of which 85,000 were in traditional album sales
The set -- which was released on June 1 via G.O.O.D. Music/Def Jam Recordings — earned 208,000 equivalent album units in the week ending June 7, according to Nielsen Music, and is the fifth-largest opening week for an album in 2018. Out of the near quarter-million that 'Ye' racked up, 85,000 were in traditional album sales.
As Billboard points out, Kanye has earned all eight of his No. 1s consecutively, a feat that has only been achieved by two acts in history — Eminem (2000-2018, a still-active streak) and The Beatles (1965-68).
Every single one of Kanye's chart entries, except for his first album, 2004's The College Dropout, (which debuted and peaked at no. 2 on the charts) have debuted at No. 1. Eminem also matches Kanye in terms of eight consecutive No. 1 debuts. (The Beatles’ stretch of eight No. 1s in a row in the '60s did not include any titles that debuted at No. 1.)
Em also ties Yeezy for the second-most No. 1 albums among hip-hop acts in the history of the chart. Only JAY-Z is ahead of them, as he owns 14 chart-toppers. (Among all acts, The Beatles have the most No. 1s, with 19.)
As 'Ye' starts with 208,000 equivalent album units, it logs the fifth-biggest opening for an album this year. The only larger frames were earned by the debut weeks of Post Malone’s 'beerbongs & bentleys' (461,000), J. Cole’s 'KOD' (397,000), Justin Timberlake’s 'Man of the Woods' (293,000) and Cardi B’s 'Invasion of Privacy' (255,000 units).
Of Ye’s first week units, 120,000 were Streaming Equivalent Album (SEA) units. That sum equates to 180.1 million on-demand audio streams for the set’s seven songs during the tracking week (as each SEA units equals 1,500 on-demand audio streams). According to Billboard, Ye’s streaming launch is the seventh-biggest debut streaming week of all time for an album. That’s a pretty notable feat, considering 'Ye' only has seven songs with a total runtime of less than 30 minutes. Thus, each tune, on average, garnered 25.7 million on-demand audio streams. The only album to garner a larger per-track streaming average was J. Cole’s KOD earlier this year.
Top streaming charts also seem to reflect the Billboard Charts. After a controversy-filled album rollout and calls for a Kanye boycott (following his controversial "slavery was a choice" comment), commercial success for 'Ye' didn't always feel like a sure thing. In the days following the album's release, however, all seven songs dominated streaming service charts.
This prompted Kanye to share an emotional tweet last week: "I feel so blessed. For everyone that didn't turn they back. I'm in tears right now. I love all of you."
I feel so blessed. For everyone that didn't turn they back. I'm in tears right now. I love all of you pic.twitter.com/8jwIALBsDu— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) June 4, 2018
Meanwhile, grabbing on to the No. 2 spot on the Billboard 200 Charts is Post Malone's 'beerbongs & bentleys' with 99,000 units across the week. Coming in at No. 3 is rock band Ghost with its highest-charting album, and third top 10, 'Prequelle.' Country singer Luke Combs' 'This One’s for You' and Cardi B's 'Invasion of Privacy' round out the top 5.