This last week was a historic moment on the album charts. Lorde not only notched her first No. 1 album ever with Melodrama, but for the first time in five years, three different female artists managed to supplant each other at the top spot in three consecutive weeks. Halsey earned a No. 1 slot with her millennial pop triumph Hopeless Fountain Kingdom, which was followed by Katy Perry’s Witness, and then Lorde (SZA also deserves a shoutout for a No. 3 debut for her stunning release CTRL). Underneath that impressive feat however, something else was happening that most people didn’t really notice. The surprise album drop era came to an end.
One spot below Lorde on the charts, was 2 Chainz, who released what I, and many other people consider to be the best work of his entire career Pretty Girls Like Trap Music. In what was almost an incredible upset, the artist formerly known as Tity Boi came just 3,000 units away from besting the Kiwi singer, selling an impressive 106,000 equivalent album copies in a single week. It’s a staggering achievement, no question, and a sure marker that your favorite rapper’s favorite rapper has finally arrived in the mainstream.
The same could not be said about the other major hip-hop artist who dropped a new album this last week. No, I’m not talking about Big Boi, though Boomiverse is a solid entry into his catalog, I’m referring to Young Thug, who surprised the world with his self-proclaimed “singing” album Beautiful Thugger Girls. Thugger’s last album Jeffrey was a triumph in almost every sense, one of the best hip-hop releases of 2016. It really seemed that he was gearing up for a commercial upswing with whatever he decided to drop next. That didn’t turn out to be the case. When final numbers were tallied, Beautiful Thugger Girls managed to sell only 37,000 units, barely making it into Billboard‘s Top 10. It’s hard to believe he’ll remain there this coming week.