Compton: A Soundtrack, Dr. Dre’s first album in 15 years, dropped last week to excited fans that had been waiting for a new Dre album since before the turn of the century.
The good news is that the album is really, really good. The bad news is that country mega-star Luke Bryan beat Dre on the Billboard charts, effectively killing any chance the rap icon has for a No. 1 album in his career.
According to Billboard, Compton moved 295,000 equivalent album units in its first week. That’s good for No. 1 most weeks in 2015, but, unfortunately, the album came up against Bryan’s Kill the Lights. Bryan is a huge name, and Compton had limited exposure because the only streaming service it was available on was Apple Music, leaving Spotify users in the dark, so it’s not entirely surprising that Bryan won out.
Perhaps more surprising is the fact that Dre has never had a No. 1 album in spite of his massive influence and even bigger hit singles. The Chronic peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 back in 1993 (in spite of the fact that it went triple-platinum within the year), and 2001 made it all the way to the second spot before crashing back down. This comes as the N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton became an instantly massive success, pulling in $56.1 million at the box office in its opening weekend, good enough to be the best opening for a music biopic ever.
As Rolling Stone points out, Dre has referred to Compton as his “grand finale.” If we never see another album from Dre, it means that the doctor others were told to go see to fix up their album sales never managed a No. 1 of his own.