Whatever your feelings on J. Cole’s KOD, there’s no denying one fact about the North Carolina rapper’s fifth studio effort: Not only did it continue his streak of massive commercial success, it is also one of the most successful albums on the year. It debuted at No. 1 on Billboard‘s 200 albums chart, true, but it also had the biggest streaming first week of 2018 as well as the third biggest streaming week ever.
According to Billboard, KOD’s 397,000 equivalent units is the biggest week for a hip-hop album since Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. cleared 603,000 units on May 6, 2017. It’s J. Cole’s fifth consecutive No. 1, and the fourth to finish its first week at No. 1 (Born Sinner debuted at No. 2 and moved up to No. 1 in its third week). It was also one of Cole’s most talked-about albums after its closer, “1985 (Intro To ‘The Fall Off’),” seemingly sent shots at Lil Pump and stirred the generational conflict controversy in hip-hop once again.
For his part, it seemed Lil Pump was unfazed by Cole’s criticism, shrugging off the track’s admonitions as only increasing his own clout in hip-hop. It doesn’t seem too likely that J. Cole will ever be reaching out to the younger rapper to appear on his upcoming Dreamville Festival, but who knows? Stranger things have certainly happened.