Date: July 10
Anybody plugged into the hip-hop world knew that this summer, with the sheer amount of music being released, would be one for the ages. It’s turned out to be literally historic.
Kanye West, J. Cole, Mac Miller and Wale made hip-hop history this week as their albums combined to hold the top three spots on the Billboard top 200 for three consecutive weeks, something no collection of rap albums has ever done. In 2002, legendary albums like Nelly’s Nellyville, Eminem’s The Eminem Show and albums from N.O.R.E and Irv Gotti held the top three spots for two weeks. Back in 1998, Jay-Z, Outkast, Tribe, Lauryn Hill, and Bizzy Bone did the same. But rap albums haven't held the top three spots for three straight weeks ever before.
There's an added twist as J. Cole’s Born Sinner has now sold more copies than Kanye’s Yeezus. An interesting example of an acolyte overtaking his idol. (Saleswise, at least.)
We're likely to see another record set this week, too, as Jay-Z’s Magna Carta Holy Grail is on target to snag the top spot. This will be the first time that four different rap albums have consecutively debuted at No. 1.
Six years-and-a-half years after Nas declared hip-hop dead, rap is dominant. —Max Goldberg