Rod Wave scored his first career No. 1 album, after SoulFly debuted in the top spot on the Billboard 200.
Wave’s third studio album earned 130,000 equivalent album units, 126,000 of which came from streaming. That marks the biggest streaming week of the year for an R&B/hip-hop release, per Billboard. It also marks the biggest overall debut for the genre, surpassing The Weeknd’s The Highlights, which earned 88,000 equivalent album units back in February.
For Wave, SoulFly is his third album to chart in the top 10. By comparison, his 2020 effort, Pray 4 Love, debuted at No. 2 with 72,000 total units. The fact that Wave nearly doubled that amount with SoulFly speaks to the Florida native’s rapid ascent.
In fact, Wave’s status has grown to the point that he almost appeared on Drake’s “Lemon Pepper Freestyle.” “I was supposed to be on… What’s that song called? ‘Lemon Pepper Freestyle,’” Wave said in a recent interview. “Yeah, I supposed to be on that, but I didn’t like how my verse came out. So I kind of scratched it.”
Wave knew what the opportunity meant, and didn’t want to deliver something that didn’t meet his lofty standards. “Not like I scratched it. I didn’t like how my voice came out, and you know with a Drake feature, you don’t want to, you know what I’m saying?” he added. “It’s like my first thing, it’s a big deal, have to come with it, you know what I’m saying? All that. I kind of had got cold feet, so kind of shook me up a little bit. So I was like don’t worry about it.”
Elsewhere on the chart, Justin Bieber’s Justice fell to No. 2 in its second week, while NF’s Clouds (The Mixtape) clocked in at No. 3 with 86,000 equivalent album units earned.