The new Jay-Z album, “4:44,” an intimate, sometimes borderline-uncomfortable self-examination from this 47-year-old rapper (who also happens to be Beyoncé’s husband), is sustaining people’s attention. And hip-hop in general is doing the same, occupying all five spots on the Billboard Top 5 this week, largely thanks to streaming.
In its third week out — but only its second on the Billboard chart, because of Tidal’s closely held opening-week exclusivity — “4:44” (Roc Nation) remains in the No. 1 spot with a combination of 34 million streams and 61,000 in traditional sales for a total of 87,000 album equivalent units, according to Nielsen.
Those numbers are a drop from the album’s Billboard debut last week — 122 million streams and 174,000 in sales — but were more than enough to hold off “Jungle Rules,” a new release by Jay-Z’s fellow New York rapper French Montana. That album debuted at No. 3 with 52,000 units (bolstered by 43 million streams). Kendrick Lamar’s “DAMN.,” which debuted at No. 1 in May, moved up a slot from last week to No. 2 with 56,000 units and a week-leading 50 million streams.
Rap albums filled No. 4 (DJ Khaled’s “Grateful,” 44 million streams) and No. 5 (21 Savage’s “Issa Album,” 47 million), too, as Nielsen Music’s midyear report indicated that hip-hop/R&B is now outpacing all genres in overall consumption for the first time since it started measuring those statistics.
Continue reading the main story