Jay Z Performs at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.
Getty Images

JAY-Z Scores 14th No. 1 Album On Billboard 200 Chart With '4:44'

The superstar extends his own record.

JAY-Z collects his 14th No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart, as his latest release, 4:44, debuts atop the tally. According to Nielsen Music, in the week ending July 13, the set earned 262,000 equivalent album units -- a larger-than-initially-expected sum, and the fourth-largest week of 2017 for any album. Of its total, 174,000 units were in traditional album sales.

4:44’s No. 1 arrival extends JAY-Z’s record as the solo artist with the most No. 1 albums in the 61-year history of the Billboard 200 chart. He distances himself farther ahead of the two acts with the second-most leaders among soloists: Bruce Springsteen and Barbra Streisand, who each have 11 chart-toppers. Among all acts, JAY-Z has the second-most leaders, behind only The Beatles, which have 19 No. 1s.

JAY-Z also furthers his own record as the artist with the most debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, as all 14 of his albums have bowed in the top slot. (Springsteen has the second-most No. 1 debuts, with eight.)

The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). The new July 29-dated chart (where JAY-Z starts at No. 1) will be posted in full to Billboard’s websites on Tuesday, July 18.

4:44 was initially issued on June 30 (via S. Carter Enterprises/Roc Nation) for one week of streaming exclusivity through Tidal. However, Tidal did not report data for the album to Nielsen Music for the week ending July 6, so the album did not debut on the July 22-dated chart. (In addition, by July 2, the album was also offered as a free download -- sponsored by Sprint -- via the web site 444.tidal.com. The free downloads were ineligible to chart, per Billboard’s current pricing policy.)

Then, on July 7, the album became widely available to most streaming services (but not Spotify, as JAY-Z pulled his catalog from the service in April) and to retailers as both a download and CD (with three bonus tracks).

Overall, 4:44’s launch of 262,000 units grants the album the fourth-largest week of 2017, behind the debuts of Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. (603,000 units), Drake’s More Life (505,000) and Ed Sheeran’s ÷ (Divide) (451,000).

Of 4:44’s 174,000 sales in the week ending July 13, the set sold 131,000 as a download and 43,000 on CD.

Despite 4:44s absence from Spotify, the album still generated the fourth-biggest streaming debut of 2017. Of its total 262,000-unit start, 7,000 were in TEA units, while SEA units represented 82,000 units. The latter sum equals 122.4 million streams of the album’s songs. In terms of streaming debuts in 2017, it trails only Drake’s More Life (257,000 SEA units; 384.8 million song streams), Lamar’s DAMN. (227,000 SEA units; 340.6 million song streams) and Sheeran’s ÷ (90,000 SEA units; 134.6 million song streams).

JAY-Z’s previous album, Magna Carta…Holy Grail, debuted at No. 1 in 2013 with 528,000 copies sold in its first week (before the chart transitioned to a consumption-ranked tally in 2014). Like 4:44, Magna Carta was issued in a unique fashion: it was first released (on July 4, 2013) as a free download to certain Samsung phone and tablet users who had downloaded a JAY-Z-centric app. (One million copies were available for free to fans through the app.) It then became widely available to retailers on July 9.

Every one of JAY-Z’s solo studio albums have reached No. 1 since 1998’s Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life (which was also his first No. 1). His 14 chart-toppers also include three collaborative efforts: one each with R. Kelly (Unfinished Business), Linkin Park (MTV Ultimate Mash-Ups Presents: Collision Course) and Kanye West (Watch the Throne).

The rest of the new top 10 on the July 29-dated Billboard 200 chart will be revealed in a separate story posting later today (July 16).

This article was originally published on Billboard.com.

From the Web

More on Vibe

Lil Wayne performs at the 2019 Outside Lands music festival at Golden Gate Park on August 09, 2019 in San Francisco, California.
Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

Lil Wayne Reveals Release Date For ‘Funeral’ Album

Four years after initially announcing the project, Lil Wayne took to Twitter on Thursday (Jan. 23) to reveal that his  Funeral album will drop next week.

“Welcome to the funeral, closed casket as usual,” Tunechi says in the album teaser. The Grammy winner also tweeted a link for fans to pre-order physical and digital copies of the album as a CD, vinyl or “digital cassette.” The online shop features album merchandise, including long-sleeved shirts, hoodies and beanies.

In a recent interview with VIBE, Lil Wayne said that even though his recording process has drastically changed since his prolific mixtape days, he still finds enjoyment in going to the studio to create.

“I love the difficulty of trying to fit in with what’s going on today, making sure I sound likable to the ears today and having to remind myself that it’s not about what it was back then. Going to the studio now, for me, is awesome. I used to go to that muf***a and do 12 songs a night. Cut a beat on, I’m going to go and you let me know when to stop,” Wayne said.

“...I can’t wait to get in the studio now every night, just to see what I can come up with. [Before] it was just me going to the studio and saying, let me kill ten more songs and then I’m going to go home or do whatever I was doing. Now, it’s let me see what I come up with. Self-discovery, rebirth – call it whatever you want to call it but it feels awesome, I swear to God.”

The New Orleans native’s last studio LP, Tha Carter V, dropped in 2018 after years of delays. In 2019, the 37-year-old rapper embarked on a joint summer tour with Blink-182, but the jaunt was marred by difficulty as Wayne walked off stage during one show and threatened to quit. He changed his mind hours later.

Even with all the tour trouble, Blink-182 had nothing but good things to say about Weezy. “The one day where he walked off stage, he had said, ‘I just felt like they didn’t like me,’ so he walked off stage,” drummer Travis Barker explained in an interview last year.

Funeral drops on Jan. 31. Check out the album teaser below.

1/31 https://t.co/7VtPC39vT6 pic.twitter.com/FQrLNA8ptn

— Lil Wayne WEEZY F (@LilTunechi) January 23, 2020

Continue Reading
Bryan Bedder/Getty Images

Former Recording Academy Boss Says The Grammy Awards Are Rigged

Former Recording Academy CEO Deborah Dugan is accusing the Recording Academy of gender discrimination and sexual harassment, days before the 62nd annual Grammy Awards.

The 46-page complaint filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on Tuesday (Jan. 21), claims that the Recording Academy abides by a “boy’s club mentality”  and manipulates the Grammys voting process, among other allegations.

In the documents, Dugan accuses the Recording Academy of attempting to smear her reputation for speaking out against the alleged harassment, gender discrimination, unequal pay, and unlawful retaliation, that she claims to have endured. Dugan, who was recently ousted from her position, also accuses music lawyer Joel Katz of sexual harassment.

Katz “categorically” denied Dugan’s allegations in a statement through his attorney.

Dugan, the Recording Academy’s first female CEO, says she took over after former CEO Neil Portnow resigned “in disgrace after being caught making misogynistic remarks about women recording artists.” Dungan claims that her salary was significantly lower than her two male predecessors, and that she was later told to hire Portnow as a consultant for a $750,000 fee. The documents goes on to claim  Portnow's consultant contract was severed because he was accused of raping a female recording artist.

Portnow denied the rape claim which he called, “ludicrous and untrue.”

Dugan filed a HR complaint in December of 2019. She was put on administrative leave three weeks later. However, the Recording Academy claims Dugan was placed on leave over a bullying complaint from Portnow’s executive assistant. Dugan alleges that the Recording Academy attempted to work out a settlement with her before backing out at the last minute and giving her one hour to agree to a new deal. She later informed the company of her intent to sue.

Dugan's complaint outlines how women and minority groups have been “historically underrepresented” at the Grammys and within the Academy. For example, the docs note that only 10 black artists have won the coveted Album of the Year honor and that R&B artist are typically excluded from top awards in favor of country, rock and pop music. The docs point out some of the criticisms the the Grammys has received, including failing to honor black artists and a lack of diversity among winners. Eminem for instances, won Best Rap Album seven times despite the category being dominated by black artists. Also mentioned in the documents are Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, who beat out Kendrick Lamar, Drake and Kanye West for Best Rap Album in 2014. Dugan used Drake and pop star Dua Lipa to support her claim that the show cuts acceptance speeches short if the artist criticizes the Academy.

Further in the docs, Dugan exposes the Grammys nominations process as allegedly being “ripe with corruption.” Submissions are voted on by 12,000 Recording Academy members all around the country. The selections are narrowed down to the Top 20 entries, which are then reviewed by “secret committees.” Dugan asserts that board members on the committees have relationships with recording artists, thus furthering an artist's chance of getting nominated.

“The Board also manipulates the nominations process to ensure that certain songs or albums are nominated when the producer of the Grammys (Ken Ehrlich) wants a particular song performed during the show,” the documents claim.

Click here to read Dungan's full complaint.

Continue Reading
Getty

Da Baby, Megan Thee Stallion And Roddy Ricch To Headline 2020 Broccoli City Festival

Broccoli City Fest is returning with a packed lineup. Da Baby, Megan Thee Stallion, Roddy Rich and more, are billed to hit the stage as headliners of the annual DMV music festival.

Additional performers include, hometown artist, Ari Lennox, as well as Burna Boy, Doja Cat, Selection, IDK, Lucky Daye, and surprise performances, according to the lineup announced on Wednesday (Jan. 22).

BC Fest 2020 promises to be the “best one yet,” per a statement on the festival website. Besides music, the festival will feature a carnival, an interactive art space where patrons can take selfies, pop-up venders, VIP lounges, a curated cannabis experience (for the 21+ an older), a DJ tent and “more food and beverage options.”

Although pre-sale tickets sold out within hours of the lineup announcement. early bird passes were still available at press time.

Broccoli City Fest 2020 takes place in Washington D.C. on May 9. Check out the full lineup below.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

BROCCOLI CITY FEST 2020 🥦 EXCLUSIVE PRESALE STARTS NOW! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ *********** 🔐HOW TO ACCESS $69.50 TICKETS 🔐 1. POST the flyer + #BCFest2020 to your IG/Twitter 2. SUBMIT screenshot via link in our bio ☝🏽 3. UNLOCK exclusive promo code 4. ENTER code at checkout ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ *********** ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 🥦WHAT’S NEW THIS YEAR🥦 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Faster Entry Lanes🏃🏾‍♀️All-New Royal Experience (VIP) Lounge👑 More Food & Beverage Options 🥃 Carnival Thrill Rides🎡 Curated Cannabis Experience 🌱 Selfie Art Activations 👩🏾‍🤝‍👨🏽 and more ✊🏽✊🏾✊🏿! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ********** ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 🕑 TICKETS ONSALE FRIDAY, JAN 24 @ 10AM!

A post shared by Broccoli City (@broccolicity) on Jan 22, 2020 at 7:00am PST

Continue Reading

Top Stories