J. Cole has achieved monumental milestones in his rap career with his latest album, The Off-Season. Released on May 14, the LP debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart with landmark numbers. According to the outlet, the North Carolina-bred rapper earned the biggest hip-hop debut of 2021 with 282,000 equivalent album units earned in the U.S. in the week ending May 20. The album also debuted with the largest streaming week for any album this year.
The highly-anticipated project recorded 325.05 million on-demand streams of the album’s songs and 37,000 complete album sales, making it the top-selling album of the week. Of the 12 songs, four debuted on the Hot 100 chart, earning J. Cole his highest placement yet for an individual song. “My.life” featuring 21 Savage and newcomer Morray earned the No. 2 spot. “amari,” “pride.is.the.devil.” featuring Lil Baby, and “95.south.” all emerged in the top ten placed fifth, seventh, and eighth respectfully. Before this release, J.Cole’s highest-charting song was “Middle Child” which dropped in February 2019 and peaked at No. 4.
J. Cole’s manager Ibrahim “Ib” Hamad celebrated the success with an Instagram post. “Congrats to my brother,” he wrote in the caption, tagging the rapper. “Shout out to all the producers and artist that was [a part] of this album, this sh*t is special.”
Cole’s The Off-Season also brought the artist-turned-athlete to the top of Billboard’s Artist 100 chart for the third consecutive week and for the first time since May 2018. “The Artist 100 measures artist activity across key metrics of music consumption, blending album and track sales, radio airplay, streaming, and social media fan interaction to provide a weekly multi-dimensional ranking of artist popularity,” Billboard reports.
Rap superstar Nicki Minaj also achieved new career records on this week’s 200 Chart. The “Did it on Em” rapper earned her 5th top-five ranking as she re-released mixtape Beam Me Up Scotty and claimed the No. 2 spot.
As reported by VIBE, the Queens artist issued the classic mixtape on streaming services on May 14 to the delight of fans new and old. Originally released in 2009, the updated version includes three new songs: “Seeing Green,” featuring Young Money’s big three in Minaj, Drake, and Lil Wayne, a solo track “Fractions,” and “Crocodile Teeth” (remix) with Skillibeng.
Moneybagg Yo’s A Gangsta’s Pain holds steady, dropping from the No.1 spot, only to No. 3 behind the two industry veterans. Releases from Morgan Wallen, Dua Lipa, The Black Keys, Justin Bieber, Dj Khaled, Alan Jackson, and Pop Smoke complete the remaining entries in the top 10.