November 27, 2021

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Pop Smoke Breaks No. 1 Record on Rap Albums Chart

Weeks at No. 1, Album Title, Artist, Year(s) at No. 1
20, Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon, Pop Smoke, 2020-21
19, Recovery, Eminem, 2010-11
16, Take Care, Drake, 2011-12
14, The Marshall Mathers LP 2, Eminem, 2013-14
13, The Heist, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, 2012-13
12, Hamilton: An American Musical, Original Broadway Cast Recording, 2015-17
11, DAMN., Kendrick Lamar, 2017
10, The Blueprint 3, Jay-Z, 2009-10

Though the Top Rap Albums chart began in 2004, Pop Smoke’s album still ranks in the highest tier of hip-hop projects since the genre’s mainstream explosion in the 1990s. On the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, whose history dates to 1965, Moon is the second-longest No. 1 title among rap sets, trailing only MC Hammer’s Please Hammer Don’t Hurt Em and its 29-week reign in 1990. Besides Hammer, only three other rap LPs have lasted even 20 weeks in the top five on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums before 2004: Dr. Dre’s 1992 classic The Chronic (28), Snoop Doggy Dogg’s Doggystyle the following year (26) and Ludacris’ Word of Mouf (21) in 2001.

Unlike its other 10-week-plus No. 1 competitors, Moon’s rise comes after a change in chart calculations in February 2017. Then, the Top Rap Albums chart shifted from ranking albums solely by album sales to a multi-metric computation that includes album sales as well as on-demand streams and individual song sales of that album’s tracks.

Moon was released in July 2020, nearly five months after Pop Smoke was killed during a home invasion the prior February at age 20. The album served as his proper studio full-length debut, after multiple mixtapes.

Since its release, the album has endured both thanks to Pop Smoke fans’ extensive dedication to supporting the late budding rapper’s catalog as well as a steady stream of hit radio singles in the last nine months. Moon’s first four singles – “Dior,” “The Woo” featuring 50 Cent and Roddy Ricch, “For the Night” featuring Lil Baby and DaBaby and “What You Know Bout Love” – have all reached the top five of the R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart, with the lattermost joining the club this week through a 6-5 rise.

The latter three also picked up traction on Rhythmic Airplay, too. “The Woo” climbed to No. 3 while “For the Night” and “What You Know Bout Love” led the list for five and four weeks, respectively. There, current Moon single “Hello,” featuring A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, shows early signs of following in its predecessors’ footsteps, as it ranks at No. 19 in its fifth week on the 40-position chart. In the latest tracking week, ending March 21, the track gained 8% in plays across monitored Rhythmic airplay stations.

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