North Carolina-born rap star J. Cole‘s 2014 Forest Hills Drive debuted atop the Billboard 200 — selling more than 360,000 units in its first week while de-throning Taylor Swift‘s 1989.
Cole’s popularity clearly has grown over the course of releasing three number one studio albums. He managed to top the charts without much promotion or any singles released.
The “Apparently” rapper’s achievement is pretty impressive as he announced his album less than a month ago.
But he’s not just on top of the charts this week. He has the best-selling hip-hop album of the year. Nevertheless, he’s not taking his success to the head.
“The #’s are humbling. It’s a win for all artists and fans and a clear message to the industry. No singles no features. Stop serving trash,” he tweeted.
D’Angelo, who went on a 15-year hiatus before dropping Black Messiah on December 14 via iTunes has sold 100,000 in the first three days of its release. It’s shy of the over 670,000 copies Beyonce sold after dropping her self-titled “visual album” around the same time in 2012 without promotion, but a comparison between the two isn’t really fair. Beyonce’s well, Beyonce, and D’Angelo’s record is not a typical “radio” release.
Social media including musicians Vernon Reid, Pharrell and Miguel have all given it the thumbs up, so it’s likely to do better long-term and propel D’Angelo into putting on what should be a well-attended tour in 2015.