The Detroit rapper Big Sean has ended Taylor Swift’s six-week run at the top of the Billboard album chart.
Big Sean, who came on the scene more than a decade ago as a protégé of Kanye West, opened at No. 1 with his latest album, “Detroit 2,” which had the equivalent of 103,000 sales in the United States, according to Nielsen Music. That figure counts 94 million streams as well as 30,000 copies sold as a complete package. It is the rapper’s third straight chart-topper, after “I Decided” (2017) and “Dark Sky Paradise” (2015).
“TattleTales,” the latest from the sparkplug rapper 6ix9ine — who is newly released from a two-year prison sentence, after cooperating with prosecutors and pleading guilty to racketeering and other charges — opened at No. 4 on the chart. “TattleTales” was credited with 53,000 sales, including 33 million streams and 32,000 copies moved as a full album. And, like “Detroit 2,” it was helped by a number of retail deals that bundled copies of the album with merchandise.
Such deals, long criticized for distorting the charts, may soon fade in importance on the weekly rankings, after Billboard’s latest rule change takes effect next month. But the cat-and-mouse game between the magazine and artists’ marketers may continue in other ways. As 6ix9ine put it in a recent interview with The New York Times: “Everybody inflates their numbers. Ev-er-y-bod-y.” (Or at least they try to.)
For weeks, the second- and third-most-popular titles on the chart have been a pair of posthumous rap albums, and that continues once again. One, Pop Smoke’s “Aim for the Stars Shoot for the Moon” holds at No. 2, and the other, Juice WRLD’s “Legends Never Die” is No. 3. Swift’s “Folklore” falls four spots to No. 5 in its seventh week out, with the equivalent of 48,000 sales.
On Monday, Billboard unveiled two new charts that, for the first time, rank the popularity of singles around the world, based on streaming and download numbers. Cardi B’s raunchy “WAP,” featuring Megan Thee Stallion, is the inaugural No. 1 on the magazine’s Global 200, which covers more than 200 territories. Maluma’s “Hawái” tops the first Global Excl. U.S. chart, which covers those same countries but filters out the United States.