Here’s a fun fact: Out of the 20 or so major label rap albums released in 2005, five (Game’s The Documentary, 50 Cent’s The Massacre, The Ying Yang Twinz’s U.nited S.tates of A.lanta, Young Jeezy’s Thug Motivation 101, Kanye West’s Late Registration) went platinum that same year. Fast forward a decade and only one major label rapper sold over a million units of their 2015 album out of the nearly 50 that dropped that same period. My, how times have changed.
Nielsen Music has released their #factsonly list of the 10 top-selling albums of 2015 (December 29, 2014 through December 31, 2015) and Drake’s If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late stands alone as the only major rap album to sell more than 1.9 million “equivalent album units” last year. Per Billboard, the number crunchers were able to arrive at those figures by using data from traditional album sales, streaming equivalent sales and track equivalent sales which counts 10 units of a single sold as one album sale.
All that streaming available today and the only other rapper on the list is 300 Entertainment artist Fetty Wap. The 24-year-old “My Way” rhymer squeezed his way onto the list at No. 10 by selling 1.3 million units of his self-titled, independently released album before the end of 2015. The feat earns Fetty the title of “A-list rapper” instead of the “one hit wonder” that was prematurely given to him during “Trap Queen”‘s” run. Speaking of “Trap Queen,” the single’s also the seventh top-selling digital single of 2015.
1 Adele, 25 8,008,000
2 Taylor Swift, 1989 3,105,000
3 Justin Bieber, Purpose 2,225,000
4 Ed Sheeran, X 2,206,000
5 The Weeknd, Beauty Behind the Madness 2,045,000
6 Drake, If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late 1,919,000
7 Meghan Trainor, Title 1,795,000
8 Sam Smith, In the Lonely Hour 1,741,000
9 Sam Hunt, Montevallo 1,378,000
10 Fetty Wap, Fetty Wap 1,295,000
It’s worth noting a chunk of these albums (1989, X, In The Lonely Hour,Montevallo) were released in 2014 which means nobody seemed all that interested in 2015 releases until Hurricane Adele came blowing in.
Got the drop on OnSmash . . .