(November 13, 2022). Call him petty. Call him petulant. You can even call him predictable and pompous and you’d be justified.
But you also have to call him prolific.
In fact, Drake is so prolific these days that he’s probably not even worried about those other adjectives people use to describe him. He’s likely also recorded enough unreleased tracks to put out another six or seven albums even if he were to stop recording today.
As of this week, however, he would only need two of those to reach No. 1 in order to make history by catching fellow rapper Jay-Z and moving into a second-place tie on the all-time No. 1 list behind the Beatles.
That’s because his latest album, Her Loss—a collaboration with fellow rapper 21 Savage—enters the Billboard 200 at No. 1 with 404,000 album equivalent units consumed, making it the Canadian rapper’s 12th chart-topper, behind Jay’s 14 and the Beatles’ 19.
The controversial Her Loss—complete with its unprovoked disses of other celebrities like Megan Thee Stallion, Alexis Ohanion, Ye and rap newcomer Ice Spice—thus moves Drake out of a four-way tie to now own sole possession of third place. He leaves in his wake Barbra Streisand, Bruce Springsteen and Taylor Swift (who ascended the ranks just two weeks ago with Midnights—which Drake displaces on the latest chart). Those artists are now in a three-way tie for fourth place with eleven No. 1s apiece.
Ironically, all four of these acts—Streisand, Swift, Springsteen and Drake—have released albums in the past month and are still very much alive in the race for overall chart supremacy, even if some of their latest efforts aren’t topping the charts with the regularity they used to. Streisand’s latest, Live at the Bon Soir, is a release of a live performance from 60 years earlier, which debuts below the top ten on the current chart.
Springsteen’s new studio set, Only The Strong Survive, was released on Friday, November 11 and is set to debut on next week’s charts along with stiff competition from Nas, The Wakanda Forever Soundtrack, and the still-hot Taylor Swift and Drake albums.
In fact, even the Beatles, who’ve been defunct for nearly 53 years, factor into the current charts with a reissuing of their 1966 No. 1 album Revolver, which re-entered last week’s Billboard 200 at No. 4. Of course, that album is already counted among the Beatles 19 chart-toppers and would not have padded their total had it been able to displace Taylor’s juggernaut.
This leaves Jay-Z, the iconic rapper who (for now) seems content to rest on his throne with 14 No. 1s—the most of any hip-hop act—the last of which was his last solo album, 2017’s 4:44. There’s no indication that Jay intends to release any new material in the near future.
Given Jay’s lengthy hiatus and Drake’s prolific output of late, it seems likely that the “God’s Plan” rapper will eventually catch and then surpass Hova to become the hip-hop artist with the most No. 1 albums in Billboard 200 history.
It’s clear that Drizzy’s fan base is still strong enough to carry him to the top, even as his pundits (or haters if you prefer) grow louder in their disdain over his recent antics, including apparently victim-shaming Megan Thee Stallion over being shot in the foot by Canadian rapper Tory Lanez, or going after ex-flame Serena Williams’ husband Alexis Ohanion with petty digs, or mocking female rapper Ice Spice’s rapping skills (seriously, Drake?).
It’s that kind of pettiness that Drizzy’s fans seem to prefer, or at least tolerate, while maintaining his clout remains high enough to keep him at the top of the charts and within earshot of eventually overtaking Jay-Z and then the Beatles on the all-time No. 1 list.
One things for sure: the race for overall Billboard 200 chart supremacy has become a lot more interesting in the past few weeks.
Billboard chart watcher DJRob (he/him/his) is a freelance music blogger from somewhere on the East Coast who covers R&B, hip-hop, pop and rock genres – plus lots of music news and current stuff! You can follow him on Twitter at @djrobblog.
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