Last week’s top album may have hit No. 1 thanks to vinyl, but this week it’s back to the future: clicks.
“The Voice of the Heroes,” an album pairing the Atlanta rapper Lil Baby with the like-minded Chicago rapper Lil Durk (now Atlanta-based, as well), was streamed 198 million times in its first week out — enough to open atop the Billboard 200 album chart.
Digital plays of the duo’s 18 collaborative tracks made up the great majority of consumption for the release, which sold about 4,000 copies as a complete package and another 1,000 song downloads. All told including streams, “The Voice of the Heroes” earned 150,000 equivalent album units, according to the formulas of MRC Data, Billboard’s tracking arm.
That path to the top of the chart represents the inverse of the one used last week by Taylor Swift, whose “Evermore” returned to No. 1 from No. 74 thanks to the sale of 102,000 vinyl LPs, 69,000 CDs and just 12 million streams. (About six months of pre-orders for the vinyl were counted in full once the LP shipped to customers.) This week, “Evermore” falls to No. 8, down 85 percent in equivalent sales.
“The Voice of the Heroes” marks Lil Durk’s first No. 1 album, with his last two releases, “Just Cause Y’all Waited 2” and “The Voice,” having topped out at No. 2. According to Billboard, he is the sixth act to reach No. 1 for the first time this year, after Olivia Rodrigo, Moneybagg Yo, Rod Wave, Morgan Wallen and Playboi Carti. Lil Baby earned his first chart-topper last year with “My Turn,” which was No. 1 for five weeks.
“Sour” by Rodrigo, which debuted at No. 1 last month, holds steady at No. 2 in its third week out, earning another 143,000 units sold. Two other former No. 1’s follow: Wallen’s “Dangerous: The Double Album” is No. 3 with 50,000 units, while J. Cole’s “The Off-Season” falls one spot this week to No. 4. “The Chaos Chapter: Freeze,” by the K-pop group Tomorrow x Together, debuts at No. 5 with 43,000 units.
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