It has been over 21 years since Eminem set a record-breaking first week sales. Years go by, but nobody in the hip-hop industry is able to break the record set him.
According to XXL magazine, the list of four hip-hop albums with the biggest first-week sales still remains unaltered. It has been over a decade yet no other artist in the particular genre could achieve that feat. The magazine recently reminded its followers of this unreachable bar set by Em and 50 Cent.
This legendary list is topped by two of Marshall’s classic albums and 50 Cent’s sophomore Shady Records project. There are only three hip-hop albums in history that have sold over 1 million copies in their debut week. Lil Wayne came close to breaching this barrier with his 1 million sales for “Tha Carter III”.
The list starts with Eminem’s “The Marshall Mathers LP” (2000) with 1.76 million debut week sales. Second on the list is another from Shady’s classics, “The Eminem Show” (2002) with 1.32 million sales. 2000 was the first time in hip-hop industry that saw over 1 millions sales on first week from a single album. After 2002, it took three years for someone to cross 1 million but still it didn’t replace the former two in numbers and ended up in the third place.
Third on the list is Fifty’s “The Massacre” (2005) with 1.14 million debut week sales. One 2008, Lil Wayne’s “Tha Carter III” hit the 1 million club and ended up in the fourth place. No other artist since 2008 was able to reach this milestone on their debut week album sales.
Those numbers will most probably remain out of reach for other artists in days to come. New ways of music consumption and the shift to steaming instead of buying are to blame, but only partially.
Since then we saw only two hip-hop albums from Drake and Kanye barely getting half of what Marshall effortlessly swept in the 2000s. Within its first week of release, Drake’s CLB album reached 613,000 sales in the US. Kanye debuted his “Donda” with 309,000 equivalent album units sold in the first week. It seems a far cry from numbers hauled by Eminem and 50.