The element of surprise was one ever-present in the latest project cycle for serial hitmaker Drake.
Just two weeks after making history for seeing the third single of his career, ‘Toosie Slide,’ debut at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 (click here to read more), the GRAMMY winner announced its parent project – the ‘Dark Lane Demo Tapes’ mixtape – would be released.
Usually a shoo-in for the top spot on the Billboard 200, his unexpected release placed him in one of the most heated races to the tally’s summit in recent memory as Country titan Kenny Chesney also unveiled his latest effort in the same time window.
Now, after a week of back-and-forth predictions that were “too close to call,” final figures unveiled the other element of surprise; Chesney narrowly crowned the chart champion over Drake.
Look inside to see just how many units it took for the upset:
Kenny Chesney’s ‘Here & Now’
First Week Sales (SPS): 233,000
First Week Sales (Pure): 222,000
First Week Billboard 200 Placement: #1
“Here and Now’s debut was largely powered by sales generated from a concert ticket/album sale redemption offer with Chesney’s upcoming tour.”
Drake’s ‘Dark Lane Demo Tapes’
First Week Sales (SPS): 223,000
First Week Sales (Pure): 22,000
First Week Billboard 200 Placement: #2
“Dark Lane Demo Tapes’ debut week was largely fueled by streaming activity. Of its 223,000-unit launch, 201,000 are in SEA units. That SEA sum equates to 269.1 million on-demand streams of the set’s songs — making it the biggest streaming album of the week, by far; the third-largest streaming week of 2020; and the second-biggest debut streaming frame of the year…”
Because ‘Dark’s sales were not aided by a tour bundle or a physical edition, it finished second in the race to top the Billboard 200. As such, it becomes the first Drake-toplined project to miss the top spot since his 2009 EP ‘So Far Gone’ hit #5 on the tally. ending a decade-long streak of #1s.
There’s a bright side for the his fans, however. In the absence of the padding enjoyed by Chesney, the rapper’s high-powered streams will most likely sustain it on next week’s tally as traditionally projects that hit #1 based on bundling experience major drops in their second weeks.
Thus, next week may see Drizzy’s latest ascend to the Billboard 200 throne.