Kanye West lands his 10th No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, as Donda debuts atop the list with the year’s biggest week for any album: 309,000 equivalent album units earned in the U.S. in the week ending Sept. 2, according to MRC Data. It surpasses the year’s previous best week, when Olivia Rodrigo’s Sour started with 295,000 units (on the chart dated June 5).
Jesus Is King was released on Oct. 25 via G.O.O.D. Music/Def Jam Recordings and earned 264,000 equivalent album units in the U.S. in the week ending Oct. 31, according to Nielsen Music. Of that sum, 109,000 were in album sales, while the rest was powered largely by streaming activity.
David Brooks, writing at Billboard:
When senior executives from Coachella parent Goldenvoice explained that the dome would be impossible to build in four months and would require the AEG-owned concert promoter to rearrange the entire festival site and remove a large section of portable bathrooms, West became irritated, declaring that he was an artist with a creative vision who shouldn’t be spending his time talking about port-a-potties.
Marc Hogan, writing for Pitchfork:
Kanye West and Tidal can’t dodge a lawsuit that alleges they tricked fans into subscribing to the streaming service by falsely claiming it would be the only place to hear West’s 2016 album The Life of Pablo, a judge has ruled.
In an an 18-page opinion today that was obtained by Pitchfork, U.S. District Court Judge Gregory Woods granted parts of Tidal’s motions to dismiss the proposed class-action lawsuit but denied other parts, allowing the case to go forward as it relates to a tweet West made on February 15, 2016.
The set — which was released on June 1 via G.O.O.D. Music/Def Jam Recordings — earned 208,000 equivalent album units in the week ending June 7, according to Nielsen Music, and is the fifth-largest week for an album in 2018. Of Ye’s starting sum, 85,000 were in traditional album sales.
When Kanye West reactivated his Twitter account, that was a sign something was coming. Without keeping fans in suspense, he tweeted about the new projects from G.O.O.D. Music. This list included his own album — this album — which was only given the title ye the night before its release. However, his tweets about his album aren’t all that built up the anticipation for this project. Rather, his culturally disturbing posts on Twitter, which he later topped with his outrageous words during an interview on TMZ, created a negative hype and suspense prior to release. Certainly, every listener would pay attention to his lyrics before any other ingredient on ye. Right now, his lyrics act as the thin thread between him and the audience.
Ta-Nehisi Coates, writing in The Atlantic:
There’s nothing original in this tale and there’s ample evidence, beyond West, that humans were not built to withstand the weight of celebrity. But for black artists who rise to the heights of Jackson and West, the weight is more, because they come from communities in desperate need of champions. Kurt Cobain’s death was a great tragedy for his legions of fans. Tupac’s was a tragedy for an entire people. When brilliant black artists fall down on the stage, they don’t fall down alone. The story of West “drugged out,” as he put it, reduced by the media glare to liposuction, is not merely about how he feels about his body. It was that drugged-out West who appeared in that gaudy lobby, dead-eyed and blonde-haired, and by his very presence endorsed the agenda of Donald Trump.
I highly recommend reading this entire piece.
The hip-hop mogul interviews his interior designer Axel Vervoordt and reveals his own plans for a philosophy book, thoughts on Virgil Abloh going to Louis Vuitton, and his future goals for the brand: “I don’t wish to be number one anymore, I wish to be water.”
Before performing “Crutches, Crosses, Caskets,” he confirmed that King Push is produced top to bottom by Kanye West.
“I had done this album like three times,” he says. “[Kanye] comes in and he picks all the beats and shit. And then, he hear the beats, and he scraps ‘em and says ‘I can do better.’”
Our sources say a month ago Kanye’s lawyer sent a letter to Tidal, saying the company was in breach and the contract was terminated. Over the next 2 weeks lawyers for both sides tried to resolve the conflict but failed. We’re told 2 weeks ago Kanye’s lawyer fired off a second letter declaring again the contract was over.
An album typically goes platinum after selling 1 million copies. But last year the RIAA announced guidelines that would let streaming number contribute to an album’s certified status. They decided that 150 streams of a song would equal one song download, and 10 song downloads would equal one album download. That means an artist’s songs would have to be streamed 1,500 times for it to be counted as an album sale.
So if 1,500 streams equals one album sale, and you multiply that by the 1 million album sales needed to go platinum, you get a minimum requirement of 1.5 billion steams needing to get an album certified platinum.