Fayetteville’s finest does it again.
J. Cole’s latest album, 4 Your Eyez Only, debuted atop the Billboard 200 with 492,000 equivalent units sold (363,000 traditional sales), giving the Dreamville founder his largest debut ever and his fourth consecutive chart topper.
The album’s first-week totals are from the week ending on Dec. 15 and is the third-largest debut of 2016, according to Nielsen Music, trailing only Drake’s Views (1.04 million units) and Beyonce’s Lemonade (653,000 units).
With his fourth consecutive No. 1 album, Cole joins Drake and DMX as the only hip-hop artists to have their first four albums reach the top of the charts, according to Billboard. Drake’s first six albums achieved the feat (and he can continue the streak with his next project, More Life), and DMX’s run ended at five.
The massive debut for 4 Your Eyez Only speaks to Cole’s overall popularity, especially since he has shown a propensity to eschew traditional rollouts in favor of surprise attacks. The album doesn’t feature any prominent singles and fans only became aware of its existence and impending release when an iTunes pre-order page was created on Dec. 1.
Then on Dec. 2, just a week before the album’s release, Cole released a 40-minute documentary titled “Eyez,” a project that generated a significant amount of buzz because of two of the featured tracks: “False Prophets” and “Everybody Dies.” Neither of the tracks made the album, but both songs include verses that take aim at his contemporaries, most notably a not-so-veiled shot at Kanye West.
4 Your Eyez Only certainly looks like its on the way to a platinum certification, which would be Cole’s second project to reach the milestone of 1 million albums sold. And like 2014 Forest Hills Drive, the album would do so without the presence of any features.
What did you think of 4 Your Eyez Only? And where would you rank it among other releases of 2016? Let us know in the comment section.
Photo: Sidewalk Hustle