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Ever since 50 Cent burst onto the scene with the monumental Get Rich or Die Tryin’, he singlehandedly made the topic of sales numbers a focal point of conversation moving forward.

Overnight, a rapper’s first week sales numbers were just as important as their skills on the mic or how dope their album was. I’m saying this is right, I’m just saying this is how it is.

So if we’re going to have that conversation, let’s talk about it. Here are the biggest first week hip hop album sales, every year since ’93.

1993. Snoop Doggy Dogg – Doggystyle

Released: November 23, 1993

Label: Death Row, Interscope

First week album sales: 806,000

Singles: “Who Am I? (What’s My Name?)”, “Gin & Juice”, “Doggy Dogg World”

Runner ups:

  • Strictly for My N.I.G.G.A.Z by 2Pac
  • Lethal Injection by Ice Cube
  • It’s On (Dr. Dre) 187um Killa by Eazy-E

1994. Death Row Records – Murder Was the Case

Released: October 18, 1994

Label: Death Row, Interscope

First week album sales: 329,000

Singles: “U Better Recognize”, “One More Day/What Would You Do?”, “Natural Born Killaz”

Runner ups:

  • Creepin on ah Come Up by Bone Thugs-N-Harmony
  • Regulate… G Funk Era by Warren G
  • Tical by Method Man

1995. Bone Thugs-N-Harmony – E. 1999 Eternal

Released: July 25, 1995

Label: Ruthless, Relativity

First week album sales: 307,000

Singles: “1st of tha Month”, “East 1999”, “Tha Crossroads”

Runner ups:

  • Dogg Food by Tha Dogg Pound
  • Me Against The World by 2Pac
  • Cypress Hill III: Temples of Boom by Cypress Hill
  • Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… by Raekwon

1996. 2Pac – The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory

Released: November 5, 1996

Label: Death Row, Makaveli, Interscope Records

First week album sales: 664,000

Singles: “Toss It Up”, “To Live & Die in L.A.”, “Hail Mary”

Runner ups:

  • All Eyez On Me by 2Pac
  • Tha Doggfather by Snoop Dogg
  • It Was Written by Nas
  • The Score by Fugees

1997. The Notorious B.I.G. – Life After Death

Released: March 25, 1997

Label: Bad Boy, Arista

First week album sales: 690,000

Singles: “Hypnotize”, “Mo Money Mo Problems”, “Sky’s the Limit”

Runner ups:

  • Wu-Tang Forever by Wu-Tang Clan
  • No Way Out by Puff Daddy
  • R U Still Down? (Remember Me) by 2Pac
  • The Art Of War by Bone Thugs-N-Harmony

1998. Beastie Boys – Hello Nasty

Released: July 14, 1998

Label: Capitol

First week album sales: 681,000

Singles: “Intergalactic”, “Body Movin'”, “The Negotiation Limerick File”, “Remote Control / Three MC’s and One DJ”

Runner ups:

  • Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood by DMX
  • Da Game Is to Be Sold, Not to Be Told by Snoop Dogg
  • MP Da Last Don by Master P
  • The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill by Lauryn Hill

1999. DMX – …And Then There Was X

Released: December 21, 1999

Label: Ruff Ryders, Def Jam

First week album sales: 698,000

Singles: “What’s My Name”, “Party Up (Up in Here)”, “What These Bitches Want”

Runner ups:

  • 2001 by Dr. Dre
  • Born Again by The Notorious B.I.G.
  • I Am… by Nas
  • Vol. 3… Life and Times of S. Carter by Jay-Z

2000. Eminem – The Marshall Mathers LP

Released: May 23, 2000

Label: Aftermath, Interscope, Shady

First week album sales: 1,760,000

Singles: “The Real Slim Shady”, “The Way I Am”, “Stan”, “I’m Back”, “Bitch Please II”

Runner ups:

  • The Dynasty: Roc La Familia by Jay-Z
  • Stankonia by Outkast
  • Tha Last Meal by Snoop Dogg
  • Let’s Get Ready by Mystikal

2001. DMX – The Great Depression

Released: October 23, 2001

Label: Ruff Ryders, Def Jam

First week album sales: 439,000

Singles: “We Right Here”, “Who We Be”, “I Miss You”

Runner ups:

  • Until The End of Time by 2Pac
  • The Blueprint by Jay-Z
  • Devil’s Night by D12
  • Pain Is Love by Ja Rule

2002. Eminem – The Eminem Show

Released: May 26, 2002

Label: Aftermath, Interscope, Shady

First week album sales: 1,322,000

Singles: “Without Me”, “Cleanin’ Out My Closet”, “Superman”, “Sing for the Moment”, “Business”

Runner ups:

  • Nellyville by Nelly
  • 8 Mile OST by Various Artists
  • The Blueprint 2: The Gift & The Curse by Jay-Z
  • Better Dayz by 2Pac

2003. 50 Cent – Get Rich or Die Tryin’

Released: February 6, 2003

Label: Shady, Aftermath, Interscope

First week album sales: 872,000

Singles: “In da Club”, “21 Questions”, “Many Men (Wish Death)”, “P.I.M.P.”, “If I Can’t”

Runner ups:

  • Speakerboxxx/The Love Below by OutKast
  • The Black Album by Jay-Z
  • Tupac: Resurrection by 2Pac
  • Chicken-n-Beer by Ludacris

2004. Eminem – Encore

Released: November 12, 2004

Label: Shady, Aftermath, Interscope

First week album sales: 710,000

Singles: “Just Lose It”, “Mosh”, “Encore”, “Like Toy Soldiers”, “Mockingbird”, “Ass Like That”

Runner ups:

  • D12 World by D12
  • The College Dropout by Kanye West
  • The Hunger for More by Lloyd Banks
  • Suit by Nelly

2005. 50 Cent – The Massacre

Released: March 3, 2005

Label: Shady Aftermath Interscope

First week album sales: 1,140,000

Singles: “Disco Inferno”, “Candy Shop”, “Just a Lil Bit”, “Outta Control”

Runner ups:

  • Late Registration by Kanye West
  • The Documentary by The Game
  • Curtain Call: The Hits by Eminem
  • Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ OST by Various Artists

2006. Jay-Z – Kingdom Come

Released: November 21, 2006

Label: Roc-A-Fella, Def Jam

First week album sales: 680,000

Singles: “Show Me What You Got”, “Lost One”, “30 Something”, “Hollywood”

Runner ups:

  • T.I. – King
  • The Game – Doctors Advocate
  • Nas – Hip Hop Is Dead
  • Young Jeezy – The Inspiration

2007. Kanye West – Graduation

Released: September 11, 2007

Label: Roc-A-Fella, Def Jam

First week album sales: 957,000

Singles: “Can’t Tell Me Nothing”, “Stronger”, “Good Life”, “Flashing Lights”, “Homecoming”

  • 50 Cent – Curtis
  • T.I. – T.I. vs. T.I.P.
  • Jay-Z – American Gangster
  • Fabolous – From Nothin’ to Somethin’

2008. Lil Wayne – Tha Carter III

Released: June 10, 2008

Label: Cash Money, Universal Motown

First week album sales: 1,005,545

Singles: “Lollipop”, “A Milli”, “Got Money”, “Mr. Carter”, “Mrs. Officer”

  • T.I. – Paper Trail
  • Kanye West – 808s & Heartbreak
  • Young Jeezy – The Recession
  • The Game – LAX

2009. Eminem – Relapse

Released: May 19, 2009

Label: Shady, Aftermath, Interscope, Web Entertainment

First week album sales: 608,000

Singles: “Crack a Bottle”, “We Made You”, “3 a.m.”, “Beautiful”

  • Jay-Z – The Blueprint 3
  • 50 Cent – Before I Self Destruct
  • Rick Ross – Deeper Than Rap
  • Young Money – We Are Young Money

2010. Eminem – Recovery

Released: June 18, 2010

Label: Aftermath, Interscope, Shady

First week album sales: 741,000

Singles: “Not Afraid”, “Love the Way You Lie”, “No Love”, “Space Bound”

  • Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
  • Drake – Thank Me Later
  • Nicki Minaj – Pink Friday
  • Lil Wayne – Rebirth
  • Rick Ross – Teflon Don

2011. Lil Wayne – Tha Carter IV

Released: August 29, 2011

Label: Young Money, Cash Money, Universal Republic

First week album sales: 964,000

Singles: “6 Foot 7 Foot”, “John”, “How to Love”, “She Will”, “It’s Good”, “Mirror”

  • Take Care by Drake
  • Watch the Throne by Jay-Z & Kanye West
  • Thug Motivation 103: Hustlerz Ambition by Young Jeezy
  • Cole World: The Sideline Story by J. Cole

2012. Nicki Minaj – Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded

Released: April 2, 2012

Label: Young Money, Cash Money, Universal Republic

First week album sales: 253,000

Singles: “Starships”, “Right by My Side”, “Beez in the Trap”, “Pound the Alarm”, “Va Va Voom”

  • good kid, m.A.A.d city by Kendrick Lamar
  • God Forgives, I Don’t by Rick Ross
  • Cruel Summer by GOOD Music
  • Trouble Man: Heavy Is the Head by T.I.

2013. Eminem – The Marshall Mathers LP 2

Released: November 5, 2013

Label: Aftermath, Shady, Interscope

First week album sales: 792,000

Singles: “Berzerk”, “Survival”, “Rap God”, “The Monster”, “Headlights”

  • Nothing Was the Same by Drake
  • Magna Carta Holy Grail by Jay-Z
  • Yeezus by Kanye West
  • Born Sinner by J. Cole

2014. J. Cole – 2014 Forest Hills Drive

Released: December 9, 2014

Label: Dreamville, Roc Nation, Columbia

First week album sales: 371,000

Singles: “Apparently”, “Wet Dreamz”, “No Role Modelz”, “Love Yourz”

  • The Pinkprint by Nicki Minaj
  • Mastermind by Rick Ross
  • King by Kollegah
  • Oxymoron by Schoolboy Q

2015. Drake – If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late

Released: February 13, 2015

Label: OVO Sound, Young Money, Cash Money, Republic

First week album sales: 535,000

Singles: “Preach”, “Energy”

Runner ups:

  • What a Time to Be Alive by Drake & Future
  • To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar
  • Compton by Dr. Dre
  • Dreams Worth More Than Money by Meek Mill

2016. Drake – Views

Released: April 29, 2016

Label: Cash Money, Republic, Young Money

First week album sales: 1,040,000

Singles: “Hotline Bling”, “One Dance”, “Pop Style”, “Controlla”, “Too Good”

Runner ups:

  • 4 Your Eyez Only by J. Cole
  • untitled unmastered by Kendrick Lamar
  • We Got It from Here… Thank You 4 Your Service by A Tribe Called Quest
  • Evol by Future

2017. Kendrick Lamar – DAMN.

Released: April 14, 2017

Label: TDE, Aftermath, Interscope

First week album sales: 603,000

Singles: “Humble”, “Loyalty”, “Love”

Runner ups:

  • More Life by Drake
  • Revival by Eminem
  • 4:44 by Jay-Z
  • Everybody by Logic
  • I Decided. by Big Sean

2018. Drake – Scorpion

Released: June 29, 2018

Label: Young Money, Cash Money, Republic

First week album sales: 732,000

Singles: “God’s Plan”, “Nice for What”, “I’m Upset”, “Don’t Matter to Me”, “In My Feelings”, “Nonstop”, “Mob Ties”

Runner ups:

Runner ups:

  • Astroworld by Travis Scott
  • Tha Carter V by Lil Wayne
  • Beerbongs & Bentleys by Post Malone
  • Kamikaze by Eminem
  • KOD by J. Cole

2019. Post Malone – Hollywood’s Bleeding

Released: September 6, 2019

Label: Republic

First week album sales: 489,000

Singles: “Wow”, “Goodbyes”, “Circles”, “Enemies”, “Allergic”, “Take What You Want”

Runner ups:

  • Jesus Is King by Kanye West
  • Igor by Tyler, the Creator
  • Death Race for Love by Juice Wrld
  • Kirk by DaBaby
  • Father of Asahd by DJ Khaled

2020. Juice Wrld – Legends Never Die

Released: July 10, 2020

Label: Grade A, Interscope

First week album sales: 497,000

Singles: “Righteous”, “Tell Me U Luv Me”, “Life’s a Mess”, “Come & Go”, “Wishing Well”, “Smile”

Runner ups:

  • Eternal Atake by Lil Uzi Vert
  • Music to Be Murdered By by Eminem
  • Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon by Pop Smoke
  • Dark Lane Demo Tapes by Drake
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