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Ranking Kendrick Lamar’s First Week Album Sales

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Kendrick Lamar is one of those rare cases in hip hop, where an artist comes along every now and then, and achieves huge commercial success without compromising their lyricism or vision.

This isn’t Nas in ’96 who had to make blatantly crossover hits to reach the masses (I’m not hating, I love It Was Written), Kendrick has been able to cultivate a rabid fanbase and hit number one albums and singles, while staying at the top as the best rapper alive.

As one of the best rappers of the 2010s, the Compton rapper has entered that rare space where his artistic acclaim and commercial success are aligned. With four number one albums (soon to be five), and a bunch of multi-platinum plaques to his name, Kendrick Lamar has been free for most of his recording to creatively express himself without worrying about the numbers.

From his 2011 debut album, Section.80, to the cinematic masterpiece that was Good Kid, M.A.A.D City to his latest release, 2022’s Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers, here are the rankings for Kendrick Lamar’s first week album sales.

Section.80 – first week album sales

Released: July 2, 2011

Label: Top Dawg Entertainment

First week album sales: 5,000

Billboard 200 position: 113

Singles: “HiiiPoWeR”

Features: Schoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, GLC, Colin Munroe, Ashtrobot, BJ the Chicago Kid, and Alori Joh.

Black Panther (with various artists) – first week album sales

Released: February 9, 2018

Label: Top Dawg Entertainment, Aftermath, Interscope

First week album sales: 154,000

Billboard 200 position: 1

Singles: “All the Stars”, “King’s Dead”, “Pray for Me”

Features: SZA, Schoolboy Q, 2 Chainz, Saudi, Khalid, Swae Lee, Vince Staples, Jorja Smith, SOB X RBE, Zacari, Ab-Soul, Anderson Paak, James Blake, Jay Rock, FUture, Babes Wodumo, Mozzy, Sjava, Reason, Travis Scott, The Weeknd.

untitled unmastered. – first week album sales

Released: March 4, 2016

Label: Top Dawg Entertainment, Aftermath Entertainment, Interscope Records

First week album sales: 178,000

Billboard 200 position: 1

Singles: “Untitled 07 | Levitate”

Features: Punch, Jay Rock, Anna Wise, Bilal, SZA, Rocket, Mani Strings, Cee Lo, Egypt, and Thundercat.

good kid, m.A.A.d city – first week album sales

Released: October 22, 2012

Label: Top Dawg Entertainment, Aftermath Entertainment, Interscope Records

First week album sales: 242,000

Billboard 200 position: 2

Singles: “The Recipe”, “Swimming Pools (Drank)”, “Backseat Freestyle”, “Poetic Justice”, “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe”

Features: Drake, Dr. Dre, Jay-Z, Jay Rock, Anna Wise, and MC Eiht.

Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers – first week album sales

Released: May 13, 2022

Label: PGLang, Top Dawg Entertainment, Aftermath Entertainment, Interscope Records Records

First week album sales: 295,500

Billboard 200 position: 1

Singles: “N95”

Features: Sampha, Kodak Black, Ghostface Killah, Florence Welch, Beth Gibbons of Portishead, Baby Keem.

To Pimp a Butterfly – first week album sales

Released: March 16, 2015

Label: Top Dawg Entertainment, Aftermath Entertainment, Interscope Records Records

First week album sales: 324,000

Billboard 200 position: 1

Singles: “i”, “The Blacker the Berry”, “King Kunta”, “Alright”, “These Walls”

Features: Thundercat, George Clinton, Bilal, Anna Wise, Snoop Dogg, James Fauntleroy, Ronald Isley, and Rapsody.

DAMN. – first week album sales

Released: April 14, 2017 

Label: Top Dawg Entertainment, Aftermath Entertainment, Interscope Records

First week album sales: 603,000

Billboard 200 position: 1

Singles: “Humble”, “Loyalty”, “Love”

Features: Rihanna, Zacari, and U2.

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