Kanye West’s ‘Jesus is King’ Debuts at No. 1

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American rapper, Kanye West performs during Kanye West Yeezy Season 3 on February 11, 2016 in New York City. Photo credit:Dimitrios Kambouris 

American rapper, Kanye West recently released his gospel record ‘Jesus Is King’ and has since been debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 200 charts, making it the rapper’s ninth consecutive No. 1 album.

The Billboard 200 chart ranks the United States’ most popular albums of the week. The new chart, where “Jesus Is King” sits at No. 1, is set to be released Tuesday and according to Billboard, ‘Jesus Is King’ sold 264,000 equivalent album units in the U.S. in the week ending with October 31. Less than half the number, 109,000 to be specific, were in actual record sales. The remainder of the impressive number was powered by streaming services. The album arriving at No. 1 continues Kanye’s impressive streak with the entirety of West’s records from 2005 to 2019 making a debut at the top slot. The new album breaks a personal record for Kanye giving him his biggest streaming week ever, at 196.9 million on-demand streams of its tracks, according to Billboard. His only record he that didn’t debut at No. 1 was his first, The College Dropout, which both debuted and peaked at No. 2.

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Since this is Kanye’s ninth No. 1 debut in a row, he now ties with Eminem who also holds nine No. 1 album debuts, starting with his 2000 record The Marshall Mathers LP and continuing to his most recent effort Kamikaze. Like Kanye, Eminem has only had one album miss a No. 1 debut spot. Eminem’s 1999 The Slim Shady LP also debuted and peaked at No. 2.

Jesus Is King is the ninth studio album by Kanye West, released on October 25, 2019, through GOOD Music and Def Jam Recordings. The album follows a Christian theme, with Kanye describing it as “an expression of the gospel.” Kanye had formed his Sunday Service group in January 2019, performing gospel songs and covers of songs from his discography. The album features guest appearances from Clipse, Ty Dolla Sign, Kenny G, Fred Hammond, Ant Clemons, and Sunday Service. The album features production from Kanye, Benny Blanco, E*vax, Finatik N Zac, Francis Starlite, Labrinth, Mike Dean, Pi’erre Bourne, Ronny J, Timbaland, and Warryn Campbell, among others.

West began recording in August 2018, originally announcing the album as Yandhi. The album missed two initial release dates in September and November 2018 under its original title, before being delayed indefinitely. In August 2019, West’s wife Kim Kardashian reannounced the album as Jesus Is King but it missed two planned release dates for late September 2019. The album’s release was simultaneous with that of a concert film of the same name. Upon release, Jesus Is King received mixed reviews from music critics. Some praised it in comparison to West’s previous solo album and noted the consistency throughout, while others were critical of the lyrical content.

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