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Breaking Down Kanye West’s Narrow Sales Victory Over J. Cole This Week

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Well the numbers are in, and as expected, Kanye West’s Yeezus won its showdown with J. Cole’s Born Sinneror it did if the only metric in play is pure album sales. J. Cole, with his final tally of 297,000 units sold (second to Yeezus‘ 327,000) may have lost the battle, but he looks to have gained an upper hand in the war for hip-hop supremacy. To be fair, it may seem a war that West is no longer interested in, with a legacy firmly cemented and an attitude of being above such distinctions these days; the man did just unleash a track called “I Am A God,” after all. But for Cole—expected to be blown out of the water by at least 100,000 units just last week (early projections had Kanye at 500,000 and Cole at 280,000)—to come within touching distance of Kanye’s latest effort should be seen as a triumph and, maybe, a changing of the winds. Let’s take a look at a few of the factors that may have contributed to the race that, while not a photo finish, at least came down fairly close to the wire.—Dan Rys (@danrys)

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