10 of Hip-Hop’s Biggest First-Week Album Sales in 2023
Do first-week sales still matter? While 2023 marks the 50th year of hip-hop, ironically, rap is having a down year, as the genre reaches five decades in existence.
Hip-hop, once the biggest genre of music just a few years ago, has recently shown a decline in the mass market due to a number of factors. Even tickets sales are suffering. As proof of the sales dip, only a handful of rappers have landed No. 1 spots on the Billboard Hot 100 and Billboard 200 charts in 2023. Artists are starting to feel the pinch. On Oct. 9, Southern rap veteran Juicy J lamented about hip-hop's downturn.
"I know a lot of people don’t want to hear this, but rap music is down 40 percent. Check the charts. Check the math," he said in a video shared on social media. "What are we, as rappers, producers, composers, going to do about this s**t? Because it’s down 40 percent this year. Do your research. This is a fact."
He continued: "Let’s have a conversation. What are we gonna do? We gotta figure some s**t out. We gotta sit down and talk. Let’s have a meeting, let’s meet up somewhere and have a big-a** f**king meeting. Let’s talk about this s**t, how we can turn this s**t around. Because this is how we eat. This is how we make money."
Despite the down year, a select few artists have shown and proved when it was their time to shine. However, the numbers pale in comparison to previous years when rap was on top. XXL takes a look at the biggest first-week sales for rap releases this year. This list only includes albums that were released in 2023, so projects from prior years that have impacted sales this year like Metro Boomin's Heroes & Villains or Drake and 21 Savage's Her Loss will not appear.
Check out the biggest sales for hip-hop albums this year below.