Put down your drinks and try to conceal your excitement, the 2015 Nielsen Music U.S Report is in.
The numbers have arrived and it’s nothing but good news for rap album sales. The album sales having increased in 2015 from 2014 by two percent, while digital album sales rose by a mammoth 19 percent.
2015 proved to be a stellar year for hip-hop, with the release of key albums like Kendrick Lamar’s critically acclaimed and universally adored To Pimp A Butterfly, as well as Drake’s blockbuster If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late. The popularity of those albums will have no doubt massively contributed to the overall album sales, and sets the bar high for artists releasing their records in 2016.
The impact was keenly felt as hip-hop held down the second spot in the genre popularity stakes. Coming second to rock in album sales and digital streaming, the genre recorded a consumption stake of 18.2% in the market. An impressive feat by anyone’s standards.
It can be said that 2015 was Drake’s year, as he held sixth spot in the year’s lists in terms of sales of albums and streaming track and album equivalents. The Toronto based rapper shifting an impressive 1.9 million units of his album that he released in February of last year with no prior announcement. He also released another album later in the year, which was his collaboration with Future called What A Time To Be Alive that went on to sell just over half a million records (508,000).
At the beginning of January it is already looking like a difficult task of bettering or even matching last year’s numbers. Kendrick Lamar, Drake, and Vince Staples all released massive albums which will be hard to replicate. We can be sure that somewhere though a certain Mr Kanye West has his reading glasses on while he sits in front of the open fire going over the latest Nielsen report, while his wife happily takes selfies of herself in the corner, confident that he can beat them.
Read our exclusive interview with Vince Staples here.