Jay Z’s 4:44 may have sold a million copies before it was ever released and could be tracked or counted in the official tally, and Tidal may be so coy with their numbers that it hurts their exclusive albums on the Billboard charts, but neither one of those things stopped Jay from dominating the Billboard albums chart in his the album’s opening week. Now he’s topped the chart again and Jay is inching closer to more chart history.
With 61,000 more traditional album sales and a total of 87,000 equivalent sales Jay’s 14th album has now topped Billboard’s 200 Albums chart for the second week in a row, edging out Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. and French Montana’s Jungle Rules. The 2nd week at No. 1 for 4:44 gives Jay his 25th week at No. 1 in his career, leaving him just six weeks behind Eminem’s record 31 weeks atop the Billboard chart for a rap artist.
Whether Jay can top the record is anybody’s guess, and likely will be determined by Em’s output, as he is rumored to be working on and possibly dropping a new album this year at some point. Jay’s reign on the top will probably end soon, with steep drop offs in its second week numbers, and with the album being pirated so much, but as a master manipulator of both Nielsen and Billboard machinations, he may have a few tricks up his sleeve to continue gain ground on Eminem’s hallowed mark.