Sing-songy New York rapper A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie's second album Hoodie SZN currently sits atop the Billboard 200. It is, by the only metric that's supposed to matter, the biggest album in America right now. And it shifted just 823 copies last week.
That Hoodie SZN rose to the top of the charts almost entirely on the strength of streaming stats should come as no shock. Trying to comprehend the precise nature of "album-equivalent units" is futile, and Billboard will probably tweak the system again in 2019, but it's clear that 20-track projects like Hoodie SZN are built for the streaming era. It racked up 83 million streams last week, which Billboard translates to 58,000 total units sold, and that was enough to push 21 Savage's I Am > I Was off of top spot. This is just the most numerically shocking example of a very obvious trend in the recording industry.
Still, the numbers really are something. The previous lowest-selling album to top the Billboard 200 was 21 Savage's I Was > I Am, which shifted 3,481 copies last week (to go along with 84 million streams). Like I Was > I Am, every copy of Hoodie SZN sold was a digital download—there are no physical copies in existence. And though it might seem a bit obvious, I love this little fact from Billboard's own piece on the record: "The top selling album this week is Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s A Star Is Born soundtrack, with 21,000 sold, and is No. 1 on the sales-only Top Album Sales chart. Hoodie SZN did not sell enough to rank on that 100-position list."
In less fun Billboard 200 news, Post Malone's Beerbongs & Bentleys is still in fifth place, while Bad Bunny's X 100PRE has dropped to 12th spot. Get your shit together, people.
Each one of Alex Robert Ross's tweets is equivalent to 0.0002 albums sold.