In late August, much noise was being made about the potential charts battle brewing between Kanye West and Drake, who had, for years, maintained a relatively benign on-again, off-again beef, but never actually duked it out on the charts. But Donda, Kanye’s 10th studio album, dropped five days before Certified Lover Boy, Drake’s sixth, meaning it had no problems whatsoever taking the number One spot on the Rolling Stone Top 200 Albums Chart.
But if they'd gone head to head? It wouldn’t have been close.
In just three days, Certified Lover Boy has already out-streamed Donda, consistent with Alpha Data, the analytics provider that powers the Rolling Stone Charts. From Friday through Sunday alone, Certified Lover Boy saw over 430 million on-demand audio streams within the U.S. By comparison, Donda pulled in just under 423 million in its first eight days on streaming.
Donda was, by all accounts, a billboard smash. Despite having just five days’ worth of activity in its first tracking week, it broke the record for the biggest RS 200 debut of 2021 thus far . All of the album’s 27 songs landed on the highest 100 Songs Chart, marking the second most simultaneous entries in the chart’s history. But nobody comes close to Drake on the charts. He holds the record for the foremost weeks atop the Artists 500 chart and is repeatedly the most important artist of the year. Kanye, meanwhile, tops the Artist 500 Chart for just his second time in the week , as he typically comes in somewhere in the low 20s.
For Drake, the sole real competition is with himself. Certified Lover Boy has the potential to interrupt the record for the biggest streaming debut in Alpha Data history. After just three days, it already ranks second, behind only Scorpion. Scorpion pulled in only over 725 million streams in its first week.
Stay tuned for the final version of the RS 200 on Monday to ascertain just how big Certified Lover Boy winds up.