Kendrick Lamar has been called the new king of the West Coast by Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, and now he’s assuming his throne on the charts. Compton’s breakout star enters at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 with his major-label debut good kid, m.A.A.d city.
The critically-acclaimed set from the 25-year-old MC sold 241,000 copies in its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Led by the single “Swimming Pools (Drank),” it also claims the No. 1 spot on the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and Rap Albums charts.
He previously bowed at No. 113 on the Billboard 200 with 2011’s Section.80, which was released through his indie label Top Dawg Entertainment. The last male artist to chart with higher first-week numbers was Drake, whose debut Thank Me Later opened with 447,000 in June 2010.
Kendrick thanked his fans for their support by releasing the free song “The Jig Is Up (Dump’n),” co-produced by J. Cole.
While the numbers are impressive, they couldn’t compete with Taylor Swift, whose latest album Red had a blockbuster week, selling 1.2 million copies. It marks the biggest debut for an artist in a decade and Swift’s second album to sell more than a million copies in one week. The last album to go platinum in its first week was Lady Gaga’s Born This Way.