J. Cole has officially blown up. The Roc Nation rapper rockets to the top of the albums chart this week with his long-awaited debut.
After two years in the making, Cole World: The Sideline Story opens at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with 218,000 copies sold in its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The well-received album, which features the singles “Work Out” and “Can’t Get Enough” with Trey Songz, fought off competition from Blink-182 and Adele to score the top spot.
Cole earns the biggest debut by a new artist this year and has the highest sales week for a newcomer since Nicki Minaj’s Pink Friday launched with 375,000 in December 2010. In addition, the North Carolina native lands the biggest digital album debut from a new artist since January 2010.
A grateful Cole took to Twitter to thank his supporters. “So many people to stunt on, fighting the urge to be spiteful. This moment is too important for that. Just want to say THANK YOU,” he wrote. “Thanks to yall, we shook the game up. No chart topping single, just 2 years of hard work, great music and real ass fans. #1 album. Thanks to every fan that held me down, every friend, every blog, magazine, tv, radio station, dj’s and pd’s, I feel like we ALL won.”
Jay-Z also chimed in to congratulate his protégé. “J. Cole’s success is a testament to amazing artist development and Cole’s hard work,” stated the Roc Nation CEO. “I want to congratulate him on a No. 1 album and more importantly a great body of work.”