Drake’s ‘Scorpion’ Is Already Eligible For A Platinum Certification

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After months of stratospheric singles, nostalgic music videos and cataclysmic beefs with other rappers, Drake has finally released his long-awaited fifth studio album, Scorpion. The mammoth double album contains 25 tracks, giving listeners plenty to sink their teeth into for weeks to come. But before fans even have time to form a proper opinion on Drake’s new effort, Scorpion has become the definitive blockbuster album of the summer, as it’s already eligible for a platinum certification from the RIAA.

This milestone should come as no surprise to anybody following Drake’s unprecedented chart run throughout the first half of 2018. The Canadian MC instantly rocketed his single “God’s Plan” to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 upon its release in January, where it stayed for 11 straight weeks—the first song to accomplish such a feat since Boyz II Men and Mariah Carey’s “One Sweet Day” in 1995-1996. “God’s Plan” was eventually certified 7x platinum in the United States for sales and streams exceeding seven million equivalent units, and when it finally surrendered the top spot on the Hot 100, it was to another Drake single.

That would be “Nice for What,” which dominated airwaves and streaming playlists upon its release in April. “Nice for What” debuted atop the Hot 100, making Drake the first artist in the U.S. to replace a No. 1 debut with another No. 1 debut. The track has ultimately spent seven non-consecutive weeks atop the Hot 100 and became eligible for a 3x platinum certification for sales and streams exceeding three million units, per Chart Data.

Together, “God’s Plan” and “Nice for What” have shifted more than 10 million equivalent units. Ten track units equal one album sale, which means Scorpion has already shifted one million equivalent units on the strength of its first two singles, making it eligible for a platinum certification upon submission to the RIAA.

Despite its platinum eligibility, the pre-release figures for “God’s Plan” and “Nice for What” (along with Top 20 single “I’m Upset”) won’t count toward Scorpion’s first-week tally. Not that Drake needs to worry, given his track record. His last proper full-length album, 2016’s Views, debuted atop the Billboard 200 and moved 1.04 million units in its first week. Similarly, his 2017 “playlist” More Life topped the charts and moved 505,000 units in its first week, setting a first-week streaming record that Post Malone’sBeerbongs & Bentleys now holds. With 25 tracks, Scorpion all but guarantees huge, if not record-breaking, streaming numbers in its first seven days, following a recent trend of Herculean rap albums that are optimized for the streaming era.

Notably, Drake has released Scorpion during the first week of Billboard’s new streaming algorithm, which assigns more weight to streams from paid subscription services than free, ad-supported services. But, as Hip-Hop Lately notes, Drake likely has an older fanbase that’s more willing to pay for a streaming subscription than fans of Post Malone or XXXTentacion, so the new streaming rules shouldn’t hinder his sales too greatly. Hits Daily Double predicts the new formula could even increase Drake’s first-week figures.

Ultimately, Drake must be held to different commercial standards than his peers because of the staggering success he’s achieved in the past. But if his chart dominance in the first half of 2018 serves as any indication, then the already-platinum eligible Scorpion should dominate the rest of the summer and beyond.

-Forbes


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