It might still be relatively new to the world, but Drake's latest record Views has already earned its place in history as one of the biggest hip-hop albums of all time. Now, I'm not saying that the album is necessarily going to end up as one of the most influential or the most critically applauded works ever released, but nobody can argue with numbers, as they show how insanely popular Views is and has been ever since it hit the streets (and the streaming platforms).
Views has occupied the number one spot on the Billboard 200 ever since it originally debuted in the position with a very impressive 1.04 million equivalent units shifted. That's the biggest opening in 2016, and it has spent week after week blocking new entries from some of the biggest names in the music industry.
The record has now been on top for eight consecutive weeks, and it is highly likely that there are at least a few more frames at number one in the album's future. Not many titles can reign for that long, especially in a row. In fact, it has been well over a decade since any male solo artist has managed the feat, with the last being Eminem back in 2000.
While artists like Adele have easily bested Drake's eight straight turns at number one, there are very few hip-hop titles that have done the same. In fact, according to Billboard, Drake's latest is just the fourth hip-hop album in history to manage at least as many weeks at the top. The other three titles are Eminem's The Marshall Mathers LP, Vanilla Ice's To the Extreme, and M.C. Hammer's Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em. Having hit number eight, Drake is now tied with Eminem, and he will likely pass the latter's record, though don't expect the "One Dance" rapper to best Vanilla Ice's or M.C. Hammer's winning streaks, as those albums spent 16 and 21 weeks atop the Billboard 200, consecutively.
Views might only be about two months old, but it has already performed better singles-wise than most albums ever do. So far, the LP has seen 19 of its 20 tracks make it onto the Hot 100, with six of them scooting past the top 40 marker. That's the most slots on the singles ranking that any artist has controlled at one time by far, and Drake may very well own that record forever.
"Hotline Bling" kicked off the promotional campaign for Views last summer, and after taking a little while to pick up steam, the track spent many frames in the runner-up position, never quite making it to number one, though it ended up as one of the most popular tunes of 2015. Since then, follow-up single "One Dance" has already ruled the singles chart for weeks, and its numbers are becoming greater and greater by the day. The hit, which features WizKid and Kyla, is a global smash, and it too seems like it may continue to run the show for some time to come.
Few albums see even one song match the kind of success that both "Bling" and "Dance" have enjoyed, and there is no telling how many more tracks could continue to rise on the charts.
Every single week that Views has managed to remain in the peak position on the albums chart, it has racked up incredible figures from streaming sources. In fact, the number of streams that Views ends every week with typically land that frame on the list of the most plays for any one album in history.
When the album was first released, the twenty songs featured were played an almost-unbelievable 245 million times. That number is incredible on its own, but it's made even more special considering the fact that for the first seven days it was out, Views was only available to stream on one platform: Apple Music.
Before Views arrived, Beyoncé owned the record for the most streams in a week, as the tracks on her Lemonade record were played 115 million times in just seven days. Since then, Drake's Views has garnered over 100 million plays every single week, making each week-end number an almost historical occasion. No other hip-hop album comes even close to the number of plays that Drake receives week after week. The closest is Kanye's The Life Of Pablo, which saw its songs listened to 99 million times in its first frame of availability, with that figure dipping since.
The artistic influence that Views inspires is yet to be seen, but numbers-wise, nothing can compare. The only area where Drake's new album has been falling behind is in terms of actual sales. While millions of people may play the record on various streaming platforms every day, the number of copies it sells is low, and they are certainly not enough to make the title one of the best selling ever, though it is important to remember that the times have changed, and sales are down for almost every act. Now that the majority of people are accessing their music via streaming outlets, Drake's latest is truly one to remember.