Rapper Future makes history with back-to-back No. 1 debuts
The rapper Future made history on Sunday by debuting at number one on the US chart in back-to-back weeks with different albums. The Atlanta rapper had entered at number one on the Billboard sales chart for the week through February 23 with a self-titled album.
He returned a week later with a completely new album, “HNDRXX.” It debuted at number one for the week through Thursday, pushing the self-titled album to number two.
“HNDRXX” sold 121,000 copies in the United States or the equivalent in streaming or downloads during its first week, according to the tracking service Nielsen Music.
It is unusual for artists to release albums with such a short gap, but longstanding promotional strategies have been increasingly evolving — especially in rap and dance music — as streaming shakes up the industry.
The 33-year-old Future, one of the leading forces in Atlanta’s rap scene, stays true to his signature style on the self-titled album with tracks that boast of his success and the delights of the rap lifestyle.
But the album ends on “Feds Did a Sweep,” a tale of a police raid that sets the stage for the more introspective “HNDRXX.”
On “HNDRXX,” Future reflects on his life and apologizes for excesses. The album features appearances by two of the biggest stars in R&B, Rihanna and The Weeknd.
Future had enjoyed a boost in his profile in 2015 when he recorded a mixtape with one of the top names in hip-hop, Drake, called “What a Time to Be Alive.”
While Future is the first artist to replace himself at number one in debut weeks, nine acts have had albums at number one and number two at the same time.
Among them is Guns N’ Roses, who released “Use Your Illusion I” and “Use Your Illusion II” simultaneously in 1991.