Kanye West's Jesus Is King debuts at no. 1, tying Eminem's record
West now has nine consecutive albums that have debuted at the top of the charts
Jesus Is King by Kanye West has debuted at the top of the Billboard 200 album chart, becoming his ninth consecutive number one album, which ties a record, even as early reception appears mixed.
Soon after its October 25th release date, music review website Pitchfork called the gospel inspired album "a richly produced but largely flawed record," while Rolling Stone described West's rapping as "uniformly lacklustre," and that his performance "weakens his work as a producer," giving the album two and a half stars out of a possible five.
Fans also questioned and critiqued merchandise released alongside the album, which includes socks and hats bearing the album's name, along with simply designed shirts, sweaters and sweat pants.
Some on Twitter called the use of Jesus' image on the merchandise disrespectful, even blasphemous.
New “Jesus Is King” merch available NOW‼️<a href="https://t.co/qWDAxx4QX8">https://t.co/qWDAxx4QX8</a> <a href="https://t.co/0rUCKxj9cQ">pic.twitter.com/0rUCKxj9cQ</a>—@defjam
Despite this, the album has managed to topple records, and has catapulted West into his most successful streaming week ever. According to Billboard, Jesus Is King launched with 196.9 million streams, beating West's previous record of 180.1 million with his previous solo album, 2018's Ye.
Jesus Is King also brought about the second-largest sales week for an R&B/hip-hop album of 2019, selling a total of 264,000 equivalent album units in its first week.
West is now tied with Eminem for consecutive albums to debut at number one, with only his first album – The College Dropout — falling short. Rapper Jay-Z is ahead of both artists with the most number one debuts on the chart, having 14, but they are not consecutive.
With files from The Associated Press