J. Cole finally unleashed his sixth studio album The Off-Season to his eager fans on Friday (May 14) and unsurprisingly, the project is on track to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. It would mark Cole’s sixth consecutive chart topper behind 2018’s KOD.
On Saturday afternoon (May 15), Chart Data fired off a tweet that read, “.@JColeNC‘s ‘The Off-Season’ aiming for #1 debut on US albums chart with 280-310K units. J. Cole’s sixth #1 in a row and challenging for biggest debut of the year.”
The following morning (May 16), Chart Data also reported The Off-Season is 2021’s largest streaming debut on Spotify, tweeting, “.@JColeNC’s ‘The Off-Season’ earns the biggest streaming debut for any album on Spotify this year with 59 million streams.”
.@JColeNC's 'The Off-Season' aiming for #1 debut on US albums chart with 280-310K units. J. Cole's sixth #1 in a row and challenging for biggest debut of the year.
— chart data (@chartdata) May 15, 2021
.@JColeNC's 'The Off-Season' earns the biggest streaming debut for any album on Spotify this year with 59 million streams.
— chart data (@chartdata) May 16, 2021
Comprised of only 12 songs and no physical product, The Off-Season (Dreamville/Roc Nation/Interscope) will make a run for the overall biggest first week in the first five months of 2021.
The current No. 1 is Taylor Swift’s Fearless (Taylor’s Version) with roughly 291,000 total album-equivalent units. Meanwhile, Nicki Minaj’s updated 2009 Beam Me Up Scotty mixtape is projected to move around 65,000 to 75,000 total album-equivalent units in its opening week.
With Cole’s projected 280,000 to 310,000 total album-equivalent units, he could potentially slide by Swift next week.
As soon as The Off-Season dropped, so many fans rushed to Spotify to stream the project the site briefly crashed. Prior to its release, Cole shared the tracklist to his Instagram account, which didn’t indicate any guest features. But it turned out there were a several, including Dipset legend Cam’ron on the opening track “95.south,” Morray and 21 Savage on “my life” and Lil Baby on “pride.is.the.devil.”