Kanye West’s delay-riddled Donda rollout may have left some fans reeling in frustration, but its drawn-out campaign certainly isn’t hurting the album’s commercial performance.
After posting year-best streaming numbers on Spotify and Apple Music in its first day, Donda is set to make a big splash on the Billboard charts with Kanye’s highest first-week sales in almost a decade.
According to HITS Daily Double, Kanye West’s latest effort is predicted to move over 300,000 equivalent album units in its opening week, putting it on pace to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200.
If accurate, Donda would mark Kanye West’s best sales week since 2013’s Yeezus, which shifted 327,000 copies in its opening week. 2016’s The Life of Pablo sold a truncated 90,000 first-week copies due it its TIDAL exclusivity, while 2018’s ye moved 208,000 units.
Donda’s 300,000-plus sales forecast would also make it the biggest Hip Hop album debut of 2021, beating out J. Cole’s The Off Season, which sold 282,000 equivalent album units in its first week. With Drake’s highly anticipated Certified Lover Boy arriving on Friday (September 3), however, Kanye might not be holding onto that top spot for long.
Given Donda’s arrival on a Sunday — typically the lowest streaming day of the week — HDD is calling their usually accurate prediction a “best guess.” Still, with last week’s other big release, Halsey’s If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power, expected to move between 95,000 and 115,000 copies, Donda’s path to the No. 1 spot looks unchallenged.
In topping the Billboard 200, Donda would earn Kanye his ninth consecutive solo No. 1 album, and tenth chart-topping release overall. Only Eminem (10) has more consecutive albums to debut at No. 1.
Despite the album’s impressive commercial impact, Donda appears to be dividing opinion among fans and critics. On Monday (August 30), The Breakfast Club co-hosts Charlamagne Tha God and DJ Envy shared their brutally honest review of the lengthy, 27-track project.
“Even without all the part twos on there, it’s just still too long and it gets exhausting,” Charlamagne said. “And the music, to me, sounds kind of dated.”