Billboard reported today that Lecrae won a tight sales race this week, charting at #1 on the Billboard 200. The news is significant for the sub-genre and Reach Records; it’s an achievement no other Christian Hip Hop artist has reached. Check out an excerpt from the Billboard report below:
Rapper Lecrae collects his first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 as his new Anomaly opens atop the list. It sold 88,000 copies in the week ending Sept. 14, according to Nielsen SoundScan. It’s also the first chart-topper for Lecrae’s label, Reach Records.
Anomaly‘s launch is Lecrae’s best sales week, trumping the 72,000-unit start of 2012’s Gravity, which debuted and peaked at No. 3. (Gravity was also Lecrae’s highest-charting album — and only top 10 — until Anomaly‘s arrival.)
Anomaly is the Grammy winner’s sixth No. 1 on the Gospel Albums chart and his fifth leader on Christian Albums. (Most Christian hip-hop releases are eligible to appear on both sales charts.)
Thus, Anomaly is the first title to crown both Gospel Albums and the Billboard 200, and just the fifth set to lead both Christian Albums and the Billboard 200. In terms of the latter achievement, it follows Chris Tomlin’s Burning Lights (in 2013), TobyMac’s Eye on It (2012), LeAnn Rimes’ You Light Up My Life — Inspirational Songs (1997) and Bob Carlisle’s Butterfly Kisses (Shades of Grace) (1997).
While Lecrae, 34, might not quite be a household name — he’s yet to chart a single on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100 — he has sold 1.4 million albums and 2.9 million track downloads. He has released seven studio albums, and made his chart debut in 2005 with Real Talk (No. 39, Gospel Albums). He reached the all-genre Billboard 200 for the first time in 2008 with Rebel, which peaked at No. 88.
Lecrae leads a parade of new entries in the top 10 of the Billboard 200, where six more titles arrive. The seven debuts are the most the top 10 has seen since Oct. 26, 2013, when seven titles also stepped in (led by Miley Cyrus’ Bangerz).
RELATED: Album Review: Lecrae – Anomaly