Rising rapper Baby Keem achieves his first top five effort on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart as his debut set, The Melodic Blue, starts at No. 3 on the chart dated Sept. 25. The project, released through Baby Keem/pgLang/Columbia Records, begins with 53,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending Sept. 16, according to MRC Data.
As with most hip-hop releases, and particularly those by new talent, The Melodic Blue traces the overwhelming majority of its first-week numbers to streaming. 51,800 units of its 53,000 debut sum derive from streams, equaling 70.1 million collective on-demand streams of the album’s songs. A little over 1,000 units are traditional album sales, while the remaining few units come from individual track downloads of the album’s songs. (One unit equals the following levels of consumption: one album sale, 10 individual tracks sold from an album, or 3,750 ad-supported or 1,250 paid/subscription on-demand official audio and video streams for a song on the album.)
Elsewhere, Blue repeats its top five showing on both the Top Rap Albums chart (No. 3) and the all-genre Billboard 200 (No. 5).
In addition to his album’s performance, Baby Keem also returns to the top 10 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart with Blue single “Family Ties,” with Kendrick Lamar. The song surges 26-10 in its third week on the list, after having debuted at No. 8 two weeks ago before retreating to No. 26. “Ties” drew 15.1 million U.S. streams in the week ending Sept. 16, up 7% from the week prior. The growth helps the song rally 24-9 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Streaming Songs chart as it also takes the Streaming Gainer weekly prize on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs.
Airplay, too, helps “Ties” rebound as the track debuts at No. 39 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart. There, it rises to 2.1 million in audience in the week ending Sept. 19, a 70% improvement from the previous week.
In addition to “Ties,” a second Lamar collaboration, “Range Brothers,” debuts at No. 23 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, largely due to its 11 million U.S. streams for the week. The sum yields a No. 21 bow on R&B/Hip-Hop Streaming Songs.
Activity surrounding Blue and its songs helps Baby Keem make his career debut, at No. 28, on the Billboard Artist 100, which ranks artist popularity through a blend of four music consumption metrics – album sales, track sales, radio airplay, streaming – and social media fan interaction.