Trippie Redd, a 20-year-old rapper-singer from Ohio, has reached the top of the Billboard album chart for the first time this week, beating out new releases from Jason Aldean and Coldplay.
Redd, part of a wave of young rappers who emerged on SoundCloud in recent years, landed at No. 1 with “A Love Letter to You 4,” the latest in his series of mixtapes, this one featuring appearances from DaBaby, Juice WRLD, YoungBoy Never Broke Again and others. It had 126 million streams and sold 14,000 copies as a full unit, adding up to the equivalent of 104,000 sales in the United States in its opening week, according to Nielsen.
“A Love Letter” easily topped the latest from Aldean, “9,” which had the equivalent of 83,000 sales, including 68,000 copies sold as a full album and 17 million streams.
Disney’s soundtrack to “Frozen 2” rose 12 spots to No. 3 in its second week out, while Post Malone’s “Hollywood’s Bleeding” is No. 4 and Billie Eilish’s “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” is No. 5. “Everyday Life,” the latest from Coldplay, opened at No. 7.
This week, Redd and Aldean’s numbers both benefited from so-called sales bundles — deals for merchandise or concert tickets that include copies of the album, a longtime industry marketing gimmick that has lately drawn concerns about chart manipulation.
Last week, Billboard announced several changes to its rules for bundles in an effort to tamp down related problems on the charts. The changes are modest but address several frequent complaints. For example, an album that comes with an item of merchandise — say, a T-shirt or a poster — can only count toward the chart if an artist’s website also sells that item by itself, and for at least $3.49 less than the bundle that includes the album.
The changes go into effect on Jan. 3.