Playboi Carti’s Quiet Christmas Release Is His First No. 1


You might be forgiven if you didn’t know about Whole Lotta Red.

Atlanta rapper Playboi Carti’s latest album came out on Christmas Day while streaming playlists were practically overheating with seasonal tinsel from Mariah Carey, Brenda Lee and Andy Williams. And “Whole Lotta Red” did not seem to have received any media reviews.

For a streaming star like Playboi Carti, all of this was less important than the arrival of new content, although some controversy on social media may have helped too. “Whole Lotta Red” became the rapper’s first number 1 on Billboard’s album charts, according to Nielsen Music / MRC Data, equivalent to 100,000 sales in the US. The album, with performances by Kanye West, Kid Cudi and Future, was streamed 126 million times in the opening week.

“Whole Lotta Red” got extra attention when rapper Iggy Azalea complained on Twitter that Playboi Carti ignored her and her young son Onyx for Christmas. In the days that followed, prominent social media seething and Playboi Carti posted videos of him with his son in a studio.

This week, Taylor Swift’s “Evermore” fell to the top after two turns in second place. Chicago rapper Lil Durks “The Voice” is number 3, Pop Smoke’s “Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon” is number 4 in her 26th week and Ariana Grande’s “Positions” is the fifth.