Rapper reaches No. 1 on Billboard 200 without selling any CDs

A Boogie wit da Hoodie’s success spells the future of the music industry

Mark Reynolds
Staff Writer

New York rapper Artist Julius Dubose, known as A Boogie wit da Hoodie, has secured his first chart-topper with his album “Hoodie SZN” climbing from second to first place on the Billboard charts.  

What makes this unique is that out of the 58,000 total units that placed the album at No. 1, only 1,000 of those were from actual album sales, none of which were physical copies. This is the lowest number of album sales for a No. 1 since the chart started including streaming into the rankings.  

This shouldn’t be surprising. According to the Recording Industry Association of America, CDs and digital album sales have halved since 2013, and the trend is only continuing as streaming becomes bigger and bigger. 

This trend has been driven largely by “SoundCloud Artists,” a term which used to be an insult, but now includes some of the biggest names in music. Artists like 6ix9ine, Post Malone and XXXtentacion have released the top songs on SoundCloud and have top songs and albums on the Billboard charts.  

Boogie’s success has continued the demise of the traditional music industry. A new wave of musicians has already started to crash onto the shores of the scene, giving young artists everywhere the confidence that anyone can make it music. 

The 23-year-old’s career really started with a mixtape titled “Artist” that was created in a home studio. The mixtape landed him on Forbes list of up-and-coming rappers in 2016. 

After releasing another collaborative project, Boogie was able to sign a deal with Atlantic records. “Hoodie SZN” is his second studio album, both of which made it into the top ten on Billboard. 

The album itself is a solid trap album. It takes some unique steps, like the acoustic guitar in “Come Closer,” that are catchy even to people who don’t like trap. There are some songs in the album that are kind of bland, but there definitely are some hits.  

Boogie and others like him are leading the charge in an important time in music. Some people might say that hip-hop sucks right now, and maybe that’s because this isn’t really hip-hop. It’s something new. 

But the genre’s dominance is undeniable. Whatever we decide to call it, this new hip-hop and the culture surrounding it is changing the world. 

Feature photo courtesy of the Associated Press.

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