J. Cole Might Join Eminem and Drake as Third Successful Surprise Rap Drop This Decade


In the era of social media and heavy promotion, only a few dare to release their music as a surprise, and even fewer succeed. Eminem remains the champion of surprise drops, selling more than anybody. Will J. Cole come close?

So far, we only have two artists who managed to sell over 100,000 units in the first week of releasing a project with a warning. The first and still unrivalled is Eminem with “Music to Be Murdered By.” He just dropped the album on streaming services and left a link on his social media accounts in January 2020. It was enough to move 279,000 in the first week of sales and debut atop the Billboard 200.

Later, Drake repeated this release strategy with “Dark Lane Demo Tapes” and got 223,000 units sold in the opening week.

Since then, no rapper has been able to sell over 100,000 units without massaging the audience beforehand. Until now.

According to projections presented by the Hip Hop By The Numbers account, Cole’s “Might Delete Later” is expected to sell 160,000 units over a week:

Every Surprise Rap Project to Sell 100k+ 1st week this decade

An elite trio

279k – Eminem – MtbMB
223k – Drake – Dark Lane Demo Tapes


160k – J. Cole – Might Delete Later (projection)


 

It might not be celebrated as a victory as J. Cole has since apologised to Kendrick Lamar for his “7-minute Drill” diss on the project. Will he delete it later?

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