After releasing six albums to critical and commercial success over the span of a decade, Tyler, the Creator finally scored an official No. 1 album on the Billboard charts with IGOR. His last album, Flower Boy, debuted and peaked at No. 2.
Tyler clinched the top Billboard spot with 165,000 equivalent album units, beating out DJ Khaled who took second place with 136,000 album units, according to The New York Times. Tyler sold more than twice the number of albums than Khaled did, racking in 74,000 sales compared to Khaled’s 34,000. But when it comes to streaming stats, Khaled took the lead with 123.2 million streams compared to Tyler’s 122.9 streams.
So how did he do it? Well, he used that commercialization to his advantage, as any music giant would do nowadays (ahem, Taylor Swift and Arcade Fire). Tyler included a copy of IGOR in special merch bundles like color variant hats, flashy stickers, and even political lawn signs. To be fair, DJ Khaled went the bundle route also, though he chose to sell energy drinks.
Honestly, it’s hard to believe it took this long. Tyler, the Creator is one of the most popular, if not the most popular, member of Odd Future (alongside Frank Ocean and Earl Sweatshirt). It’s easy to see his influence everywhere: his fashion line, his cameos, his never-ending string of live performances, his own ever-growing music festival Camp Flog Gnaw. Above all else, it’s the swarm of a swelling fandom that’s the hardest to ignore — and arguably what should have propelled him to the top of the charts far earlier. This time around, it looks like that fandom got him to No. 1 officially.