It’s been a slow news week so I’m going to talk about just one thing in particular this week.
Tyler, the Creator and Doja Cat are both dropping albums on Friday and it really got me thinking…who’s going to end up with the #1 album in America next week?
Doja Cat’s rise to the mainstream has been meteoric, as she’s quickly cemented herself as one of the most successful female emcees of the past 5 years off the strength of her viral hit “MOOO!” and recent TikTok sensations “Say So” and “Streets”. Making music that’s equally catchy as they are quality, Doja’s music instantly entranced people worldwide.
Tyler, on the other hand, has been steadily building up his reputation as an auteur who will never compromise on his vision. A move that paid off with IGOR‘s Best Rap Album win at last year’s Grammys (even if it isn’t a rap album, but that’s another issue). Call Me If You Get Lost seems to continue on his musical evolution, leaving us with an album that’s difficult to guess when it comes to a potential sound…which honestly makes the wait all the more exciting.
So this leaves us with a sales battle that I’m pretty sure neither artist really cares too much about aside from their record labels (with Tyler on Columbia and Doja on RCA). However, it does make me very curious as to which of them will eventually end up on top of the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart next week, given how different the lanes they occupy are.
Hot Pink, Doja Cat’s last studio album, debuted at #93 on its release before reaching a peak of #9 nearly 6 months later when “Say So” topped the Hot 100. A slow burn success that proved an album’s performance shouldn’t just be judged by its first few weeks of release, Doja then doubled down on her wins when “Streets” became another viral hit another 7 months later. Once again, the album saw another bump in sales.
This does lead to an issue of her being largely defined by her singles when it comes to mainstream perception – hence the label of being a ‘Singles artist’. It’s not a bad thing but it does leave me with the question of how well-received her upcoming album Planet Her will be.
Its lead single “Kiss Me More” is an incredible banger that peaked at #4 and continues to float around the top 10 since its debut. “Need To Know”, the follow up promotional single, didn’t fare as well initially but since its clearly geared for TikTok plays, we’ll have to see how well it does down the line. Which leads to me wondering if Planet Her will end up as another slow burn success, or will Doja’s recent accumulation of commercial triumphs lead her to an instant peak?
Unlike Doja, Tyler is slowly taking on a veteran status in the music industry, with his upcoming project being his 6th studio album. He also already has 1 chart topping album to his name – IGOR, while previous records such as Flower Boy and Cherry Bomb peaking at #2 and #4 respectively.
Despite a lack of mainstream appeal in his sound, Tyler’s commitment to his craft earned him a sizeable fan base that will show up when it matters…and that support has grown to a point where even commercial chart mainstays end up being threatened by his “mysterious music”. A crowd that is guaranteed to show up in droves no matter what the album may end up sounding like.
This becomes the quintessential quality of an ‘Album artist’. Fans that are more invested in how an overall body of work fits into said artist’s career – a narrative that Tyler has painstakingly been building since his OFWGKTA days. So how far will that narrative be able to challenge another artist’s music who seems built for commercial dominance is something I’m very keen to see (especially so when Doja has a definite Weeknd hit that’s dropping on Friday as well).
My money is on Doja cause it feels like she’s been unstoppable recently (and even more so when you take into account the whole cancellation thing), but Tyler’s one of my favourite artists ever and I wanna see him get another notch on his belt.
Still, no matter who comes out on top. The real winner is me – cause I love the crap out of both their music.