Kanye West's new counter-cultural, Jesus-praising album has generated a ton of public discussion since its release. Now, it has also generated a new record for its creator.
A story at Billboard explains that Kanye West's "Jesus Is King" album, which was released Oct. 25 by G.O.O.D. Music/Def Jam Records, has become the artist's ninth consecutive No. 1 debut on the Billboard 200 chart, tying him with Eminem's record.
According to the outlet, the Billboard 200 chart ranks album sales based on a combination of traditional purchases, downloads, and song streams. West's newest album earned 264,000 "equivalent album units" during its first week, which ended Thursday. Of that total, 109,000 were from album sales, while the balance was largely from streaming activity.
West's ninth straight No. 1 album ties him for sixth for overall No. 1 albums in the chart's history alongside the Rolling Stones, Madonna, and Garth Brooks, Billboard explained. The Beatles currently hold the top spot with 19 No. 1 albums overall. "Jesus Is King" also helped drive the single biggest streaming week of West's career, the story added.
Past its sales, download, and streaming numbers, the album also appears to be generating some interest in finding out about Christianity. According to a FaithWire report, internet searches for scripture and questions about Christianity spiked during the week after its release. The American Bible Society, which was founded in 1816, even responded to the trend by offering to send up to 1,000 free Bibles to scripturally curious Kanye fans.
But despite all the hype "Jesus Is King" has created, not everyone has been completely on board with the the new God-fearing, Bible-quoting Kanye. While West's public conversion and new direction have driven some to inquire about Christianity, others have taken the more skeptical skeptical approach of questioning the legitimacy of the change.
One megachurch pastor, Greg Laurie, even felt the need to address the artist's public inquisitors, telling them to "Just shut up for a minute" and "pray that he gets grounded in his faith, pray that he's a seed sown on good ground that brings forth much fruit."