Drake may not be the King of Pop, but he is King of the Billboard charts.
The Toronto rapper’s new album Certified Lover Boy not only posted the biggest first week of 2021 with 613,000 total album-equivalent units earned, but it also notched a record nine songs in the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 chart. With such success comes questions and comparisons and content aggregator RapTV poised a tricky question for fans of Drizzy.
“Is Drake in 2021 bigger than Michael Jackson at his peak?!” the group asked on Twitter Monday (September 20).
The idea of anyone being bigger than the biggest selling artist of all time is laughable in some ways but considering MJ’s fame from childhood to adulthood. How Drake has achieved things not even MJ did with his biggest album (Thriller) or even second-biggest album (Bad) is an achievement, but the streaming era waters it down a bit.
When it comes to chart success, Drake does have six consecutive studio albums which have debuted at No. 1, and his biggest first week was 2016’s Views which sold over one million copies in its first whole week on the shelf. By comparison, Michael Jackson didn’t invent having the biggest first-week ever, but he still has the biggest selling album of all time with Thriller which has sold 37 million copies since its debut in 1982 – and counting.
As the question grew beyond simple sales, others such as the AuxGod collective weighed in with a swat down of the idea by showcasing a video of MJ outside of his hotel room overseas and fans losing their minds and the mere sight of him. Or even a fake of him. The five-second clip has been viewed nearly one million times on Twitter alone.
Another fan pointed out Drake’s ill-fated appearance at Tyler, the Creator‘s Camp Flog Gnaw festival in 2019 and how fans reacted to the mere sight of him, and how nobody would ever boo an MJ appearance.
“Michael Jackson stood for 3 straight minutes of cheering at the Super Bowl and Drake got booed off stage cause the crowd wanted Frank Ocean,” the Twitter user wrote. “MJ is so far above everyone.”
Another argument against Drake and 2021 fandom? The mystique of artists. Beyoncé, despite having a stranglehold on our attention spans when she posts anything new on social media, still has an air of mystique. Drake, not so much. Now imagine Michael Joseph Jackson with the same rules and parameters.
“There will never be a star bigger than Michael Jackson,” DragonflyJonez wrote. “You can talk about how absurd Drake‘s streaming numbers are to try to refute this but that’s exactly the reason why. The music star market is saturated now. Stars are too accessible now. The mystique is gone.”
See more fans weigh in on the topic below.
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