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UPDATE: DRAKE-FUTURE MIXTAPE GOES LIVE—AND STRAIGHT TO #1

The Drake-Future mixtape is now expected to move 340-360k albums and 380-400k SPS in its opening week,, which began on Sunday night when it crash-landed on iTunes. The set will be an Apple exclusive for one week before going to other retailers and Spotify. Will Spotify take this release, or will they ignore it, as they did Dr. Dre’s Compton: A Soundtrack?

Drake previewed the collaborative mixtape on his Beats 1 OVO Sound Radio show Sunday night, just before it became available commercially on Sunday night, mere hours before it went live on the iTunes store and quickly flew to #1 there. (See below for a track list with credits.)

The set’s release was greenlit after a last-minute deal was struck between the artists’ labels, Cash Money and Epic, with the latter label’s chief, L.A. Reid, insisting the mixtape go to market as the company is now mid-cycle on Future’s DS2 (A1/Freebandz/Epic), which bowed at #1 in July. That set is currently at #10 at iTunes. Republic will handle marketing and promotion on What a Time.

Insiders say the release of What a Time does not preclude a possible new album by Drake this year as well. 

Drake's "Hotline Bling" single, meanwhile, which is not a part of the mixtape, is #1 on the singles side at iTunes.

You'll recall that Apple reportedly paid Drake $19 million for his services as a Beats 1 DJ. His Feb. "mixtape," If You're Reading This It's Too Late, moved about 541k in its first week with singles and streams, later becoming the first 2015 release to hit the 1 million mark. It also set several streaming records. His previous release, the "official" 2013 album Nothing Was the Same, sold 658k in its first week and has gone on to sell 2.4m.

The arrival of What a Time in the marketplace radically changes the picture for Friday’s chart, where the latest from Interscope’s Lana Del Rey previously looked like a strong contender for #1. Now, Drake-Future is expected to have a huge first week—even with just four days on this week’s chart it looks bound to blow away not just this week’s competition but most of the year’s first-week figures. 

First-week sales of the last collabo of this magnitude in hip hop, the Kanye-Jay Z set Watch the Throne, did 437K.  Can Drake and Future break that record, as the aforementioned label peeps believe? 

 

 

 

 

 

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