Kendrick Lamar’s long-awaited fifth studio album, Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers, finally arrived on Friday (May 13), five years after the Pulitzer Prize-winning album DAMN. As expected, the 18-track project was rabidly devoured by K. Dot’s loyal fanbase and earned high praise from numerous critics.
Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers is also poised to be a commercial success, as well. Not only is it expected to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, it’s also projected to become the highest-selling album of 2022 so far. According to Hits Daily Double, it will move over 286,000 total-album equivalent units within its first week, including 250,000 from streams and 35,000 from pure album sales.
The sales figure isn’t too far off from Hits Daily Double‘s original projections. Three weeks before the album even arrived, the outlet predicted Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers would sell approximately 350,000 total album-equivalent units upon its release. “@kendricklamar‘s ‘Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers’ is expected to debut at #1 in the US upon release,” they tweeted at the time. “current forecast is 350K first week.”
Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers will mark Kendrick Lamar’s final album for Top Dawg Entertainment, which he announced last August in a statement on his website.
“As I produce my final TDE album, I feel joy to have been a part of such a cultural imprint after 17 years,” he wrote in part. “The Struggles. The Success. And most importantly, the Brotherhood. May the Most High continue to use Top Dawg as a vessel for candid creators. As I continue to pursue my life’s calling. There’s beauty in completion. And always faith in the unknown. Thank you for keeping me in your thoughts. I’ve prayed for you all. See you soon enough.”