News Brief

Solange Has the No. 1 Album in America With ‘A Seat at the Table’

Solange and Beyoncé are the first and only sisters to score No. 1 albums in the same year with A Seat at the Table and Lemonade respectively.

Two Fridays ago, September 30, Solange put out her third studio album, just three days after announcing its existence, through her Saint Records label. And just like that, A Seat at the Table is officially the No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart (which ranks the most popular albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption).

According to Nielsen Music, A Seat at the Table sold 72,000 equivalent album units in its first week to take the top spot. (And disprove industry prognosticators that suggested the album would earn around 60,000 units in its first week.) Of those 72,000, 46,000 were in traditional album sales. Bon Iver’s 22, A Million, which came out on the same day and was originally predicted to take the top slot, debuted at No. 2 with 71,000 units. (Bon Iver did however sell more traditional album sales with 58,000.)

This is the first time Solange has scored a No. 1 album, and one of the very very few times in history a pair of solo siblings have scored No. 1 albums in the same calendar year. Michael and Janet Jackson were the first to accomplish the feat with Invincible and All For You in 2001. Solange and Beyoncé are however the first and only solo artist sisters to have scored No. 1 albums in the same year.

Her follow-up to 2012’s True EP, Solange’s 21-track A Seat at the Table features collaborations with Lil Wayne, Sampha, Blood Orange, Tweet, Moses Sumney, Q-Tip, The Dream, Kelly Rowland, Kelela, Sean Nicholas Savage and more. Accompanying the album, the singer and Saint Heron founder released a digital book of lyrics and photos taken by Barcelona-based photographer Carlota Guerrero.

Read: Solange’s New Album ‘A Seat at the Table’ is A Balm for Black Suffering

Read: The Audacity of Solange in ‘Don’t Touch My Hair’

Read: How the Beautifully Black Art of Lynette Yiadom-Boakye Inspired Solange’s ‘A Seat At The Table’


Sarkodie Is Not Feeling Any Pressure

The elite Ghanaian rapper affirms his king status with this seventh studio album, No Pressure.

Sarkodie is one of the most successful African rappers of all time. With over ten years of industry presence under his belt, there's no question about his prowess or skin in the game. Not only is he a pioneer of African hip-hop, he's also the most decorated African rapper, having received over 100 awards from close to 200 nominations over the span of his career.

What else does Sarkodie have to prove? For someone who has reached and stayed at the pinnacle of hip-hop for more than a decade, he's done it all. But despite that, he's still embracing new growth. One can tell just by listening to his latest album, No Pressure, Sarkodie's seventh studio album, and the follow-up to 2019's Black Love which brought us some of the Ghanaian star's best music so far. King Sark may be as big as it gets, but the scope of his music is still evolving.

Sonically, No Pressure is predominantly hip-hop, with the first ten tracks offering different blends of rap topped off with a handful of afrobeats and, finally, being crowned at the end with a gospel hip-hop cut featuring Ghanaian singer MOG. As far as the features go, Sark is known for collaborating mostly with his African peers but this time around he branches out further to feature a number of guests from around the world. Wale, Vic Mensa, and Giggs, the crème de la crème of rap in America and the UK respectively all make appearances, as well as Nigeria's Oxlade, South Africa's Cassper Nyovest, and his fellow Ghanaian artists Darkovibes and Kwesi Arthur.

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