“Music to Be Murdered By,” the latest album by the 47-year-old rapper Eminem, topped the Billboard chart this week after a surprise release, becoming his 10th straight album to debut at No. 1, the most of all time and one better than Kanye West, who has an active streak of nine.
The Eminem album, which dropped without warning on Jan. 17, earned the equivalent of 279,000 units, according to Nielsen Music, including 117,000 in album sales and 218 million streams. That was a drop from the rapper’s 2018 album, “Kamikaze,” which debuted with a total of 434,000 units, including 252,000 in sales and 226 million streams.
In typical Eminem fashion, “Music to Be Murdered By” raised eyebrows for some of its lyrical choices, including references to the 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas and the Manchester, England, bombing at an Ariana Grande concert. After some backlash, the rapper released a statement explaining that “murder has become so commonplace that we are a society obsessed and fascinated by it. I thought why not make a sport of it, and murder over beats?”
He added: “This album was not made for the squeamish. If you are easily offended or unnerved at the screams of bloody murder, this may not be the collection for you.”