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Vinyl is back in a big way after a decade of streaming’s dominance, with Billboard reporting that vinyl sales have actually hit a 30-year high this past week. Americans purchased 2.11 million vinyl records in the week ending on December 23rd (perhaps in the pursuit of a last-minute Christmas gift?), which is the biggest sales week since 1991 when SoundScan first began tracking such things — long after vinyl had begun to lose popularity compared to other physical media like cassette tapes and CDs.
As part of that dominance, one of hip-hop’s most popular artists saw his own resurgence. Last week, Kid Cudi’s Man On The Moon III: The Chosen broke the record for the biggest rap album in Nielsen history. He’s also the male artist with the biggest sales week, with 41,500 sales of the vinyl. “This is HUGE,” he wrote in celebration on Instagram. I wanna thank everyone who went out and copped the vinyl! This is all because of YOU! I LOVE YOU ALL.”
Man On The Moon III, which was initially released December 11, 2020, featured appearances from Pop Smoke, Skepta, and Trippie Redd. Cudi recently said he plans to follow that album with two more in 2022, meaning more opportunities for him to defend his new record. Meanwhile, the best-selling vinyl overall was Adele’s 30, which sold 59,000 copies and capped Billboard’s vinyl chart for the fifth week in a row along with the overall albums chart — a testament to her decision to turn it in several months early to allow time to prepare the vinyl.