If you haven’t yet heard of Kendrick Lamar, the 27 year-old Compton, CA-born rapper, Spotify users clearly think you should.
After the surprise drop of his second full-length album, To Pimp A Butterfly, late on Sunday night, Lamar broke the first-day listening record on Spotify with 9.6 million global streams on Monday. The previous same-day record holder was Michael Buble’s Christmas in 2011.
The much anticipated album dropped a week ahead of its March 24th release date (allegedly by mistake, but Billboard says that the unscheduled release was planned.) The streaming service was the primary platform to listen to the album for part of Monday as it was accidentally removed from iTunes for several hours.
While bolstered by a surprise release and its near-exclusive Spotify access, the massive first day success isn’t too surprising for the rapper who sold 1.2 million copies of his 2012 major label debut, Good Kid, M.A.A.D City. It was also available on streaming competitors Rdio and Deezer on Monday, although both services have significantly fewer subscribers than Spotify’s 60 million user base.
The hip hop album, which draws from funk, spoken word poetry and jazz (and even features George Clinton on a track) has received very positive critical response from critics — a sentiment clearly echoed by Spotify users.