For most artists, an album leak a month in advance of the street date for their debut could spell a commercial death sentence. Not A$AP Rocky, though.
The rapper's full-length major-label debut, Long.Live.A$AP top the Billboard 200 album chart next week thanks to sales of nearly 139,000, according to figures provided by Nielsen SoundScan.
"Let's really think back on this, my joint leaked a month early," Rocky told MTV News on Tuesday from Paris, where he is spending fashion week. "Like this is a crazy, this is a blessing, yo. The fact that we're sitting here talking about ... having a #1 album is just crazy alone because we leaked a month early ... a whole month."
Rocky was definitely in a mood to celebrate considering that the album leaked much earlier than most do these days and things could have turned out way differently. "They didn't have to go buy it because everybody listened to it for free," he said. "That means that people just really wanted to support. It must mean that the proof is in the pudding and people appreciate art again. I'm just thankful man."
Long.Live easily topped the only other new face in the top 10, the 23rd edition of the Kidz Bop series (#2, 78,000), during a slow week when most of the top 10 was in decline.
The rest of the top 10: "Pitch Perfect" soundtrack (#3, 45,000), Taylor Swift, Red (#4, 41,000), Bruno Mars, Unorthodox Jukebox (#5, 39,000), "Les Miserables" soundtrack (#6, 39,000), Lumineers (#7, 38,000), Phillip Phillips, The World From the Side of the Moon (#8, 25,000), Mumford & Sons, Babel (#9, 25,000) and One Direction, Take Me Home (#10, 23,000).
Rapper Macklemore and collaborator Ryan Lewis topped the iTunes singles chart with their hit "Thrift Shop," followed by Justin Timberlake's comeback single "Suit & Tie," then Taylor Swift's "I Knew You Were Trouble," will.i.am's "Scream & Shout" and the Lumineers' "Ho Hey." Swedish House Mafia were in at #6 with "Don't You Worry Child," then Mars with "Locked Out of Heaven," Phillips' smash "Home," Justin Bieber's "Beauty and the Beat" and Pitbull's "Don't Stop the Party."
Rocky also ruled the iTunes album chart, besting "Pitch Perfect," the Lumineers, Kidz Bop, "Les Miserables," Night Visions from Imagine Dragons, Swift, Macklemore's The Heist, Mumford and Mars.
Next week's charts will should be pretty static, with the only major new releases from country singer Gary Allan and a compilation of the 2013 Grammy nominees.