Rap fans are pumped for June 18, and though there are a number of albums being released on that day, most are focused on a sales showdown between Kanye West and J. Cole. Mac Miller has a prediction of his own — and it doesn't involve any of his fellow MCs.
Mac will be dropping his sophomore LP, Watching Movies With the Sound Off, and then, of course, there is Kanye West's sixth solo album, Yeezus, and J. Cole's Born Sinner, which was originally slated for a June 25 drop but was moved up to meet Yeezy at retail. Based off his multiplatinum sales history and sheer star power, West is a favorite to snag the #1 album on Billboard after the first week sales are tallied, but Mac is eyeing Hayes' Encore LP, a deluxe re-release of his self-titled 2011 debut.
The album's new single, "I Want Crazy," has been a mainstay on the country charts since its debut in April. The 21-year-old's star is steadily rising: He was selected as an MTV Artist to Watch, and on Wednesday night (June 5), Hayes will perform at the 2013 CMT Music Awards in Nashville. He is up for three awards at the show, including his Video of the Year nomination for "Wanted."
"It's great. This is a crazy week for us," Double H told CMT on Tuesday. "This is a big performance. We are really stoked about this. We've been wanting to do this kind of thing for a while, and to finally get the chance to do it is pretty awesome."
While it isn't impossible that Hayes outsells Kanye, Cole and Mac, the three rappers are no pushovers. Mac notched a #1 album in November 2011 with his debut, Blue Slide Park; a month earlier, Cole accomplished the same feat after selling more than 217,000 copies of his Sideline Story. Then there is West, who has seen four of his five LPs debut at the top Billboard position.
Even if things between the artists gets heated, there isn't very much tension between them — nothing like the 2007 sales battle between 50 Cent (Curtis) and Kanye (Graduation). Mac actually sees the fun in it all, writing, "ima have myself a good laugh."
Who do you predict will rule the charts? Tell us below!
The 2013 CMT Music Awards will air live from Nashville's Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CMT.