No. 1: The top-selling Christian hip-hop album of the year wasn’t released this year. Lecrae’s Anomaly came out in Sept. 2014 and still accomplished the feat. Anomaly was also the 21st-highest selling rap album overall, charting there for the second straight year, which is uncommon for rap albums in general and unheard of for Christian hip hop-affiliated albums.
No. 2: The top-selling Christian hip-hop album released this year was NF’s Mansion, which means for the first time since at least 2006, a rapper who is not signed to Reach Records has released one of the 50 highest-selling Christian albums of the year. And for the first time since at least 2009, Reach did not release the top-selling Christian hip-hop album which dropped that year.
While Mansion had a five-month head start on Andy Mineo’s Uncomfortable and the backing of a major label, the Universal Music Group-owned Capitol CMG, the accomplishment remains noteworthy. While dozens of Christian hip-hop artists have charted on Billboard based on their first-week sales, only a select few have maintained momentum enough to be one of the 50 highest-selling Christian albums of the year.
Here are all of the Christian hip-hop albums that have pulled this off since 2006, the first year that Billboard’s website has the yearly chart tracked (rank in parenthesis).
Top Christian Albums of the Year2006 – None
2007 – None
2008 – None
2009 – Rebel by Lecrae (No. 31)
2010 – Rehab by Lecrae (No. 25)
- Rehab by Lecrae (No. 11)
- Rehab: The Overdose by Lecrae (No. 24)
- Gravity by Lecrae (No. 7)
- The Good Life by Trip Lee (No. 29)
- Rehab by Lecrae (No. 45)
- Gravity by Lecrae (No. 12)
- Heroes For Sale by Andy Mineo (No. 31)
- Anomaly by Lecrae (No. 3)
- Church Clothes: Vol. 2 by Lecrae (No. 14)
- Never Land by Andy Mineo (No. 26)
- Anomaly by Lecrae (No. 5)
- Mansion by NF (No. 25)
- Uncomfortable by Andy Mineo (No. 30)
- Tomorrow We Live KB (No. 38)
Seven years. Fifteen Reach albums. One non-Reach album — Mansion.
This leads us to result No. 3 that stood out: 2015 had more projects that charted on Billboard’s year-end list of top Christian albums than ever before.