NF’s ‘Mansion’ sells most albums of 2015 Christian rap releases, first top non-Reach album in years

When Billboard revealed its year-end 2015 charts, a few Christian rap-related results stood out.

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 Year

2006 – None
2007 – None
2008 – None
2009 – Rebel by Lecrae (No. 31)
2010 – Rehab by Lecrae (No. 25)
2011
  1. Rehab by Lecrae (No. 11)
  2. Rehab: The Overdose by Lecrae (No. 24)
2012
  1. Gravity by Lecrae (No. 7)
  2. The Good Life by Trip Lee (No. 29)
  3. Rehab by Lecrae (No. 45)
2013
  1. Gravity by Lecrae (No. 12)
  2. Heroes For Sale by Andy Mineo (No. 31)
2014
  1. Anomaly by Lecrae (No. 3)
  2. Church Clothes: Vol. 2 by Lecrae (No. 14)
  3. Never Land by Andy Mineo (No. 26)
2015
  1. Anomaly by Lecrae (No. 5)
  2. Mansion by NF (No. 25)
  3. Uncomfortable by Andy Mineo (No. 30)
  4. 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.
About the Author
David Daniels is a columnist at Rapzilla.com. He has been published at Bleacher Report, The Washington Times, Desiring God, The Gospel Coalition, Christianity Today, CCM Magazine, HipHopDX, Global Grind and Sphere of Hip Hop.

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