We get so much used to talk about divas and rock bands that we end up forgetting a few male artists perform well. Not only well, the biggest act since we got into the 00s is very precisely a male act – Rap God Eminem.
Hate him or love him, his album sales 15 years ago were extraordinary. Then, he sold a lot of downloads. When streaming got into the picture, he continued to dominate. As he owns a full catalog acting as a never ending selling force we do not notice his success that much, but Eminem popularity is undeniable even in 2016. A song totaling 7 million downloads in the US and 227 million Spotify streams is a tremendous digital hit – now if that song was released before the digital era in 2002 as it is the case of Lose Yourself it makes that song quite simply the biggest catalog song in the world.
In 2005 a career spanning compilation was released, Curtain Call. Selling millions both when issued and as a catalog album it hasn’t prevent all previous Eminem studio albums to continue their success story. In fact, if both The Marshall Mathers LP and The Eminem Show are among the Top 3 selling studio albums of the 00s, the question is would they be able to be 1-2 when considering CSPC results, ahead of Norah Jones blockbuster Come Away With Me? Considering the huge digital following and the large impact on Curtain Call success they both made, this scenario is pretty likely.
A last remark on Eminem career as just like Katy Perry he first released an unknown album – 1996 Infinite – before breaking the main audience. Since it sold irrelevant amounts and is unavailable for long this album will be ignored. In the other side, as it contains the biggest hit of his career and sold exclusively on his name, 8 Mile Soundtrack will be considered as part of his discography.
As a reminder for users who are not yet familiar with the CSPC idea you do not need to worry, it is quite simple since it only consists in merging every format sales an artist has been getting and attributing them to respective studio albums. We will start by focusing on raw data, setting how much each Eminem album sold. Then, we will check sales of each track from those albums on each format – physical, digital and streaming – and weight them to value those figures on a par with album sales. To complete the study, we will analyze sales of all remaining LPs he released, compilations, live albums and music videos. Once all the raw data is set, we will only need to apply appropriate weighting to get the overall picture of the superstar rapper career results.