MASTERMIND, the triumphant new album by Grammy®-nominated hip-hop magnate Rick Ross (released March 4th on the Maybach Music/Def Jam label), has become his 5th career album to debut at #1 Soundscan, taking the top spot on first week sales of 180,000 copies.
“This was a great team win, all around,” said Steve Bartels, president and COO of the Island Def Jam Music Group. “It started with real synergy and unity of purpose between the artist, his core management team and 300, MMG and We The Best, and our dedicated, resourceful team here at Def Jam. Ross gave us his vision for this project, we identified our goals, and created a very focused strategy around that. Rick Ross has not only solidified his role as one of the very biggest marquee stars in hip-hop today, but has earned the honor of becoming a legacy artist in the great 30-year history of Def Jam Recordings.”
MASTERMIND‘s stunning #1 chart debut caps a week-long iTunes Radio “First Play” full-album streaming exclusive. The debut was underscored by back-to-back New York City appearances on NBC’s new The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and Late Night with Seth Meyers; as well as a buzzworthy performance on The Arsenio Hall Show in Los Angeles with surprise guests Kanye West and Big Sean.
The Tonight Show and Late Night were just part of the MASTERMIND roll-out, which included listening events in New York City, Miami, Atlanta, and Los Angeles; takeovers of RapFix Live (seen on MTV Jams and MTV.com) and BET’s 106 & Park; and a live concert broadcast on Revolt TV. There were also video premieres for two new album tracks, “War Ready” (featuring Jeezy), and “Nobody” featuring French Montana, a tribute to the late Notorious B.I.G.
The next official single from MASTERMIND is “Thug Cry” featuring Lil’ Wayne, impacting at radio on March 17 with a video on the way.
The MASTERMIND rollout climaxed with a sold-out concert at the Best Buy Theater in New York hosted by Hot 97 radio. Reviewing the show, the New York Times hailed Ross as “one of hip-hop’s kingpins. one of hip-hop’s most important and theatrical figures”; and praised the new album for its “striking, subtle musical moments throughout.”
MASTERMIND is the follow-up to Ross‘ 2012 album God Forgives, I Don’t, his fourth album to debut at #1 Soundscan, which included top hits “Touch’N You” featuring Usher, “So Sophisticated” featuring Meek Mill, and fan favorite “Diced Pineapples” featuring Drake and Wale. Ross‘ previous best-selling albums include Port Of Miami (2006), Trilla (2008), and Deeper Than Rap (2009), all of which debuted at #1 Soundscan; and Teflon Don.