The US rapper had released the album a week earlier than expected on March 16th.
Kendrick Lamar has taken the top spot in this week’s Official Albums Chart in the UK, knocking Sam Smith's In The Lonely Hour off the number one position. To Pimp A Butterfly is the third studio album from the Compton- born rapper, following on from 2012's Good Kid, MAAD City.
Cover art for Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp a Butterfly
The album caught fans off guard after it was made available March 16th on iTunes and Spotify, nearly a week before its original release date of March 23rd. Since becoming available on Spotify the album has broken the service’s global streaming recording, notching up over 9.6 million streams on the service last Monday.
To Pimp a Butterfly has also received rave reviews from critics with The Guardian writing, "The full 80-minute epic itself is an ambitious and at times overwhelming reflection of its multifaceted complexity.”
While Rolling Stone saw fit to award the album 4.5 stars, describing it as “a densely packed, dizzying rush of unfiltered rage and unapologetic romanticism, true-crime confessionals, come-to-Jesus sidebars, blunted-swing sophistication, scathing self-critique and rap-quotable riot acts.”
But the album was only 572 sales ahead of last week’s number one, Sam Smith's In The Lonely Hour, which slipped to the number two spot. Coming in at number three was Dire Straits' guitarist Mark Knopfler with Tracker, while Ed Sheeran’s X continues its run on the charts this week placing at number 4.
The top five was then rounded out by Van Morrison’s Duets – Re-working The Catalogue, which features collaborations between the singer and artists including Natalie Cole, the late Bobby Womack and Michael Bublé.
In the Singles Chart Sam Smith and John Legend's Comic Relief single 'Lay Me Down' retained the number one spot for a second week, while King’s 'Years & Years 'also stayed put in the number two position.
Rihanna, Kanye West and Paul McCartney’s 'FourFiveSeconds' climbed up two places to hit the number three spot , as James Bay’s 'Hold Back The River' moved up six places to number four. Moving down one place was Ellie Goulding with 'Love Me Like You Do’ from the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack.