So far in the First Week Album Series, we’ve covered  Jay-Z, 50 Cent, Kanye West, Nas, Eminem, Young Jeezy and The Game. This time Stop The Breaks is going to look at Rick Ross’ commercial success in the past few years.

After breaking into the mainstream with his 2006 debut album, Port of Miami, Rick Ross has been an incredibly consistent run with his first week numbers – most of his albums have been amongst the top 10 biggest first week openers of each year.

From 2006’s Port of Miami to this year’s Mastermind, Stop The Breaks ranks Rick Ross’ first week album sales from best to worst.

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1. God Forgives, I Don’t

Released: July 30, 2012

Label: Mercury, Island Def Jam

First Week Album Sales: 218,000

It makes sense that Rick Ross’ fifth studio album had his best first week album sales numbers. The MMG boss spent most of 2011 and 2012 solidifying his position at the top of the rap game – building up and consolidating his MMG crew, releasing Self Made Vol. 1 and Self Made Vol. 2, quarterbacking Wale and Meek Mill’s solo careers as well as dropping the monster mixtape, Rich Forever.

While none of the album singles – “Touch’N You,” “So Sophisticated,” “Hold Me Back,” “Diced Pineapples” – would have the same impact as Teflon Don‘s “B.M.F. (Blowin’ Money Fast),” the track listing alone would have had hip-hop heads running to cop the record.

Dr. Dre, Jay-Z, Andre 3000, Meek Mill, Drake, Pharrell Williams, Jake One, J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, Cool & Dre. Ross’ industry sway and rap connections helped God Forgives, I Don’t move 218,000 copies in the first week album sales – one of the biggest hip-hop first week openers of 2012, just behind Kendrick Lamar and Nicki Minaj.

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2. Trilla

Released: March 11, 2008

Label: Slip-n-Slide, Def Jam, Poe Boy

First Week Album Sales: 198,000

After breaking through with the smash hit “Hustlin'” and moving 500,000 copies of his debut album, Port of Miami, Rick Ross was officially in the big leagues. He just had to show he could do it again with his sophomore album.

With a more expansive production team consisting of big names like J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, Mannie Fresh, Drumma Boy, DJ Toomp and Bink! behind the boards, as well as a guest list boasting of A-listers such as Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, Young Jeezy, T-Pain and R. Kelly, it was hard to imagine Trilla flopping.

The album’s three singles – “Speedin,’” “The Boss” and “Here I Am” – all did well on the charts, helping Trilla move 198,000 units in its first week and making it the 8th biggest hip-hop first week album sales of 2008, Ross trailing behind Ludacris, Plies, Game, Young Jeezy, Kanye West, T.I. and Lil Wayne.

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3. Port of Miami

Released: August 8, 2006

Label: Slip-n-Slide, Def Jam, Poe Boy

First Week Album Sales: 187,000

The MMG empire, the Bawse character, Meek Mill, Wale’s renewed career, the Diddy parties, Ciroc Boys, it all starts here – with Port of Miami. Or rather, it all starts with “Hustlin’,” the smash hit single that got round-the-clock radio play and launched Rick Ross into the A-listers.

The album second single – the Scarface-sampling “Push It” – also did pretty on the charts, peaking at number 57 on the Billboard Hot 100. As a result, Port of Miami moved a healthy 187,000 units in its first week, was certified gold by the end of 2006 and to date, has sold close to a million copies.

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4. Mastermind

Released: March 3, 2014

Label: Maybach Music Group, Slip-n-Slide, Def Jam

First Week Album Sales: 179,000

Things weren’t going too well for Ross in 2013. After an amazing run in 2012, a year where he was arguably one of the best rappers alive, things started to come to a halt for the MMG boss – rumours that his sixth studio album Mastermind was being pushed back by Def Jam because none of the promotional singles were getting any buzz proved to be true.

In the meantime, Ross got back into the studio, bringing Puff with him to help tweak the record and give it the extra push needed to become the epic everybody had been waiting on.

Looks like it was a good idea. While there aren’t any smash hits on Mastermind, every cut on the album was big and ambitious – from the Jay-Z-featured “The Devil Is a Lie” to the highly anticipated Young Jeezy-collaboration “War Ready” to one of the best hip-hop records of the year “Sanctified.”

As a result, Mastermind debuted at number one on the charts and became the biggest hip-hop first week opener of 2014 so far, beating out Schoolboy Q’s highly anticipated Oxymoron and Pharrell’s G I R L.

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5. Teflon Don

Released: July 20, 2010

Label: Maybach Music Group, Slip-n-Slide, Def Jam

First Week Album Sales: 176,300

While Rick Ross had shown hip-hop fans that he was capable of creating strong, full-length albums with his previous three albums – Port of Miami, Trilla and Deeper Than Rap – it was with Telfon Don where he stepped it up to a whole another level.

Running at a tight 50-minute length, Ross’ fourth studio album was packed chock full of bangers after bangers – from the opening blares of “I’m Not a Star” to the soulful closer “All the Money in the World” – Teflon Don was concise and impactful.

Of course, having J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, The Inkredibles, No I.D., Kanye West, Clark Kent and Lex Luger behind the boards as well as Jay-Z, T.I., Jadakiss, Kanye West, Diddy, Gucci Mane, Styles P and Drake on the features must have helped. But credit goes to Ross for his masterful ear for beats – snatching up Lex Luger for the back-to-back bangers “MC Hammer” and “B.M.F. (Blowin’ Money Fast).”

Upon its release, Teflon Don moved 176,300 units – a little less than his other efforts but still enough to be one of the biggest hip-hop first week openers of 2010, behind Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, Drake, Kanye West and Eminem.

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6. Deeper Than Rap

Released: April 21, 2009

Label: Maybach Music Group, Slip-n-Slide, Def Jam

First Week Album Sales: 158,000

With his beef with 50 Cent escalating and photos of him as a former corrections officer emerging, Rick Ross did what he could only do – go back into the studio and making more great music.

Deeper Than Rap doubles down on the stylistic tools of Trilla, Ross tapping J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League and The Inkredibles for more of their lush, cinematic beats while pulling in A-listers like Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Nas, T-Pain and The-Dream for guest appearances.

Luckily for Ross, hip-hop fans ignored the jabs from 50 and focused on his music – so much that 158,000 of them ran out to cop the album during its first week album sales.

Deeper Than Rap might have been Ross’ lowest first week album sales but it was still his third number one album in a row and was also one of the biggest hip-hop first week openers of 2009, understandably behind 50 Cent, Jay-Z and Eminem.

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Written by Hao Nguyen
Stop The Breaks is an independent music marketing company focused on showcasing independent hip-hop artists. Our goal is to help motivate, inspire and educate independent artists grinding around the world. We provide branding, content marketing, social media, SEO and music promotion services.