A year ago, the Kid Laroi, a teenage rapper and singer from Australia, released a debut mixtape, “____ Love,” which opened at No. 8 on the Billboard album chart thanks to a single, “Go,” featuring Juice WRLD, the emo rap star who had died in December 2019 at age 21.
That might have been the end of the story. But over the last year, the Kid Laroi’s label, Columbia, has kept the album in the charts by releasing successive “deluxe” versions with additional tracks. The second iteration, called “Savage,” which added seven tracks to the original 15, came out in November and pushed the album to No. 3.
Last month, two more new versions came out in the same week. First was “____ Love 3: Over You,” which added another seven tracks, including the hit “Stay,” featuring Justin Bieber. Then, four days later, came “____ Love 3+,” with six additional tracks. The full package now contains 35 tracks, which on digital services are organized, retro-style, across three “discs.”
Since the newer versions are updates to the original album, they are counted as one collection on Billboard’s chart — a tactic that took hold last year, particularly in hip-hop, and has proved a successful chart strategy. With help from its two new versions, the album rose 25 spots to a peak of No. 1 in its 53rd week out, with the equivalent of 85,000 sales in the United States, including 114 million streams, according to MRC Data, Billboard’s tracking arm. The Kid Laroi, whose real name is Charlton Howard, turns 18 this month.
It is the fourth week in a row that the top album in the country has failed to crack 100,000 sales. But that spell will likely be broken on next week’s chart, as Billie Eilish’s return, “Happier Than Ever,” is expected to land at the top with big streaming and vinyl numbers.
Also on this week’s chart, Olivia Rodrigo’s “Sour” is No. 2, Doja Cat’s “Planet Her” is No. 3 and Morgan Wallen’s “Dangerous: The Double Album” is No. 4. “Faith,” a posthumous album by the Brooklyn rapper Pop Smoke, fell four spots to No. 5.
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