Metro Boomin scores his third No. 1 album with the release of “Heroes & Villains,” a 15-song, star-studded project featuring narration from Morgan Freeman and including verses from the late Takeoff, along with John Legend, 21 Savage, A$AP Rocky, Future, Gunna, Travis Scott, Don Toliver, the Weeknd, Chris Brown and Young Thug.
“Heroes & Villains” debuts atop the Billboard 200 chart, knocking Taylor Swift’s “Midnights” to No. 2 in the process, with the equivalent of 185,000 albums sold in the U.S., according to the tracking service Luminate.
It’s not just the top of the album chart that finds Swift dislodged this week; she was also felled from her long hold on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart with “Anti-Hero.” In that case, though, it wasn’t Metro Boomin displacing her, although he did land some new songs high up. Rather, it was Mariah Carey, making her now-annual December visit to the No. 1 spot with the perennial “All I Want for Christmas Is You.”
On the album chart, Metro previously debuted at the summit with 2020’s “Savage Mode II” (a joint album with 21 Savage) and 2018’s “Not All Heroes Wear Capes.” This is his fifth time scoring a coveted spot on the top 10 of the list, following “Double or Nothing” (with Big Sean) and “Without Warning” (with 21 Savage, Offset), both 2017 releases.
Metro called the achievement “bittersweet” in an Instagram post dedicated to the occasion, referring to the tragic murder of his mother back in June. “You were always the proudest of all your children and have always been my #1 supporter with everything in life,” he wrote.
The Atlanta-based producer dropped the record alongside a short film directed by Gibson Hazard and starring Freeman, LaKeith Stanfield, Young Thug and Gunna, and has since released a visual counterpart to “Superhero (Heroes & Villains),” featuring Future and Brown. In conversation with Apple Music’s Ebro Darden, Metro said he intends to continue releasing videos to supplement the record, which he also confirmed to be a part of a trilogy that began with his first album.
With this release, Metro also notches two slots in the top 10 of the Hot 100, with “Creepin’,” alongside the Weeknd and 21 Savage, premiering at No. 5, and “Superhero (Heroes & Villains),” with Future and Brown, debuting at No. 8.
On the Billboard 200, Swift’s “Midnights” slips to No. 2 after a nonconsecutive five-week run at No. 1 with 143,000 equivalent album units (down 5%). Drake and 21 Savage’s “Her Loss,” also a Republic release, sits at No. 3 with 78,000 units (down 16%). With this sweep of the top three album spots, Republic Records is putting a bow on another impressive year on the charts. The label achieved a similar sweep of the top three back in February of last year.
Bad Bunny’s “Un Verano Sin Ti” sits at No. 4 with 55,000 units earned and closes the year as the chart’s leading album of 2022. It logged the most weeks (13 non-consecutive) at No. 1 for any album since Drake’s “Views” in 2016 and made history as the second all-Spanish-language album to top the list (the first was his own “El Ultimo Tour Del Mundo” in 2020).
Harry Styles’ former No. 1, “Harry’s House,” gets a lift from the previous week’s No. 9 spot to No. 6 with 49,000 units (with the increase rooted in vinyl LP sales), while Wallen’s “Dangerous: The Double Album” dips 6-7 with 47,000 units.
The top 10 of the album chart rounds out with the Weeknd’s “The Highlights” at No. 8, Nat King Cole’s “The Christmas Song” at No. 9 and Mariah Carey’s 1994 album “Merry Christmas” at No. 10 (up by 23%). Carey’s 1990s set has returned to the top 10 in each of the last four holiday seasons.
The song powering that album’s success, “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” has become the first song to top the Hot 100 in four separate runs on the list (starting in 2017, and returning every year through 2022). In total, it has spent nine weeks at No. 1 — that’s more than double any other holiday single. For this week, it racked up 36.2 million streams.
The festivities continue with Brenda Lee’s 1958 classic “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” rising from No. 3 to No. 2 on the songs chart, while Bobby Helms’ “Jingle Bell Rock” sits at No. 3 and Burl Ives’ “A Holly Jolly Christmas” lifts 6-4. Wham!’s “Last Christmas,” an ’80s favorite, rises to No. 9; its peak to date was at No. 7 just last year.
The rest of the Hot 100’s top 10 is filled out by repeat entries from last week‘s list like Swift’s “Anti-Hero,” which falls to No. 6 after spending its first six weeks dominating the chart; Sam Smith and Kim Petras’ “Unholy” at No. 7 (it ruled the list back in October); and Drake and 21 Savage’s “Rich Flex” at No. 10.