Damian Lillard debuts on Billboard's Emerging Artists chart with new album

Taking his talents to the studio, Damian Lillard’s sophomore studio album “Confirmed” is charting.
Taking his talents to the studio, Damian Lillard’s sophomore studio album “Confirmed” is charting.

The Portland Trail Blazers’ Damian Lillard, aka Dame D.O.L.L.A., has debuted at No. 32 on Billboard’s Emerging Artists chart (dated Oct. 28) behind his sophomore album, “Confirmed.”

Lillard, the two-time All-Star, released the album on Oct. 6, just before the start of the 2017-18 NBA season. The album is star-studded with songs featuring Lil Wayne, 2 Chainz and BJ the Chicago Kid.

According to Billboard, Lillard’s album “arrives with 3,000 equivalent album units in the week ending Oct. 12, according to Nielsen Music. Nearly all of the set’s units were via traditional album sales, helping Confirmed open at No. 72 on the Top Album Sales chart.”

Lillard’s debut album, “The Letter O,” sold 4,000 units in November 2016 and jumped to No. 119 on the Billboard 200. That album featured other artists like Lil Wayne, Jamie Foxx and Marsha Ambroisus.

Last season, Lillard had received criticism for spending too much time in the studio, despite averaging a career-high 27 points per game.

Lillard spoke to Billboard ahead of his album release, addressing topics ranging from his album, talents on the hardwood and collaborating with Lonzo Ball.

“I’m open to it. See, the thing that people don’t understand is that it’s always “Who’s the best NBA rapper?” and all that stuff. I’m really not interested in being in competition with NBA rappers. I feel like when it comes to rap, like real rap music, and knowing the pioneers of rap, I feel like there’s no competition for me in the NBA. Other guys can rap, but they’re not as invested or as deep into actual music as I am and always have been. I think that might be what the difference is. I’m more wanting to be an artist.”

Lillard’s music isn’t just a hit in the music community. He said when his debut album came out Kevin Durant texted him: “Man, I mess with the album.”

“I’m really happy with the growth of the production and the music itself,” Lillard told Billboard about his new album. “I feel like people will hear the growth for me as an artist. So I’m excited about that.”

The Blazers will open their season Wednesday against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Maybe Lillard will treat his teammates to some pregame bars?