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This doesn't necessarily mean that the record has already sold the required 500,000 copies, but at least that many have been shipped out to retailers and other outlets.
Apparently the record isn't showing up in RIAA's gold database yet if searched, so the celebration may be premature.
Nevertheless, the number of copies Lamar's record has already sold is an amazing feat for the young Compton MC. Good Kid, m.A.A.d city is his major label debut and the mentoring he's received from Dr. Dre throughout his career has clearly paid off, as it isn't just sales that mark the record as a great one.
Just today, SPIN magazine released their year end top 50 albums list, and the "Bitch Don't Kill My Vibe" rapper took the #2 spot. The album has also received an overwhelming positive response from critics virtually across the board.