Weekly review of the Hip-Hop and R&B sales/charts.
Perhaps Snoop made a poor career choice by switching from hip hop to reggae. If he truly wanted to move units he should consider an R&B persona. Rhythm and Blues singers have been performing mightily on these charts as of late, but this week they took over fully. Only one “Hip Hop” album managed to move any significant numbers, and that was Kendrick Lamar’s seminal album Good Kid, m.A.A.d city (in the future we will refer to it as "seminal" so we might as well start now). Alicia Keys sits atop the charts this week, but her current sales pale in comparison to her numbers of yesteryear. Rap fans should not fret however, as there are some big releases in the pipeline that should push some major numbers (by December standards at least). Game, Big Boi, and the Kang, T.I., all have anticipated LPs dropping over the next couple weeks, and with Wiz Khalifa’s return to form on O.N.I.F.C., and his stellar projections, you can expect to see the Taylor Gang rapper at the top of these charts.
1) Alicia Keys – Girl On Fire: Excuse the poorly conceived pun, but Miss Keys’ fifth studio effort came out the gates blazing. She is the latest female R&B talent to top these charts since her album debuting at No. 1 on Billboard’s 200. She managed to move 161, 038 units which was enough to topple the competition in the dog days of album releases as the year winds down. Comparing these sales to her last LP, which dropped in 2009, one can see just how much the sales climate has changed, as she sold over 400k when The Element of Freedom was released.
2) Rihanna – Unapologetic: RiRi went on a media tear, and was also not bashful about bearing her skin on magazine and album covers. She was No. 1 on the charts last week, for the first time in her career, and saw a steady decline this week as she sold just over 70k units with a dip of 70% from the week previous.
3) Kendrick Lamar – Good Kid, m.A.A.d city: GKMC is marked with a steady progression throughout the album, and his sales have mirrored his own musical pacing. K.Dot’s debut studio album holds strong and was No. 21 on Billboard which is only a drop of three spots.
4) Cee-Lo Green – Cee Lo’s Magic Moment: Perhaps his recent legal woes played a factor in the low sales, or maybe the “Christmas Album” purchasing time is just not in full swing yet. Cee Lo’s Christmas album managed to sell only 18,390 units in its first week.
5) The Weeknd – Trilogy: This has to be promising for the young Toronto talent. His repurposed project Trilogy was basically a compilation of his mixtapes and only offered a few new cuts, but fans are still purchasing. Adding another 16k plus in sales, and holding steady at No. 37 on Billboard’s 200, Abel Tesfaye should be excited to see what a full studio album could yield.
Two more R&B projects hung around, but are most likely making their curtain call on these charts. Ne-Yo’s R.E.D. album managed to move an additional 13, 422 units, and while falling well short of previous album sales, he should be satisfied with how this album performed in today’s market. Perhaps the surprise R&B album of the year, Miguel’s Kaleidoscope Dream held on at No. 49, and the rising singer continues to impress. With a big tour on the horizon you can expect to see his name pop up quite often in the future.