Weekly review of the Hip-Hop and R&B sales/charts.
MMG is beginning to look like a truly unstoppable force as even natural disasters can't seem to stop them, or even slow them down. A few weeks ago we got the release of one of the most anticipated albums of the year in Kendrick Lamar’s GKMC, which has performed mightily in the context of today’s rap album sales. Now we get a look at Maybach Music Group’s Meek Mill who in the face of Hurricane Sandy came out triumphant and topped the charts (Hip Hop/R&B, even Rozay’s crew couldn’t thwart Taylor Swift). With rappers almost universally banding around President Obama’s election into his second term, and their fans feeling optimistic it will be interesting to see if this has a positive effect on record sales. Another thing of note to keep your eyes on is the solo rapper versus the crew. While Kendrick is associated with Black Hippy, he primarily sold units on his own (with a wee bit of help from Dre). As Meek Mill, who is one helluva talented rapper, can thank his MMG features (both on his own, and other rapper’s projects) for his sales, will we continue to see a trend of rappers having to team up with their peers to bolster sales?
1) Meek Mill – Dreams And Nightmares : Hurricane, what hurricane? The MMG spitta was able to move an impressive number of units in this climate (both the physical climate, and the declining sales of hip hop albums). Meek Mill moved 167,085 in the first week for his sophomore album. This comes after many fans and critics were sour on the album, so it will be intriguing to see if he holds steady next week or if we see a rapid decline.
2) Kendrick Lamar – good kid, m.A.A.d city: Is it a classic, does it even matter? K.Dot had another impressive showing adding almost 60k units this week. He clocked in at No. 5 on the charts with Taylor Swift’s goliath album vacuuming up the majority of sales yet again. With Meek’s album dropping, we saw a hefty decline of 76% in sales for GKMC, but with the “instant classic” label being put on this album by man you can expect to see sales continue for years to come.
3) Miguel – Kaleidoscope Dream: Strong reviews and great word of mouth has really benefited this “little R&B album that could” as Miguel adds 13,840 units to his total, and for the second straight week finds himself at No 3 on our charts (No 27 on Billboard).
4) Brandy – Two Eleven: Sure, she’s not selling anywhere close to her days in the late 90s early 00s, but the veteran soulstress has proven that even today she can continue to sell. She dropped significantly on the Billboard charts from No. 10 to No. 31, but only saw a fall off of 37% in sales.
5) 2 Chainz – Based on a T.R.U. Story: You half-expect this album to be on this column in December...2013! 2 Chainz has benefitted by jumping on every track he possibly could (he’s on so many features that it makes you wonder if there are two 2 Chainz). He added another 10k to his tally which is only a 12% drop from last week. Similar to how 50 Cent was the godfather of using mixtapes to sell albums, will 2 Chainz begin the trend of rappers jumping on any and every feature when their LP is in stores?
Two other albums of note are two that could not be more diametrically opposed. The indie sensation, and brief king of Charts Don’t Lie, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ The Heist added another 9,755 units sold, and look to be firmly planted at the bottom of the charts, but it has been an impressive showing for an album that lived off internet promotion with fans. The other notable is G.O.O.D. Music’s Cruel Summer which sold well, but underperformed considering the roster and Kanye’s resume for pushing major units. Having the album completed before releasing the top four or five massive singles could have helped boost album sales, but it did add another 8k units. After falling to No. 44, don’t expect to see this album crack the Top 50 again.