Weekly review of the Hip-Hop and R&B sales/charts.
While Taylor Swift remains the reigning queen of the Billboard 200, we get a few new entries from the hip-hop sphere this week. Rae Sremmurd, as projected, landed a top 10 Billboard 200 debut with SremmLife. They even did one better, making it into the top 5 by sliding in at #5. The duo definitely had a successful first week out, although they didn't quite break the 50k mark, they sold a solid 46,000. Considering this was their debut album, and it's not like they'd been heavy in the mixtape circuit before it dropped (nor did they spend a year or two rounding up a fanbase etc), that's pretty crazy. It'll be interesting to see how Joey Bada$$ fares his first week out, and to compare the two-- Joey developed a loyal following and made sure to drop a few mixtapes before finally delivering his debut album (which is due out in two days time). We'll save that conversation/debate for when B4.DA.$$ drops, though. Apart from SremmLife cracking a top 5 debut, we're seeing a soundtrack from the TV series "Empire" chart this week. The new FOX show "Empire" is centered around the music industry, and thus features a lot of original music in the show (at least, the pilot episode is, and this soundtrack is music from the pilot). The fact that the EP debuted at #36 proves the strength of the TV show itself, not to mention, the music.
1) Nicki Minaj— The Pinkprint: Yes, Taylor Swift is still at #1. Nicki Minaj on the other hand has fallen from grace ever so slightly, dropping just one spot this past week down to #3. She’s been charting for four weeks now, and sold 60,000 this week (sales: 34,000). Her total sales climbed to 389,000.
2) Rae Sremmurd— SremmLife: The Mike WiLL Made It-signed duo are off to a solid start with their debut album SremmLife. The brothers managed to round out the Billboard 200’s top 5 this week, with a #5 debut. Not too shabby, and their first week sales number reached 49,000 (sales: 34,000).
3) J. Cole— 2014 Forest Hills Drive: Cole remains strong on the charts, not budging from his #7 resting spot this week. The North Carolina-bred rapper has been charting for five weeks, and remained consistent throughout that time. This week is no different, as he’s moved 45,000 units (sales: 34,000) while his total sales are 658,000.
4) Iggy Azalea— Reclassified: Iggy’s re-release made a rise up last week, but this week it’s down two spots to #18. The Australian artist has been charting with Reclassified for seven weeks. Her combined sales and streams number was 18,144 this past week (sales: 3,133).
5) Beyonce— Beyonce: Further down the line we find Queen Beyonce, dropping just one spot this week to arrive at #31. Her groundbreaking self-titled album managed to do damage with 13,170 units (sales: 5,076) while the total sales mounted to 2,192,000.
6) Fabolous— The Young OG Project: Loso comes in at #33 this week after sitting at #20 last week. The rapper has been charting for three weeks, and sold/streamed another 12,806 (sales: 10,069). Thus his total sales break that 100k mark at approximately 108,850.
7) D’Angelo— The Black Messiah: The return of D’Angelo shook things up for a minute, but now the internet has settled back down and D’Angelo slowly descends the charts. The veteran in the game fell to #34 this week, after moving 12,546 copies (sales: 11,135). His total sales are at 176,368).
8) Empire—Music From The Pilot (EP): The original soundtrack backing the new FOX series’ “Empire” debut episode proved to be quite popular, entering the Billboard 200 at #36. While the representation of the industry may not be 100% accurate, the music is on point. The EP managed to sell 11,964 units (sales: 6,978).
9) Eminem—Curtain Call: For whatever reason, Em’s greatest hits disc Curtain Call has been climbing up the Billboard 200 lately. This week we see it make the jump from #51 to #40 (and in case you’re wondering it’s been charting for 223 weeks). The album had a combined sales and streams number of 10,489 (sales: 4,159).
10) Chris Brown—X: Although Chris Brown experienced some mild controversy the other week, when the club he was performing at got shot up, it hasn’t affected the singer’s performance on the charts (at least not yet). This week the singer rises up several spots to #41, after moving 10,263 (sales: 3,671). His total sales are currently at 339,000.
In terms of the Hot 100, this week we’re seeing The Weeknd’s “Often” reach a new peak at #65. Nicki Minaj’s collabo with Beyonce, “Feeling Myself,” hits #61. Kanye West’s “Only One” made a strong debut last week at #35 but this week he’s fallen to #54—we’ll have to see if he climbs back up. Meanwhile, Usher’s “I Don’t Mind” featuring Juicy J is up at #23, and Beyonce is also up four spots to #20 with “7/11.” Nicki Minaj’s “Only” hasn’t moved, still sitting at #16. Big Sean’s “IDFWU” also remains unmoved this week at #12.