Weekly review of the Hip-Hop and R&B sales/charts.
We have two new-comers to Charts Don't Lie this week, who come from opposite ends of the spectrum- Robin Thicke and Tech N9ne. Both artists had impressive debuts, with Thicke earning a #1 debut for the first time, and Tech N9ne earning his chart peak as well. Independent labels may just be the way of the future, as Mac Miller and Tech (and others) have proved again and again how they can do it big without major label backing. Tech Ninna's whole thing is that he's gunna make the mainstream come to him-- and indeed, it seems to be working. Album by album Tech widens his fan-base, and sells more copies, so it might not be too long before we see the Kansas City native with his own #1 debut. The other artist we're looking at, singer Robin Thicke, went with a decidedly more mainstream/pop-influenced sound with his new album Blurred Lines. He's mentioned how it was a conscious decision in interviews, and that, along with a bunch of press and promo, (not to mention working with Pharrell) was the magic combination to give Robin his #1 debut. He sold a solid amount of copies opening week, no doubt due in part to his huge single and title track, "Blurred Lines." Check out how our other rappers fare on the charts this week by reading below.
1) Robin Thicke— Blurred Lines: Robin Thicke’s infectious single “Blurred Lines” obviously did the trick—the singer managed to get his first ever #1 debut with the album of the same name. Previously, his largest sales to date were with 2008’s Something Else which moved 137, 000 units and debuted at #3. This time around, Robin moved 177,00 copies opening week. It’s about time, it’s been ten years since the singer released his debut album.
2) Jay Z— Magna Carta Holy Grail: Hov doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, since the release of MCHG. He slipped one spot from last week, which is no biggie considering he’s still at #3. The rapper is down 20% in sales, having moved 62,000 copies of his game-changing LP.
3) Tech N9ne— Something Else: It was a good week for Tech Ninna and his independent label, Strange Music. The Strange rapper’s latest album was impressively able to debut at #4, with around 60,000 units sold. While Tech’s “All 6’s & 7’s” also had a #4 debut, he’s surpassed that album in sales (56,000), making this his chart peak.
4) J. Cole— Born Sinner: Similarly to his Roc Nation boss, J. Cole only dropped one spot from last week, falling to #14 from #13. After seven weeks of charting, Cole still moved a good 17, 419 units of Born Sinner, down in sales 15%.
5) Macklemore & Ryan Lewis— The Heist: Yup, these guys are still here. They also dropped one spot from last week, and if they continue at the rate they’re going, we’ll be seeing them here for a long time to come (not that it hasn’t already been awhile). The duo have been charting for 43 weeks, and sold another 17,000 units to fans around the world.
6) Wale— The Gifted: Wale may be having trouble staying afloat on the charts with new entries and strong competition. This week the MMG rapper moved around 10,639 copies of his LP, dropping 14 spots, all the way down to #34 on the Billboard 200.
7) Rich Gang— Rich Gang: Rich Gang compilation album isn’t doing too well when it comes to sales. The album debuted at #9 with only moving 24,000 copies. This week, their second week on the charts, they’ve plummeted to #36, moving around 8k. Is the album a flop?
8) Kanye West— Yeezus: Album struggles continue with ‘Ye. Yeezus started off okay sales-wise, but has failed to keep up with his rap counterparts like Jay Z and J. Cole. This week Yeezy sits at #38, from #24 last week. If he keeps dropping like this, we’ll see him fall of the top 50 rather soon. Kanye sold less than 10,000 units over the past week.
In other chart news, we haven’t forgotten Justin Timberlake this week—he’s still doing well, near the top of the charts with The 20/20 Experience coming in at #17 selling around 15k. Ace Hood, on the other hand, has completely fallen off. Last week we saw him at #24, and this week he’s dropped down to #64 after only three weeks. Ciara and Kendrick Lamar are actually doing better than Ace, with good kid, m.A.A.d city at #51 this week and Ciara at #55. Further below all these guys is Mac Miller, whose independent effort dropped from #55 to #81 this past week.