This week the hip-hop underground proves you don't need to be mainstream to top the Billboard 200, at least these days. Two mainstays within the underground movement debuted within the top 10 of the Billboard charts this week. Both have been around for more than a decade, and thus have developed loyal followings before the age of torrenting and illegal downloads, which perhaps works in their favor now. Tech N9ne's collaborations album Strangeulation leaked more than a month before the album's official release, which some may think would dampen the sales drastically, however, the Strange Music family made a #5 debut. Atmosphere, the other underground rap group we're discussing, had a strong showing with a #8 debut. This is actually a higher debut than Slug and Ant's last album, The Family Sign, which debuted at #13 in 2011 (although it in fact sold more copies opening week). However, it doesn't top their 2008 release, When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold, which debuted at #5 moving 36,000 units.

1)        Tech N9ne— Strangeulation: Tech Ninna continues to B.I.T.C.H. as he works his way towards mainstream fame. Despite the Strange Music collabos album leaking basically a month before its scheduled release date, Strange fans came through for the rapper on the release day and he nabbed a #5 debut—that’s pretty impressive. Strangeulation moved out 35,772 units.

2)        Pharrell— G I R L: Skateboard keeps afloat at the top of the Billboard 200. This week he’s remained stagnant at #6, which is nothing to complain about. The singer/rapper has been charting for 10 weeks now, and shipped out 24,449 units this week. His total sales are currently at 371,577.

3)        Atmosphere—Southsiders: Atmosphere have one of the largest strictly underground followings. They showed their support this week, when the new album Southsiders dropped. The duo sold a strong 23,159 units opening week. We recently shot the shit with Slug of Atmosphere, catch that if you missed it.

4)         Iggy Azalea— The New Classic: Iggy fell off a bit this week, dropping from #5 to #15 after 3 weeks up on the Billboard 200. The Australian rapper sold 15,000 copies of her debut album this week, moving 90,000 units total.

5)        Future— Honest: Future debuted above Iggy in the second week he fell below her, and his descent continues this week. Future dropped from #7 last week to #23. The sophomore effort sold 11,000 units with grand tally at 85,000.

6)        Eminem— The Marshall Mathers LP 2: Em finds himself at #30 this week, which is a rise up one spot from last week. After spending 27 weeks on the charts, Eminem moved out 9,800 copies while his total sales stand at 2,099,000.

7)         Beyonce— Beyonce: Bey comes in this week at #33 (down from #24 last week) with her self-titled album. The pop star pushed 9,000 units with total sales at 1,968,000.

8)         August Alsina— Testimony: R’n’b singer August Alsina has seen a bit of success with his debut album. After a strong debut, the album has spent 4 weeks on the charts and dropped to #35 this week. The singer sold 8,800 copies while his total sales are at 108,000.

9)         YG— My Krazy Life: Bompton’s own YG dropped 11 spots this week, coming in at #45. The rapper’s debut album dropped in sales by 18% but still sold 6,840 copies.

10)        Rick Ross— Mastermind: Ricky Rozay comes in right below YG this week, with Mastermind pushing out 6,276 units. Ross fell off from #39 to #46.

In related news, Jason Derulo's r'n'b release Talk Dirty is sitting at #37, having moved 8,000 this week (total sales of 37,000). Drake's Nothing Was The Same is below the Bawse, at #47, which is actually up from last week's placement at #56. ScHoolboy Q's Oxymoron is still charting at #59 this week.