Michael Jackson will be finishing 2009 at the top of the charts he dominated for so many years. With the release of the documentary of his last days, This Is It, Epic Records, the imprint Jackson sustained throughout the early '80s, has released a soundtrack. Michael Jackson's This Is It Soundtrack debuted at over halfway to platinum. Over three Michael Jackson releases were sprinkled throughout the Top 200 this week, affirming his status as Forbes top-earning dead celebrity, trumping Elvis Presley who reigned in 2007 and 2008.
Jay-Z [click to read] still stayed Top 10 with Blueprint 3 [click to read] as the emcee tours North America. The rapper known for his former battles with Nas, The Game can add onetime protege Beanie Sigel [click to read]. A staple in Jay's Roc-A-Fella Records roster, the South Philadelphia rapper and his mentor have parted ways after Jay reacted to a string of arrested, rumored drug abuse and poor business management on Beanie's part. If the polite interview commentary elevates, Blueprint 3 may become a bigger piece of discussion.
The Black Eyed Peas [click to read] are just a 100,000 units ahead of Jay-Z in overall sales. The E.N.D. [click to read] held rank from last week, after being out for over three months. The California veterans are striking new chords with their latest single "Meet Me Halfway." will.i.am has also been announced as a collaborator on Rihanna's Rated R album.
The biggest surprise on the charts this week was rapper Tech N9ne's [click to read] validation through K.O.D. [click to read]. The Kansas City rapper, who has sold over one million records independently in the course of his career, had a Top 15 debut in the fourth quarter, selling just under 30,000 units. King Of Darkness features strong commentary on religion and spirituality. The release unveils Strange Music's latest roster, including Krizz Kaliko [click to read], Big Scoob, Brotha Lynch Hung [click to read] and Prozak. Veteran New York emcee Bumpy Knuckles (a/k/a Freddie Foxxx [click to read] also appears, as well as Three 6 Mafia [click to read].
E1 Entertainment, formerly Koch, is known for helping many rappers find later career success. The imprint struct a Top 20 debut appearance with Buffalo, New York native Brian McKnight and his Evolution Of A Man.
* Please note: figures below approximated to nearest thousandeth.
Top 200 Album Sales (Top 5 Hip Hop/R&B)
|Rank||Artist||Album||This Week||Est. Total|
|1||Michael Jackson||Michael Jackson's This Is It
|13||Black Eyed Peas||The E.N.D.
|20||Brian McKnight||Evolution Of A Man||24,000||24,000
Rick Ross' [click to read] first act on Maybach Music, Triple C's [click to read] debuted in the Top 50 with their Custom Cars & Cycles release. The Def Jam release featured a number of videos made in promotion of the project, and boasted guest appearances from Young Jeezy [click to read], Gucci Mane [click to read] and Warren G [click to read]. The release's sales have been a topic of discussion by Ross nemesis 50 Cent [click to read] this week, who had previously branded his own G-Unit group.
Vancourer Hip Hop veterans Swollen Members cracked the Top 150 with their return to music, Armed To The Teeth [click to read]. Once a staple of the underground in the '90s, the duo has returned after battling drugs and a label change. Released by Kottonmouth Kings' Suburban Noize imprint, this album features appearances ranging from Glasses Malone [click to read] to Tech N9ne.
After finding chart and critical success in last year's Crack [click to read], Houston Rap veteran Z-Ro returned almost exactly a year later with Cocaine. The release returned Ro to Rap-A-Lot Records, a label he was said to have been leaving. The release features Lil Flip [click to read] and Big Pokey.
Lastly, Raekwon [click to read] and New Boyz [click to read] continue to find chart success after the summer. The Wu-Tang Clan member's Only Built 4 Cuban Linx 2 [click to read] continues to be a critically-touted release, while California's Jerk movement may very well be this year's "crank dat," as Skinny Jeanz & A Mic [click to read]
|Rank||Artist||Album||This Week||Est. Total|
|44||Triple C's||Custom Cars & Cycles
|146||Swollen Members||Armed To The Teeth
|153||New Boyz||Skinny Jeanz & A Mic||3,300||35,000|
|166||Raekwon||Only Built 4 Cuban Linx 2||3,000||130,000|
Can Crooked I's EP continue the Slaughterhouse '09? Will Ryan Leslie and Amerie win back the charts to R&B? Stay tuned to HipHopDX to find out.