Wale has overtaken Kanye West this week for the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200 with his new album The Gifted. It is the first No. 1 debut for the Maybach Music rapper. The Gifted is a feat he is surely happy about, and a testament to the progress he’s made since his original debut. His relatively new talent can move units if they keep at it. As reported by billboard.com:
“Rapper Wale claims his first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart this week, as his new release The Gifted debuts in the top position. The set sold 158,000 copies in its first week of release, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
“It’s Wale’s second top 10 album, following his last release, 2011′s Ambition. It debuted and peaked at No. 2 with 164,000 sold, but was blocked by another debuting album that week: Justin Bieber’s Under the Mistletoe (with a 210,000 bow).”
This week was a good look for rap music. Even though West was knocked from the top spot to No. 3 on the charts, rap albums are holding down the top three spots on the charts. According to MTV.com:
“It will be a 1-2-3 finish for hip-hop on next week’s Billboard 200 chart, thanks to a strong first frame for Maybach Music Group’s Wale… Just below, last week’s top earners will do a flip-flop, as J. Cole’s ’Born Sinner’ will hang at No. 2 on sales of 84,000 (down 72 percent), while Kanye West’s hyped Yeezus slips to No. 3 as sales fell off by 80 percent to just under 65,000.”
According to Billboard, that represents the fourth largest drop for a No. 1 debuting album in the SoundScan era, behind other 80-plus percent dippers from Madonna, Lady Gaga and Mac Miller.
This isn’t a new trend for West though as his last album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, made a 78 percent drop in its second week out, this time around we know he’s probably more focused on his and Kim Kardashian’s new baby.
Aside from the big week for hip-hop, R&B/Soul singer india. irie was also in the top 10, according to billboard.com:
“Two more new albums arrive in the top 10 this week: R&B singer/songwriter india.arie enters at No. 7 with “SongVersation” (31,000) and another rock act, August Burns Red, bows at No. 9 with “Rescue & Restore” (26,000).
“This marks india.arie’s fifth top 10 album on the Billboard 200 in as many tries. Her 2009 release, Testimony: Vol. 2, Love & Politics, bowed at No. 3 with 75,000. She’s topped the tally once previously, with 2006′s Testimony: Vol. 1, Life & Relationship.
That’s a great week for black music! In an unusual trend, major artists are releasing albums in the summer instead of waiting for the infamous 4th quarter. With Jay-Z and Drake up next, we’re set for a really hot summer!
Check out Wale’s track by track review of his No. 1 album, The Gifted: