Jay-Z has done it again. The living rap legend has scored his eleventh no. 1 album with his latest disc The Blueprint 3 and surpassed his sales projections by over 125,000 copies.
As previously reported, industry insider hitsdailydouble.com placed Hov at around 300-350,000 for his first week sales, but according to Nielsen SoundScan, the rap megastar sold closer to 475,700. This is no small feat as Jay’s last album American Gangster sold 425,800 units in a much sunnier sales climate. The Brooklyn-bred MC was everywhere promoting BP3, with a star-studded 9-11 benefit at Madison Square Garden airing live on Fuse, a performance with Alicia Keys at the MTV VMAs and interviews on everyone from Oprah to Bill Maher to Stephen A. Smith.
Fellow New York vet Raekwon also made an impressive debut this week. The Wu-Tang rapper’s sequel to the 1995 classic, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, landed at the no. 4 spot, selling 67,600 copies in its first week.
Climbing four spots up the charts to make it back into the top 10 is the Black Eyed Peas. The group’s latest disc The E.N.D. (Energy Never Dies) sold 10,000 more albums this week than last week, earning them a seat at no. 7. The group moved 43,500 units in their 14th week, making their grand total stand at 1,071,100.
Falling 16 spots to no. 24 is Pitbull. The Miami rep’s latest disc, Rebelution sold 17,800 CDs this week, making his two-week stats stand at 59,100.
At no. 30 is the collector’s edition of Jay’s first Blueprint album. The new version of the 2001 classic LP that turned Kanye West and Just Blaze into superproducers, pushed 14,000 units out of the stores this week.
Two spots down is fellow “Renegade” Eminem with his Relapse LP. In his 17th week on The Billboard 200 charts, Shady sold 13,700 units, making his overall tally stand at 1,424,600. Directly under Em is Brooklyn MC Fabolous. Loso’s Way cranked out 13,600 from the shelves this week, putting his grand total at 220,900.
Next week look for new releases from Kid Cudi, Drake, Lil Boosie, Q-Tip, Trick Daddy, New Boyz, M.O.P., N.O.R.E., Capone, KRS-One and Buckshot to make The Billboard 200. –Elan Mancini