Eminem has made history once again. As expected, the Detroit lyricist’s new album, Recovery, has landed on top of The Billboard 200 and earned the highest selling first-week numbers of the year to date.

According to the Nielsen SoundScan report, which was published today, fans purchased 741,400 copies of Em’s seventh studio album. This marks Shady’s sixth consecutive No. 1 LP on the charts (this includes his 2005 compilation, Curtain Call - The Hits)  and also puts him in the running to be hip-hop’s highest first-week selling act, for the second year in a row; the rapper’s 2009 comeback record, Relapse, sold 608,000 in it’s debut week on the charts.

Em blasted past Drake, who had an impressive week of his own last go-round, selling 446,700 copies of his long-awaited debut LP, Thank Me Later. The Toronto-native now sits at the No. 2 position on the charts, after picking up an additional 156,700 units. TML’s two-week total now stands at 604,000.

Four spots down at No. 6 are Philadelphia rap vets The Roots with their latest effort, How I Got Over. The group’s ninth studio album (and third for Def Jam Recordings) pumped out around 51,000 units in their first week on shelves.

B.o.B. slipped three spots to No. 20 this sales cycle, after 19,000 more fans went out and bought his CD, The Adventures of Bobby Ray. The ATLien now has a nine-week tally of 268,000.

And rounding out the top 40 for hip-hop releases are the Black Eyed Peas at No. 23. Still going strong in week 55, will.i.am, Fergie and company managed to add 16,300 units to their overall sales of The E.N.D., which now sits at 2,625,300.

Next week look for Em and Drake to battle it out for the top spot on The Billboard 200. —Elan Mancini