Tags: 1 million, 50 Cent, hip hop, kanye west, lil wayne, music, rap, sales, Tha Carter 3, Tha Carter III
Like a superhero arriving in the nick of time, rapper Lil Wayne has swooped in to stem the tide, however briefly, of both the record business’ general slump and the steeper slide that rap music has suffered in recent years.
The New Orleans rhymer’s “Tha Carter III” has become the first album to top the 1 million sales mark during its first week in stores since 50 Cent’s “The Massacre” more than three years ago. It also is the first rap album to top the national sales chart since Jay-Z’s “American Gangster” held that spot in November.
“I’m sure there are people who thought we wouldn’t see a 1 million copy week again,” Geoff Mayfield, Billboard’s charts director, said Wednesday. “This doesn’t mean there isn’t trouble in the music business, but it does mean if you have the right record at the right time, it’s still possible.”
The fact that Lil Wayne, who is less a household name outside hip-hop circles than Jay-Z, Kanye West, Eminem or 50 Cent, managed to hit that threshold speaks to the groundswell of popularity he has generated through a string of singles and mix-tapes released over the Internet in the last year.
His single “Lollipop,” which he sang Monday at his release-week concert at the House of Blues in West Hollywood, is one of the year’s biggest hits. In recent weeks it has ridden high on both Billboard’s Hot 100, which measures radio airplay, physical and digital sales, and the magazine’s Hot Digital Tracks chart, indicating its popularity as a download.
“There had been a lot of anticipation building for the album,” Mayfield said. “It shipped 1.3 million copies, which is a number like the old days.”
It’s a dramatic step up for Lil Wayne, whose previous album, “Tha Carter II,” sold 238,000 copies during its first week in stores in 2005, according to Nielsen SoundScan, and peaked at No. 2 on the chart. The closest anyone has come to the 1 million sales week since 50 Cent was West, whose “Graduation” album logged a first-week figure of 957,000 last September.
Tags: billboard hot 100, leona lewis, lil wayne, rapper, usher
After a three-week break, Lil Wayne’s “Lollipop” featuring Static Major returns to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 this week. It’s the longest chart-topping hiatus since Usher’s “U Got It Bad” went four weeks between No. 1 stints in January 2002.
Leona Lewis’ “Bleeding Love” is No. 2 for a second week, while last week’s chart-topper, Rihanna’s “Take a Bow,” slips 3-1 despite being the fastest-growing track at radio. Usher’s “Love in This Club” featuring Young Jeezy rises 5-4, trading places with Jordin Sparks’ “No Air” featuring Chris Brown.
Ray J & Yung Berg’s “Sexy Can I” holds at No. 6, and Madonna’s “4 Minutes” featuring Justin Timberlake remains No. 7. Natasha Bedingfield’s “Pocketful of Sunshine” rises 9-8, trading places with Mariah Carey’s “Touch My Body.” Danity Kane’s “Damaged” holds at No. 10 to round out the top tier.
Another new Usher song, “Love in This Club, Part II,” soars 63-18 in its fourth week, thanks to digital sales of 44,000.
The Hot 100’s greatest digital gainer is Duffy’s “Mercy,” which sold 59,000 downloads en route to a 66-27 climb. The U.K. artist’s debut Mercury album, “Rockferry,” debuted yesterday at No. 4 on the Billboard 200.
The week’s top debut comes from the reunited New Kids On The Block with “Summertime” at No. 57. The song shifted 39,000 downloads and is off to a strong start at top 40 radio, moving 40-35 this week on the Pop 100 Airplay tally.
Also new this week are Kate Voegele’s “Hallelujah” at No. 66, Three 6 Mafia’s “Lolli Lolli (Pop That Body)” at No. 79 and Jason Mraz’s “Lucky” featuring Colbie Caillat at No. 82.
Lil Wayne’s “Lollipop” is No. 1 for a fourth week on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, where Kanye West’s “Homecoming” featuring Chris Martin is the top new entry at No. 68.
Brad Paisley’s “I’m Still a Guy” moves 2-1 to overtake Hot Country Songs, his fourth chart-topper from the album “5th Gear.”
On Billboard’s rock chart, Weezer is No. 1 on Modern Rock with “Pork & Beans” for a third week, and Disturbed’s “Inside the Fire” tops Mainstream Rock for a third. The Cure has the top debut on Modern Rock with “The Only One” at No. 35.