Hip-hop continues to be the genre to beat on the Billboard 200 as Wale and his The Album About Nothing ensures that rappers dominate the equivalent album sales chart for a fourth consecutive week. Nothing is the emcee's second no. 1 album, selling the equivalent of 100,000 copies during its debut week.
The no. 2 record on this week's charts is more surprising however, as the soundtrack for Furious 7 accelerates (ha!) from no. 17 to no. 2 during its second week. It doesn't take too much analysis to figure out why: Although the album was released two weeks ago, the film just hit theaters this weekend, setting records in the process. Viewers who hadn't tuned in to the album yet were no doubt enthralled by its mix of hip-hop and EDM, and grabbed the album accordingly. It sold 74,000 equivalent copies.
There have been a rash of hot hip-hop albums debuting in recent weeks that didn't manage to hit the no. 1 spot, and Ludacris joins their ranks with Ludaversal. His album sold 73,000 copies, 1,000 less than the soundtrack of the film he appeared in as an actor (albeit not a musician this time around).
The last hip-hop album to hold the no. 1 spot before Wale was Kendrick Lamar and To Pimp A Butterfly, which spent the last two weeks on top. This week it fell to no. 4 while selling 65,000 copies. The soundtrack to Empire, the album that started hip-hop's run at the top, fell from no. 2 to out of the Top 10 this week, due to a high influx of new albums.
Taylor Swift and 1989 somehow found a way to stay in the Top 5 once again, spending its fourth consecutive week at no. 5. That means that the album, which sold another 59,000 equivalent copies, has spent every one of its first 23 weeks on the chart in the Top 5.
This week was by far her closest encounter with falling out however. Sam Smith has had two consecutive weeks of sales growth with In The Lonely Hour, which came in with just more than 59,000 copies sold this week, at no. 6. Darius Rucker's Southern Style also applied pressure, moving 57,000 copies in its first week. Death Cab For Cutie was another challenger, taking no. 8 with its new album Kintsugi.
The Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack fell six spots despite not losing anything in sales, again odue to the rise in new releases this week. That collection sold 54,000 equivalent copies. Surfjan Stevens took the last place in this week's Top 10, moving 53,000 copies of his new album Carrie & Lowell.