A week after Alicia Keys’ impressive debut, the Queen of R&B, Mary J Blige, struck with a #2 debut in Stronger (With Every Tear). The Geffen release features both Drake and T.I., as well as production from Polow Da Don, The-Dream and Ryan Leslie.

R&B has stolen the show this fourth quarter; Alicia Keys fell two small spots with Element Of Freedom. The J Records release did achieve her gold plaque. Keys is likely to achieve platinum by early January. Geffen (Blige), Sony (Beyonce), and J (Alicia Keys) have dominated Def Jam’s performance in 2009, with lackluster sales performances from Rihanna and Mariah Carey, despite two conceptual albums.

Lil Wayne gave rebirth to the compilation. We Are Young Money earned a Top 10 holiday week debut. On the backs of Wayne, Drake and Nicki Minaj, the Universal Motown-distributed release nearly sold 150,000 units. This performance comes are questionable debut sales week performances from Jay Sean and Birdman earlier this quarter. The Rap industry will see whether Drake or Nicki is the first to release a solo album in 2010.

Just as they did with Lady Gaga, Interscope Records re-packaged Eminem’s Relapse (as Relapse: Refill) with a handful of new songs, including the massive radio hit “Forever” with Drake, Kanye West and Lil Wayne. To Nielsen, the releases are one in same, pushing Relapse to nearly 1.7 million in sales. Unless Em can outsell Black Eyed Peas’ The E.N.D. by a margin of over 46,000 units, that brings Em to #2 in Rap releases for 2009.

Michael Jackson’s This Is It continued as the go-to release for consumers who mourn the King of Pop. The effort remains a top-earner for Epic Records, an imprint defined by Jackson’s sales throughout the last 30 years.

* Please note: figures below approximated to nearest thousandeth.

Top 200 Album Sales (Top 5 Hip Hop/R&B)

Rank Artist Album This Week Est. Total
2 Mary J Blige Stronger (With Every Tear)
330,000 332,000
4 Alicia Keys Element of Freedom
280,000 699,000
9 Young Money We Are Young Money
142,000 143,000
11 Eminem Relapse 128,000 1,694,000
13 Michael Jackson’s This Is It
109,000 1,262,000

The aforementioned Peas shot past the 1.7 million mark this last week with The E.N.D. The Los Angeles-based quartet made an alternative album to their Rap roots, but has still been positioned by record sellers and media as a Rap act. Despite their Pop sensibilities, the group has roots leading back to N.W.A. founder Eazy E and Ruthless Records.

(Editor’s Note: Last Week HipHopDX published a sales error in Jay’s Blueprint 3. We apologize, as the album was wrongfully published at over 1.7 million in sales)

Jay-Z’s Blueprint 3 is just units under 1.5 million. The Atlantic Records-distributed debut release from Roc Nation is the third and final platinum Rap release of 2009. With mixed critical reception, the work has shown a new trend in the Brooklyn superstar’s career, both challenging Auto-Tune, as well as asserting his youth in spite of being an elder statesman in Hip Hop.

Gucci Mane‘s The State Vs. Radric Davis remained in the Top 40 for a third week. The Warner Asylum release heads towards 200,000 units, as the Atlanta rapper has been one of the comeback players of 2009, between his appearances, critical acclaim and ending a very serious feud with Young Jeezy.

50 Cent  climbed three spots with Before I Self Destruct. Time will tell if the release will be the Queens superstar’s last with Interscope. It boasts production from Dr. Dre as well as two bonus DVDs on the retail release.

Lastly, Virginia-based duo The Clipse passed the 50,000 mark. The group’s Columbia/Sony Records debut Til The Casket Drops has been their lowest performance to date, with mixed reviews. The album features Kanye West, Cam’ron and production from DJ Khalil and The Neptunes.

Rank Artist Album This Week Est. Total
15 Black Eyed Peas The E.N.D.
104,000 1,740,000
32 Jay-Z Blueprint 3
59,000 1,490,000
39 Gucci Mane The State Vs. Radric Davis
42,000 173,000
57 50 Cent Before I Self Destruct
29,000 334,000
171 Clipse Til The Casket Drops
8,400 51,000

A happy and healthy 2010 to you and yours from HipHopDX.