Alicia Keys and Mary J Blige held their one-two punch. Released a week earlier,  Element Of Freedom, Keys’ album took the #4 spot (behind Lady Gaga and Susan Boyle and new #1 star, Flo Rida’s assist on “Right Round,” Ke$ha). Keys’ J Records release still appears two weeks away from platinum. Blige’s Stronger (With Every Tear), a Geffen project went respectively to #5. The two have been leaders (along with Rihanna and Robin Thicke), of an R&B/Pop takeover on the charts since October.

The Black Eyed Peas remained at #8 with The E.N.D., placing them back in the coveted Top 10. The Los Angeles-based quartet continues to fluctuate on the charts unlike typical urban releases. The release may be soon to reach double-platinum, a rarity in the present climate.

Rihanna climbed up this past week, from #14 to #11. With increased radio spins and various authorized and unauthorized remixes to her “Hard” single, she represented Def Jam lovely with her Rated R break from silence.

Lil Wayne gave rebirth to the compilation. We Are Young Money bumped one spot to #13. The project remains Universal Motown’s top Rap priority leading up to Rebirth. The Rap industry will see whether Drake or Nicki is the first to release a solo album in 2010.

* 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
4 Alicia Keys Element of Freedom
62,000 841,000
5 Mary J Blige Stronger (With Every Tear)
47,000 441,000
8 Black Eyed Peas The E.N.D.
36,000 1,823,000
11 Rihanna Rated R
27,000 526,000
13 Young Money We Are Young Money
26,000 212,000

The repackaging of Eminem’s Relapse (as Relapse: Refill) with a handful of new songs, continues to prove as excellence in Interscope Records’ business plan. The release came at #16 last week, and will try to usher the Dr. Dre-produced effort to hard-to-earn 2,000,000 mark.

Jay-Z‘s Blueprint 3 climbed over the 1.5 million mark. In classic Blueprint marketing form, the Brooklyn emcee has two singles rotating in radio: the Mr. Hudson-assisted cover of Alphaville’s “Forever Young” and the Swizz Beatz-helmed “On To The Next.” As these singles penetrate new Alt and Pop markets, Jay-Z may easily be able to achieve two million units sold on this project as well.

Gucci Mane‘s The State Vs. Radric Davis fell to #37. The Warner Asylum release passed 200,000 units sold milestone, as the incarcerated 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 passed the 350,000 mark with Before I Self Destruct. The Interscope album may be Fif’s last with his second major label. The G-Unit boss has yet to speak out on his partner Lloyd Banks’ arrest in Ontario during last week,

Lastly, Wale returned to the Top 200 with the new year. His Interscope-backed Attention: Deficit debut climbed several places, though sank a marginal amount in sales. Although six figures behind Drake’s EP and Kid Cudi’s LP, Wale still remained one of the Top 3 top-selling debut albums in 2009.

Rank Artist Album This Week Est. Total
16 Eminem Relapse
24,000 1,760,000
22 Jay-Z Blueprint III 19,000 1,533,000
37 Gucci Mane The State Vs. Radric Davis
12,000 203,000
57 50 Cent Before I Self Destruct
8,800 358,000
177 Wale Attention: Deficit
2,600 66,000

With a slow week ahead, will Mary J Blige get gold, and will Eminem or B.E.P. win the finish-line race to two million?