Although he was over 100,000 units shy of Zac Brown Band, Frank Ocean delivered a powerful shot to the charts with Channel Orange. The Def Jam release garnered a #2 debut, selling over 130,000 digital copies in its first week available. As Frank debuted at retail, Aesop Rock made a gallant return. The former Weathermen/Def Jukie's first solo album with Rhymesayers Entertainment scored a Top 20 appearance. The lyrical emcee sold an impressive 14,000 copies independently, met with some critical praise. Meanwhile, after a strong surge in last week's numbers, B.o.B.'s sophomore Strange Clouds fell 61 places the following week, now at #87.
Channel Orange Takes Over The Week
Frank Ocean has dominated the Pop/Hip Hop news cycle for nearly all of July. The Odd Future affiliate released a letter on July 4 explaining his sexuality and confirming past experiences with men. Less than a week following, Ocean's retail debut Channel Orange was released to free stream, and then made purchasable digitally. Now with a #2 debut, the Def Jam album led all releases, save for Zac Brown's. Channel Orange features appearances by Outkast's Andre 3000 and Odd Future's Earl Sweatshirt, along with production work by Pharrell Williams. The release was largely self-produced by Ocean and James Ho (a/k/a Malay).
Aesop Rock Wins Again
As A$AP Rocky has become the talk of Hip Hop in the last year, Aesop Rock reclaimed his space in Hip Hop. Now a Rhymesayer, the Long Island, New York native released his sixth solo album, Skelethon last week. Aesop's first solo release since 2007's None Shall Pass, this effort was largely made alone, with one vocal guest and self-production. During his hiatus from solo material, Aesop released his group project, Hail Mary Mallon's Are You Gonna Eat That? last year, along with Felt's third album, Felt 3: A Tribute To Rosie Perez, further expanded his production chops. This release not only marks Aesop's highest charting position of his career in the Top 200, but also the most first-week units recorded by Nielsen, edging out None Shall Pass. Skelethon was also made for free stream earlier this week.
Hip Hop Album Sales: The Week Ending 7/15/2012
#2. Frank Ocean - Channel Orange - 131,000 (131,000)
#4. Chris Brown - Fortune - 45,000 (180,000)
#13. Maybach Music Group Presents... - Self Made, Volume 2 - 21,000 (154,000)
#20. Aesop Rock - Skelethon - 14,000 (14,000)
#23. Flo Rida - Wild Ones - 13,000 (44,000)
#40. Nicki Minaj - Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded - 9,600 (578,000)
#54. Drake - Take Care - 7,000 (1,817,000)
#84. Waka Flocka Flame - Triple F Life: Fans, Friends & Family - 4,900 (67,000)
#87. B.o.B. - Strange Clouds - 4,800 (196,000)
#138. Big K.R.I.T. - Live From The Underground - 2,900 (74,000)
* data comes from Nielsen Soundscan, rounded to nearest thousandth for units above 10,000, nearest hundredth for units below 10,000. Each week, HipHopDX presents top albums in Hip Hop/related, and five notables.
Will Nas lock in that #1 spot? Stay tuned to HipHopDX.
Last Week's Album Sales