There were two new additions to the charts this week from Hip Hop, both of the major label variety. will.i.am's first solo album since announcing the Black Eyed Peas hiatus grabbed a Top 10. The veteran Los Angeles, California emcee/producer/singer's #willpower is the second of his four albums to be backed by Interscope/A&M Records.
First he was Snoop Doggy Dogg, then just Snoop Dogg, and now, in his 20th year releasing albums, he's Snoop Lion. The Long Beach, California O.G. emcee dabbled with Reggae, Dance and some new political views on his twelfth studio album, Reincarnated. With a new sound, name and look—as well as RCA Records backing for the first time in his lengthy, label-journeyman career, Snoop grabbed a Top 20 debut.
will.i.am Has #willpower And Staying Power
Over 20 years removed from a deal on Eazy E's Ruthless Records as a producer/Atban Klann member then known as Will 1x, will.i.am has become a global superstar. After transforming the Black Eyed Peas (what the Klann would later evolve to) from a major label-backed underground Hip Hop group to Dance music juggernauts, Will has returned to his solo pursuits. #willpower actually beat out longtime L.A. Rap peer Snoop Dogg's (as Snoop Lion) Reincarnated, by nearly 8,000 first-week units.
A long way from his 2001 Lost Change LP on BBE Records, #willpower further delves into Dance and Electronic. While Juicy J and B.E.P.'s apl.de.ap make appearances, the album is driven by guest shots from Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, and the Britney Spears-assisted hit "Scream & Shout." Will still self-produced the entire album, with a few points of assistance.
This effort is over 30 places higher than will's last album, 2007's Songs About Girls, easily making it the multi-talented artist's best solo outing to date.
Snoop Dogg Is Reincarnated As Snoop Lion
Twelve albums into his career, Snoop Dogg seems to have made his biggest experiment to date. The Doggfather to Tha Dogg Pound traded the khakiks and perm for braids and beanies with his latest. Reincarnated featured extensive involvement from Diplo's Major Lazer outfit, as well as Reggae/Dancehall guests including Mr. Vegas, Mavado and Collie Budz.
Like #willpower, Reincarnated also pulled from the mainstream. Miley Cyrus appeared on this Mad Decent/Vice/RCA debut for Snoop, as did Drake. Longtime Snoop Lion producer/protege Terrace Martin and Akon were two of the few past collaborators to carry into this LP. The album sold less than half of the first-week units Snoop delivered in 2011 with The Doggumentary. That effort was a Top 10 debut for the S-N-double O-P, and his last project in a deal with a revived Priority Records and his own Doggystyle imprint.
Hip Hop Album Sales: The Week Ending 4/28/2013
#8. Kid Cudi - Indicud - 36,000 (167,000)
#9. will.i.am - #willpower - 29,000 (29,000)
#11. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis - The Heist - 28,000 (638,000)
#12. Lil Wayne - I Am Not A Human Being II - 25,000 (383,000)
#16. Snoop Lion - Reincarnated - 21,000 (21,000)
#30. Tyga - Hotel California - 12,000 (84,000)
#33. Kendrick Lamar - good kid, m.A.A.d city - 10,000 (868,000)
#98. Andy Mineo - Heroes For Sale - 4,700 (32,000)
#100. Ghostface Killah & Adrian Younge - Twelve Reasons To Die - 4,600 (20,000)
#110. Wiz Khalifa & Curren$y - Live In Concert - 4,200 (18,000)
* 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 Rittz or R.A. The Rugged Man make a bigger splash on the charts?