Although Jay-Z is not expected to release a 2013 album as of yet, the mogul very nearly found his way to #1 yet again. Jay's music curation on the Great Gatsby soundtrack scored a #2 debut on the charts. The Interscope Records release was compromised of new music for the Leonard Dicaprio film currently in theaters, with contributions by Beyonce, Andre 3000 and Jay's own "$100 Bill."
Also new to the charts this week was the fifth solo album from Talib Kweli, Prisoner Of Conscious. Released independently, Kweli's latest analyzes his place in the mainstream, and features Nelly, Curren$y and Kendrick Lamar.
Another star of the late '90s/early '00s New York underground Hip Hop community hit the Top 200. Aesop Rock partnered with longtime tour partner Kimya Dawson to release an album under their band, The Uncluded. Hokey Fright, released on Rhymesayers Entertainment, is Aesop's latest in a series of side projects.
The Light Burns Green For The Great Gatsby soundtrack On The Charts
Chasing Lady Antebellum's Golden, the soundtrack to The Great Gatsby scored a #2. Selling 137,000 units, the Interscope release was within striking distance of the #1. The music was curated by Jay-Z, along with The Bullitts, and featured Andre 3000 & Beyonce's Amy Winehouse cover of "Back To Black." Also included was the first retail Jay-Z solo record of 2013, "$100 Bill," as well as appearances by Q-Tip, will.i.am and on another song, Fergie.
Talib Kweli's Sales Are No Prisoner Of The "Conscious" Label
Talib Kweli's fifth solo album—not including his two Reflection Eternal emcee/producer projects—sold 10,000 first-week units. The second release with independent Javotti Media, Kweli was just 4,000 units shy of his early 2011 first week with Gutter Rainbows. P.O.C. features production from RZA, J. Cole and S1, and boasts the popular 2012 single "Push Thru" with K-Dot and Spitta.
The album appears to conceptually tackle the "conscious" label that the Brooklyn, New York emcee has endured in his 15-plus year career. Despite major label contracts, Jay-Z collaborations and non-stop touring, Kweli has stressed that his beliefs have compromised some of his success. With a Top 50 debut, the "BK MC" continues to "push thru."
Hip Hop Album Sales: The Week Ending 5/12/2013
#2. The Great Gatsby Soundtrack - 137,000 (137,000)
#12. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis - The Heist - 30,000 (703,000)
#22. Lil Wayne - I Am Not A Human Being II - 18,000 (423,000)
#48. Talib Kweli - Prisoner Of Conscious - 9,900 (10,000)
#52. Kendrick Lamar - good kid, m.A.A.d city - 9,000 (887,000)
#83. LL Cool J - Authentic - 5,500 (20,000)
#93. The Uncluded (Aesop Rock & Kimya Dawson) - Hokey Fright - 5,000 (5,000)
#98. Snoop Lion - Reincarnated - 4,700 (35,000)
#109. Mike Stud - Relief - 4,200 (4,200)
#157. Rittz - The Life & Times Of Jonny Valiant - 3,200 (17,000)
* 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.