Sleeping with a broken heart or not, Alicia Keys is sleeping with an amazing debut week for Element Of Freedom. The J Records release surpassed first week performances from Rihanna, Mariah Carey, R. Kelly and Chris Brown, nearly striking seven-day gold. Expect the “Empire State Of Mind” co-writer to have a plaque by next week, beating out year’s end.

Another Hip Hop-friendly R&B act, Robin Thicke brought his Sex Therapy to the charts at #9. The Interscope Records hit-making worked with Jay-Z and Game on this project, and donning a Star Trak logo on this third album, is being praised by criticals.

Michael Jackson’s This Is It soundtrack already proved to be a stocking stuffer with a bold increase in already impressive sales. The Black Eyed Peas climbed two spots, back into the teens. Fergie, and company tail Eminem’s Relapse by 50,000 units for top-selling Rap album of 2009 with the continued push of The E.N.D.

With a new Young Jeezy-assisted single, Rihanna remains strong on the charts. Rated R may not be the R&B/Pop star’s most hit-filled release to date, but her creativity and media interest aren’t going anywhere.

* 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 Alicia Keys Element Of Freedom
417,000 420,000
9 Robin Thicke Sex Therapy: The Experience
123,000 123,000
11 Michael Jackson’s This Is It
105,000 1,153,000
18 The Black Eyed Peas E.N.D. 82,000 1,636,000
21 Rihanna Rated R 78,000 368,000

After debuting near the top of the charts last week, Gucci Mane‘s The State Vs. Radric Davis nearly slid out of the Top 40. The Warner Asylum release did clear the six-figure mark, but surprises many who expected the outspoken Atlanta rapper to garner a gold album in his comeback year.

At present, Jay-Z has the top-selling Rap album in 2009 in Blueprint 3. The emcee’s first project in 13 years not released on Def Jam Records just unveiled a new ’80s sample-based “Forever Young” single. Longtime corporate rival Interscope may be trying to combat that as Eminem’s Relapse: Refill will hit stores next week, pushing up sales of the “Relapse” brand. The Santa Monica, California-based label recently did the same with Lady Gaga. At present, there is roughly 200,000 units between the two.

Resurrecting the sacred gangsta Rap imprint Priority Records via EMI Records, Snoop Dogg and his Malice N’ Wonderland nearly fell out of the Top 50, despite continued airplay of emerging hit “I Wanna Rock” .

50 Cent  fell to #60 with Before I Self Destruct. The album sells strongly, but still fell short of marketplace projections. A strong holiday season could push the Interscope release (thought to be Fif’s last) to gold.


Rank Artist Album This Week Est. Total
37 Gucci Mane The State Vs. Radric Davis
41,000 131,000
41 Jay-Z Blueprint 3
38,000 1,778,000
48 Snoop Dogg Malice N’ Wonderland
34,000 93,000
60 50 Cent Before I Self Destruct
26,000 305,000
94 Eminem Relapse 16,000 1,567,000

Will Young Money be the brand of the future? Can Hurricane Chris reclaim some chart love? Stay tuned to HipHopDX