Lil Wayne‘s Rebirth sold an impressive 175,000 debut week units. The Cash Money/Universal Motown project benefited from Wayne being in headlines for both his (now postponed) jail sentence, but also being one of the celebrity faces to the New Orleans Saints Super Bowl victory in Miami. Weezy F.’s Auto-Tune heavy Rock experiment with Cool & Dre could not budge Country/Pop act Lady Antebellum’s Need You Now, who assumed #1 for a second straight week. Numerous radio stations yesterday were doing special Young Money dedications to honor Wayne’s reporting to Riker’s Island. Next week will show if that gave Rebirth any chance of a second run at #1.

With The 2010 Grammy Awards on Sunday, the charts reflected a who’s who of nominees. For starters, Capitol Records’ compilation of nominees, which included The Black Eyed Peas, bounced back to #5. Those same Peas are within a thousand units sold to take The E.N.D. to double-platinum. The release likely crossed that mark Monday or Tuesday, though Interscope Records has yet to confirm.

Michael Jackson’s This Is It fell six spots on the charts. The Epic Records soundtrack companion to the summer film surged 11 spots. Alicia KeysElement Of Freedom and Beyonce’s I Am…Sasha Fierce battled it out on the charts. The two were less than 600 units apart, as a rounded figure shows that Keys will see her latest platinum plaque as of next week’s review. J Records has yet to confirm.

* 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 Lil Wayne Rebirth
176,000 176,000
5 Various Artists 2010 Grammy Nominees
71,000 165,000
6 Black Eyed Peas The E.N.D. 70,000 1,999,000
11 Michael Jackson’s This Is It
35,000 1,439,000
13 Alicia Keys Element of Freedom
34,000 1,000,000

Lil Wayne and teammates’ We Are Young Money still are short of 300,000. As predicted, the charts boasted numerous Young Money/Cash Money acts, including Rebirth, We Are Young Money, Jay Sean’s debut, Birdman’s latest, Drake’s EP, and even former Hot Boy Juvenile.

Although numbers were tallied prior to his Super Bowl pre-game performance Jay-Z‘s Blueprint 3 saw an excellent week in sales growth. The Atlantic Records-distributed break from Def Jam climbed 10 spaces. Eminem’s Relapse climbed seven spots, as the release aims to go double platinum by mid-March.

Drake’s So Far Gone EP was just barely out of Top 50. The fall debut release approaches 400,000, and remains Drake’s starting point, with a gold plaque likely in sight. 50 Cent‘s Before I Self Destruct gained 17 spots last week. This could be another album, that with radio support of a new single, could reach gold status by early spring.

Rank Artist Album This Week Est. Total
28 Young Money We Are Young Money
21,000 291,000
30 Jay-Z Blueprint 3
19,000 1,597,000
34 Eminem Relapse
18,000 1,824,000
53 Drake So Far Gone
12,000 369,000
69 50 Cent Before I Self Destruct
8,500 387,000

Despite hope from some, neither powerful east coast deejay, Statik Selektah, nor DJ Green Lantern cracked the charts with debut albums last week. Can hiatus-breakers Sade or Gil Scott-Heron shake things up next week? Stay tuned.