As predicted, Eminem’s Recovery was the strongest Rap debut in nearly two years. The Interscope/Aftermath release sold roughly three quarters of a million units in its first week. Driven by several televised appearances at the BET Awards, The Late Show and others, Marshall Mathers’ greatly outsold last year’s Relapse opening, by approximately 80,000 units.

This release features appearances by Pop acts such as Rihanna and P!nk, as well as production from Just Blaze, Boi-1da and Mobb Deep’s Havoc.

Drake sealed his gold, clearing 600,000 units and standing strong at #2. Thank Me Later features appearances by Jay-Z, Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, T.I. and Young Jeezy. The bulk of the album’s production is handled by Drake’s longtime producer Boi-1da, who may have had the most successful back-to-back weeks as a Rap producer in years.

The Roots’ came in at #6. Their latest release, How I Got Over is their third with Def Jam Records. The album shows the group’s first “Jimmy Fallon-era” recordings, garnering critical acclaim. The release features appearances from Blu, Phonte Coleman and longtime affiliate Dice Raw.

Usher‘s Raymond v. Raymond fell one spot to #14. The veteran Pop entertainer’s “divorce album” is marching its way to a platinum plaque for Mr. Raymond and his longtime backer, LaFace Records. B.o.B. closed out the Top 20 with The Adventures of Bobby Ray. The Atlantic Records star’s rookie release marches towards the 400,000 mark achieved by Drake and Kid Cudi, having already bypassed Wale’s sales last year.

* Please note: figures below approximated to nearest thousandth.

Top 200 Album Sales (Top 5 Hip Hop/R&B)

Rank Artist Album This Week Est. Total
1 Eminem Recovery
741,000 744,000
2 Drake Thank Me Later
157,000 604,000
6 The Roots How I Got Over
51,000 51,000
14 Usher Raymond v. Raymond 24,000 874,000
20 B.o.B. Presents The Adventures of Bobby Ray
19,000 268,000

Damian Marley & NasDistant Relatives slid to #43. The Universal Republic/Def Jam Records collaborative release has garnered huge critical acclaim in the Rap community for its rich commentary on the parallel relationship between Hip Hop and Reggae. Lil Wayne, K’Naan, Dennis Brown and Joss Stone appear on the work produced by Damian and brother Stephen.

Eminem and Drake both watched their already-charting previous releases sell – but not to their plaque benchmarks. Drake’s mixtape-turned-album, So Far Gone sits 11,000 units short of gold. Meanwhile, Em’s Relapse is 14,000 short of double platinum. Both are expected to achieve these marks by early July.

Z-Ro‘s latest drug-themed album, Heroin, like his others, charted. The Rap-A-Lot Records’ unsung hero cleared 4,000 units, despite limited promotion and distribution. Lil Jon fell another 50-plus spots with his Crunk Rock. After a poor debut week, the So So Def deejay-turned-Crunk star’s album delays may have impacted his popularity, as well as a label change to Universal Republic.

Rank Artist Album This Week Est. Total
43 Nas & Damian Marley Distant Relatives
8,900 134,000
47 Eminem Relapse
8,400 1,986,000
112 Drake So Far Gone
4,500 489,000
131 Z-Ro Heroin
3,900 4,100
179 Lil Jon
Crunk Rock
2,900 17,000

Will The-Dream challenge Drake and Eminem on the charts? Can Canadians Marco Polo and Eternia & MoSS crack the charts? Stay tuned to HipHopDX to find out…