The biggest Hip Hop release week of 2013 has finally passed. Revealed a day early, Kanye West’s sixth solo album, Yeezus, met predictions of a #1 debut, selling over 325,000 units. The Def Jam Records release was very closely tailed by J. Cole’s sophomore album, Born Sinner. The Roc Nation/Columbia Records chased the Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam Records effort by approximately 30,000 units.

Also debuting, and following at #3, was Mac Miller’s sophomore full-length, Watching Movies With The Sound Off. The fully-independent Rostrum Records artist crossed the 100,00 mark in his first week at retail in his star-studded second LP. Mac’s frequent collaborator, Statik Selektah, also received his highest charting effort to date with Extended Play. The Massachusetts native deejay and Showoff Records founder’s latest in a crowded six years of albums, EPs, and mixtapes was his first since signing a deal with Duck Down Music. Termanology’s 1982 partner landed a spot in the Top 150 of the charts.

In the retail rush, Snoop Lion’s Reincarnated returned to the Top 200 after several weeks leaving. Tha Doggfather’s name-changing and game-changing Reggae-inspired LP was also promoted by a free mixtape last week. Kanye’s 2010 fifth LP, My Beautiful Twisted Dark Fantasy also benefited from increased interest and retail specials. The platinum, critically-acclaimed album made a fresh cameo in the Top 200.

Last week’s critical additions of Action Bronson & Harry Fraud’s Saaab Stories and Prodigy & Alchemist’s  Albert Einstein both left the Top 200 seven days later.

Yeezus Sells

With his sixth solo album, Kanye West achieved his fifth consecutive #1. Although the polarizing Yeezus under-sold the first-week of 2010’s My Beautiful Twisted Dark Fantasy by over 150,000 units, the LP grabbed the top slot by a 30,000-unit margin.

Yeezus featured Frank Ocean, Kid Cudi, Chief Keef and longtime G.O.O.D. Music artist, Gap Band front-man and Snoop Dogg’s uncle, Charlie Wilson. Recorded largely in Paris, France, ‘Ye’s latest effort deals with racial and sexual themes. Without traditional promotion, the album was marketed by nearly 100 projections across North America of album songs, with specially-produced videos. West also maintained his co-production ensemble of longtime Rap-A-Lot Records producer Mike Dean, Jeff Bhasker, No I.D., 88-Keys, and others. Notably involved on this album was French duo Daft Punk, on “Send It Up” and “On Site.”

West also reprised a sample sound closely associated with his early 2000s production, especially College Dropout debut, and Late Registration follow-up on “Bound 2.”

J. Cole Is A Born Seller

While Kanye West took a sales decline since his last album, J. Cole welcomed a climb. Although he was unable to repeat his 2011 #1 performance, the North Carolina emcee/producer’s Born Sinner out-sold Cole World: The Sideline Story by nearly 80,000 units. Extensively self-produced, the sophomore effort boasted involvement from Kendrick Lamar, Miguel and the currently-performing TLC. Cole also welcomed Jake One’s guest-production, as well as longtime deejay to Common and Smoothe Da Hustler, DJ Dummy.

Born Sinner released in two versions. The alternate covered-Deluxe includes five additional songs, released separately as the Truly Yours 3 third installment in the mixtape series. One of the extra platter’s highlights is Cole’s surprising collaboration with 50 Cent, “New York Times.” Among the nearly 300,000 first-week units sold, numerous were bought by Cole and Drake, who filmed themselves at the Union Square Best Buy in New York City, purchasing baskets full of the LP.

Hip Hop Album Sales: The Week Ending 6/23/2013

#1. Kanye West – Yeezus – 327,000 (327,000)

#2. J. Cole – Born Sinner – 297,000 (297,000)

#3. Mac Miller –  Watching Movies With The Sound Off – 102,000 (102,000)

#15. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – The Heist – 23,000 (843,000)

#40. Kendrick Lamar – good kid, m.A.A.d city – 9,100 (938,000)

#42. Lil Wayne – I Am Not A Human Being II – 8,900 (496,000)

#95. The-Dream – IV Play – 4,600 (42,000)

#121. Statik Selektah – Extended Play – 3,500 (3,600)

#130. Snoop Lion – Reincarnated – 3,400 (50,000)

#175. Kanye West – My Beautiful Twisted Dark Fantasy – 2,600 (1,346,000)

* 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.

Does Wale have “the gift” to bump Kanye or Cole from #1?

Last Week’s Album Sales.

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