After 26 weeks on the charts, Mr. Cheeks’ “Lights, Camera, Action!” suddenly found life at retail outlets and will ride the sales surge all the way to No. 1 on both Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-hop Singles chart and the magazine’s Hot Rap Singles chart. The single, which was at No. 6 last week, increased sales more than any other single and bumped Ja Rule’s “Always on Time” featuring Ashanti and Method Man and Jonell’s “Round and Round” remix from the top spots. However, Ja and Ashanti managed to hold on to the pole position for the second week in a row on Billboard’s Hot 100, where Cheeks only managed to hit No. 16. And Ja’s second go-round with Jennifer Lopez, “Ain’t It Funny,” looks ready to take over the throne if they falter, jumping a spot to No. 3 on the pop chart.
Ja’s top-ranked partner, Ashanti, is making some moves of her own as well. Her collaboration with Fat Joe, “What’s Luv,” was listed as the fastest growing track on the radio and will rise 13 spots to No. 23 on the Billboard Hot 100 and 10 spots to No. 10 on the Hot R&B/Hip-hop Singles chart. The only other single of note was Busta Rhymes’ “Pass the Courvoisier Part II” featuring P. Diddy and The Neptunes’ Pharrell Williams, which debuted at No. 85 on Billboard’s Hot 100. On the album side, the outlook wasn’t as bright for Ja Rule, as Pain Is Love fell out of the top 10 for a second time on the Billboard 200 albums chart. Ludacris remained strong and held on to the No. 6 slot for the second week in a row. Word of Mouf is now the sole hip-hop representative left in the top 10 after several weeks leading a triumvirate that also included Nas’ Stillmatic.