Week Ending July 21, 2013. Albums: Different Paths For Jay-Z, Kanye
Jay Z’s Magna Carta…Holy Grail logs its second week at #1 on The Billboard 200. It’s the first rap album to stay on top for two weeks since Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter IV in the summer of 2011. Magna Carta sold another 129K copies this week, bringing its two-week total to 658K. That’s the biggest two-week total for a rap album since Drake’s Take Care sold 804K copies in its first two weeks in the fall of 2011.
Jay Z has logged 23 weeks at #1 on The Billboard 200 over the course of his career, which is the third highest tally among rappers. He’s behind Eminem (29 weeks) and M.C. Hammer, who spent 24 weeks at #1 in 1990—all with one blockbuster album, Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ’Em.
The news isn’t as good for Jay Z’s frequent collaborator Kanye West, whose Yeezus drops from #6 to #18 in its fifth week. Unless the album returns to the top 10, its four-week run in the top 10 will stand as West’s briefest. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy had held that title, with five weeks in the top 10.
Ironically, many music critics have raved about West’s album and have dismissed Jay Z’s. Entertainment Weekly’s Ray Rahman gave West’s album an A- and Jay Z’s album a C+. (EW’s Kyle Anderson took an even dimmer view of Jay Z’s album, giving it a D.) Rolling Stone gave West’s album 4-1/2 stars and Jay Z’s album just three stars. Of course, this isn’t the first time that music critics and album buyers have seen things differently.
Jay Z’s album sold 70K digital copies this week, which puts it at #1 on Top Digital Albums for the second week. It has sold 419K digital copies to date. It’s already Jay’s third-best-selling digital album, following Watch The Throne (with West, 778K) and The Blueprint 3 (464K).
Sara Smiles: Sara Bareilles’ third major-label album, Blessed Unrest, debuts at #2. All three of these albums have made the top 10. Little Voice peaked at #7 in February 2008. Kaleidoscope Heart debuted at #1 in September 2010.
Kidz Bop Kids’ Kidz Bop 24 debuts at #3. This is the 17th volume in this series to reach the top 10. Only one franchise in music history has spawned more top 10 albums. That’s the Now franchise, which has sent 51 volumes into the top 10. The first Kidz Bop installment to reach the top 10 was Kidz Bop 7 in February 2005. All but one installment since then has made the top 10.