Rick Ross’ pal Wale earns his first No. 1 album while Kanye West’s sales tumble and Robin Thicke continues his smooth glide toward winning the Song of the Summer competition. Here’s Soundscanner’s look at this week’s Nielsen SoundScan sales numbers:
WALE WINS: Washington, D.C. rapper and Rick Ross cronie Wale earns his first No. 1 album this week with The Gifted, which sold 158,000 copies its first week in stores. While the set marks Wale’s first chart-topper, his 2011 album Ambition started out stronger, selling 164,000 copies its first week but landing at No. 2. (Blame Bieber, who debuted at No. 1 that week with his Under the Mistletoe set.) Either way, maybe now people will stop pronouncing his name “Whale.” (It’s Wah-lay, FYI.) The Gifted is one of four Top 10 debuts, crashing the chart along with Christian rock outfit Skillet’s Rise (No. 4, 60,000), R&B/ soul singer India.Arie’s Songversation (No. 7, 31,000) and Pennsylvania metalcore group August Burns Red’s Rescue & Restore (No. 9, 26,000). (SEE ALSO: Bump It Or Dump It? Exploring Tracks From Wale’s Third LP, The Gifted)
YEEZUS SLIPS: The bigger their heads are, the harder they fall. This was certainly the case Kanye West this week, whose Yeezus took an 80 percent sales tumble its second week on the chart. (In this week’s Top 200, only Hanson’s Anthem – which dipped from No. 22 to No. 168 on an 83 percent sales slide, fell harder.) Yeezus fell from 327,000 scans to 65,000, landing at No. 3 after debuting last week at No. 1. That fall is the biggest erosion for a No. 1 album since April 2012, when Madonna’s MDNA fell 87 percent its second week on the chart. The slide puts Kanye one spot behind J. Cole’s Born Sinner, which had a better hold on its audience (it fell 72 percent) and managed to sell 84,000 copies its second week. After two weeks in stores, Yeezus has an 11,000 copy sales lead over Born Sinner – 392,000 to 381,000 – but we’ll see what happens to those numbers on next week’s chart.
WAYNE GOES GOLD: Lil Wayne may not be a human being, but this week he’s golden, as his latest album I Am Not a Human Being II crosses the 500,000 sales marker. The set is No. 47 on this week’s chart and sold 7,400 copies this week, bringing its 14-week sales total to 503,000. Wayne’s 2010 I Am Not a Human Being album sold at a brisker pace, and was certified gold less than two months into its sales run, but overall the Human Being series pales in comparison to Wayne’s Tha Carter project. Wayne’s last Carter entry, 2011’s Tha Carter IV, sold 964,000 copies its first week in stores.
MACKLEMORE CASHES IN: With gay rights in the news thanks to the Supreme Court’s decision last week to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ big up to equality, “Same Love,” surges on this week’s Digital Songs chart. It jumps from No. 23 to No. 8 on a 33 percent sales boost, bringing its total sales to 938,000. The song lands one spot behind the duo’s “Can’t Hold Us,” a former No. 1 which sold 142,000 copies this week, bringing its total sales to 3.25 million. For the record, Macklemore and Lewis’ The Heist is No. 12 on this week’s albums chart, with 867,000 sales to date.
’BLURRED LINES’ DOMINATES: No surprise here: Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” rules the Digital Songs chart yet again, adding another 423,000 sales to its cume (sales to date: 2.4 million) and dominating the sales frame for a fifth straight week. “Blurred Lines” more than doubles the week’s second place finisher, Miley Cyrus’ “We Can’t Stop,” which sold 209,000 copies this week, a 30 percent sales jump from the week prior. Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise” (No. 3, 204,000), Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive” (No. 4, 194,000) and Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” (No. 5, 189,000) round out the Top 10’s upper half.