It's all about Lupe Fiasco this week as his often-delayed "Lasers" opens atop R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and the Billboard 200 with 204,000 copies sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
The album, his first No. 1 on either chart, was originally slated for a late 2009 release but disputes with Atlantic over its single kept it shelved until now. The cut finally chosen to lead-off the set was the Modest Mouse-sampling "Show Goes On" which currently sits at its peak on R&B/Hip-Hop Songs at No. 54.
Historically, Lupe's albums have performed well without the support of radio. His 2006 debut "Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor" opened with 81,000 copies (No. 2) on the back of "Kick, Push" which peaked at No. 56 on R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. His 2008 sophomore effort "Lupe Fiasco's The Cool" arrived with 147,000 copies (No. 4) thanks to the No. 19 peaking "Superstar," featuring Matthew Santos.
With each of his albums outselling the last, it's clear that Lupe's fanbase continues to expand despite the grumblings with his label over radio-friendly singles.
Another high entry on R&B/Hip-Hop Albums is Raekwon's "Shaolin Vs. Wu-Tang" which opens at No. 3 with 29,000 copies. The opening marks his fifth top 5 on the list and though no cuts from the album have appeared on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs yet, his "Black and Rich" collaboration with Nas and his "Molasses" featuring Rick Ross and Ghostface have caused quite a stir online. Click here to read Raekwon's comments on how those songs came about.
The top of R&B/Hip-Hop Songs remains pretty static this week with the biggest move coming from Nicki Minaj's fifth "Pink Friday" single "Did It On 'Em," which leaps 18-8 in its 10th week on the list. Of the five charted singles, only "Roman's Revenge," featuring Eminem, failed to crack the top 10.
Notable new entries on the chart include Jim Jones' "Perfect Day," featuring Chink Santana and Logic, at No. 96 with 1 million in audience. It is the Harlem rapper's 14th charted title in his seven year chart history. 2006's "We Fly High" (No. 4 peak) and 2009's "Pop Champagne" (No. 3 peak) are his only top 10 hits.
Mary J. Blige also posts her 63rd title on the list with the Dirty Money-borrowed "Someone to Love Me (Naked)," featuring Diddy and Lil Wayne, opening at No. 99 with 900,000 listener impressions. The remix-turned-single will be featured on Mary's tenth studio album scheduled to be released later this year.