As forecast, ScHoolboy Q's major-label debut,"Oxymoron," bows at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, selling 139,000 copies in the week ending March 2, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Signed to Top Dawg Entertainment, the new album is ScHoolboy Q's first in a joint-venture deal with Interscope Records. It's also the first No. 1 for Top Dawg, which previously reached No. 2 with Kendrick Lamar's "good kid, m.A.A.D city" in 2012.
ScHoolboy Q's arrival with "Oxymoron" also instantly gives the rapper his best-selling album. He previously charted with two independently released sets -- "Setbacks" in 2011 and "Habits & Contradictions" in 2012. They have sold 17,000 and 48,000, respectively.
"Oxymoron" also logs the largest debut for a rap album since Eminem's No. 1 set "The Marshall Mathers LP 2" clocked an opening week of 792,000 in the week ending Nov. 10, 2013.
Behind "Oxymoron" is the soundtrack to Disney's "Frozen" movie, which slips one rung to No. 2 with 91,000 (up 2%). It's the ninth straight week the album has spent in one of the top two positions of the chart. The film earned two Academy Awards on Sunday, March 2: for best original song ("Let It Go") and for best animated feature.
At No. 3 on the Billboard 200, Beck nabs his second-highest charting album ever, as "Morning Phase" starts with a little more than 87,000. He's only charted higher once before, when 2005's "Guero" debuted and peaked at No. 2. The new album also logs a better opening than Beck's last album, "Modern Guilt," which launched at No. 4 with 84,000 in 2008. In total, "Morning Phase" is Beck's 10th album to chart and fifth top 10 effort.
Kid Cudi's stealth release "Satellite Flight: The Journey to Mother Moon" debuts at No. 4 with 87,000. The digital-only set debuted exclusively on iTunes, Google Play and Amazon MP3 on Tuesday (Feb. 25) with little advance warning. And, in its first week, it was only available as a full album purchase -- none of its tracks were available a la carte.
The set -- his fourth -- was released to other digital retailers on March 3.
Kid Cudi's last album, 2013's "Indicud," debuted and peaked at No. 2 with a start of 136,000. "Satellite Flight" is the rapper's fourth top 10 effort.
Next up on the Billboard 200, Romeo Santos achieves the biggest sales week for a Latin album since 2006, as his "Formula: Vol. 2" debuts at No. 5 with 85,000. The last Latin title to shift more in a week was pop group RBD with "Celestial," when it debuted with 117,000 in the week ending Nov. 26, 2006. The last solo male artist to tally a larger week than Santos was Daddy Yankee, who moved 89,000 copies of his "Barrio Fino: En Directo" in its second week (ending Dec. 18, 2005).
This is the second top 10 album for Santos, whose first solo set, "Formula: Vol. 1," debuted and peaked at No. 9 in 2011. Further, this is the highest-charting Latin album on the Billboard 200 since Mana's "Drama y Luz" debuted and peaked at No. 5 in 2011.
Dierks Bentley's "Riser" is next up in the debut parade, as it enters at No. 6 with 63,000. It's his highest-charting set -- and best sales week -- since 2009's "Feel That Fire" debuted and peaked at No. 3 with 71,000. Since then, he has released the bluegrass effort "Up on the Ridge" (No. 9 debut in 2010, with 39,000 units in its first week) and 2012's "Home" (No. 7 with 55,000). In total, all seven of Bentley's full-length albums released after his self-titled debut (which peaked at No. 26) have reached the top 10.
Next up on the Billboard 200, Eric Church's former No. 1 album, "The Outsiders," descends 2-7 in its third week with 43,000 (down 42%).
The Fray's "Helios" is the sixth and final debut in the top 10, as the pop/rock band's latest album starts at No. 8 with 37,000. It's the third top 10 set for the act, whose last album, 2012's "Scars & Stories," debuted and peaked at No. 4 (87,000).
The "Now 49" compilation and Beyonce's self-titled album round out the top 10. The former falls 4-9 with 34,000 (down 25%) while "Beyonce" dips 5-10 with 32,000 (down 9%).
Over on the Digital Songs chart, Pharrell's "Happy" spends another week at No. 1, selling 413,000 downloads (up 3%). A week ago, it sold 402,000. "Happy" is the first song to earn two straight weeks of more than 400,000 in sales since another Pharrell-related song: "Blurred Lines." The Robin Thicke-led track (which featured T.I. and Pharrell) sold in excess of 400,000 in the three consecutive weeksending June 23, 2013.
"Happy" has a gain thanks to its growing popularity on the radio and because of its performance on the Academy Awards on March 2. On the Mainstream Top 40 airplay chart (known as Pop Songs on Billboard.com), "Happy" rises 10-4.
Back on the Digital Songs chart, Jason Derulo's "Talk Dirty" moves up 3-2 with 217,000 (down 12%) while Katy Perry's "Dark Horse" (featuring Juicy J) descends 2-3 with 212,000 (down 16%). John Legend's "All of Me" is steady at No. 4 with 198,000 (down 2%).
Idina Menzel's "Let It Go" rises to a new chart peak, as it climbs 7-5 with 130,000 (up 4%), its third-largest sales week yet. The song nets its first weekly sales gain in three weeks, thanks to Menzel's performance of the Oscar-winning cut on the ABC-broadcast Academy Awards. The song's total sales now stand at 1.5 million.
Bastille's "Pompeii" slips 5-6 with 128,000 (down 10%), Aloe Blacc's "The Man" falls 6-7 with 120,000, and a Great Big World & Christina Aguilera's "Say Something" remains at No. 8 with 110,000 (down 8%).
Lorde's "Team" climbs 10-9 with 101,000 (down 9%), and Pitbull's "Timber," featuring Ke$ha, moves 9-10 with 95,000 (down 15%).
Overall album sales in this past chart week (ending March 2) totaled 5.1 million units, up 5% compared with the sum last week (4.8 million) and down 13% compared with the comparable sales week of 2013 (5.8 million). Year-to-date album sales stand at 42.8 million, down 15% compared with the same total at this point last year (50.4 million).
Digital track sales this past week totaled 23million downloads, down 6% compared with last week (24.4 million) and down 12% stacked next to the comparable week of 2013 (26.1 million). Year-to-date track sales are at 224.1 million, down 12% compared with the same total at this point last year (253.4 million).
Next week's Billboard 200 competes with the same week in 2013 when: Luke Bryan's "Spring Break … Here to Party" debuted at No. 1 with 150,000. Jimi Hendrix's "People, Hell & Angels" was the second-highest new entry, bowing at No. 2 with 72,000.