“I wanted to take it back to creating music,” Jeezy recently told Billboard. “My first two albums, we made from scratch. We didn’t even have a studio… In its entirety, (the new album is) real, authentic, quality street music.”
Jeezy’s last chart entry was 2015’s Church in These Streets, which debuted and peaked at No. 4 off a start of 107,000 units (98,000 in traditional album sales).
Country superstar Kenny Chesney keeps up his hot streak on the Billboard 200 chart, as his new album, Cosmic Hallelujah, debuts at No. 2 with just under 89,000 units earned (79,000 in traditional album sales). The album also starts at No. 1 on the Top Album Sales chart, which ranks the best selling albums of the week.
Trap or Die 3 edges out Cosmic Hallelujah for the top slot on the Billboard 200 after the two albums spent most of the tracking week vying for No. 1. While Cosmic Hallelujah is the top selling album of the week, Trap or Die 3 earned a greater overall equivalent album unit figure, owed to the popularity of its tracks on streaming services. In addition to Trap or Die 3’s 73,000 in pure album sales, it also tallied 3,000 in track equivalent albums and 13,000 in streaming equivalent albums. As for Chesney’s album, it sold 79,000 copies, earned 7,000 track equivalent units and 2,000 in streaming units. (All totals are rounded to the nearest thousand.)
Cosmic Hallelujah is Chesney’s 12th consecutive charting album to debut inside the top four of the Billboard 200, going all the way back to 2004’s No. 1 set When the Sun Goes Down. In total, he has notched 13 top 10s (including the new album) -- and all of them bowed in the top four.
Chesney first debuted on the Billboard 200 a little more than 20 years ago, when Me and You entered the list at No. 196 on the Sept. 28, 1996-dated chart. It eventually peaked at No. 78 the following year. He didn’t reach the top 40 until 2000, when his Greatest Hits album debuted and peaked at No. 13.
Cosmic Hallelujah also starts at No. 1 on the Top Country Albums chart, marking his 14th No.1 on the tally. He’s now in a three-way tie (with Garth Brooks and Alan Jackson) for the fourth-most No. 1s on the chart. Ahead of them are George Strait, with 26, Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson (16 each) and Tim McGraw (15).
Cosmic Hallelujah’s current single, “Setting the World on Fire,” featuring Pink, earned Chesney his 27th No. 1 on the Country Airplay chart, and 23rd leader on the Hot Country Songs chart.
Meek Mill’s new mixtape album DC4 debuts at No. 3 with 87,000 units (and 45,000 in traditional album sales), marking his third charting effort. Of its 87,000 units start, a whopping 37,000 were streaming equivalent album units. DC4 is the fourth release in his Dreamchasers mixtape series, the first to chart, and the first to receive a wide commercial release. The rapper last hit the Billboard 200 with his second studio effort, Dreams Worth More Than Money, which debuted at No. 1 on the July 18, 2015-dated list and spent a total of two weeks at No. 1. It was his first chart-topper, following his No. 2-peaking debut studio set, 2012’s Dreams and Nightmares.
Avenged Sevenfold’s surprise release, The Stage, takes a bow at No. 4 with 76,000 units (and 72,000 in traditional album sales). The set arrived without warning on Oct. 28, well ahead of its previously announced release date of Dec. 9. Frontman M. Shadows said the band opted for a surprise release because it’s more exciting than the traditional roll out of an album and gets its music out to an audience “without any preconceived notions.”
The new set is the band’s first for Capitol Records, after releasing four studio efforts for Warner Bros. The Stage is the group's fifth top 10 effort.
In January, Avenged Sevenfold announced it was attempting to extract itself from its unfulfilled contract with Warner Bros., citing California’s “seven-year rule.” (The “seven-year rule” of the California Labor Code allows parties to leave personal service contracts under certain circumstances after seven years have passed.) In turn, Warner Bros.’ parent company, Warner Music, sued the group for breach of contract. The case is set to head to trial in 2017.
The band’s last studio effort, 2013’s Hail to the King -- which was not a surprise release -- debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with 159,000 copies sold in its first week. It marked the group’s second leader on the chart, following 2010’s Nightmare. Even though Avenged Sevenfold and Warner Bros. are at odds, the label still has an upcoming album from the band on its release schedule. On Dec. 2, Warner Bros. will release the greatest hits album The Best of 2005-2013.
After a top four filled with debuts, the rest of the new top 10 is fairly quiet. Lady Gaga’s Joanne dips from No. 1 to No. 5 in its second chart week, earning another 61,000 units (down 70 percent). Pentatonix’s A Pentatonix Christmas falls 3-6 with 41,000 units (down a modest 32 percent).
Drake’s Views drops out of the top five for the first time, after spend 26 weeks locked in the region. The album descends 5-7 with 36,000 units (down 6 percent). Views is one of only seven albums to have spent its first 26 weeks on the chart inside the top five.
The soundtrack to Suicide Squad moves 7-8 with 28,000 units (down 10 percent) and the original Broadway cast recording of Hamilton slips a spot to No. 9 with 26,000 units (down 14 percent).
Closing out the top 10 is Michael Buble’s Nobody but Me, which falls from No. 2 to No. 10 in its second week with 25,000 units (down 73 percent).