G-Eazy, AB-Soul Claim Top Debuts on Rap Albums, Despite Lack of Airplay

G-Eazy on May 23
Mathew Scott

G-Eazy backstage at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco on May 23, 2014.

Neither G-Eazy or AB-Soul have charted a hit on the Rap Airplay chart, yet their albums debut at Nos. 1 and 2 on Rap Albums.

Independently-distributed rapper G-Eazy -- who has yet to notch a hit single on the Rap Airplay chart -- enters the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and Rap Albums charts at No. 1 with "These Things Happen." The effort, sold by RED Distribution, moved 46,000 copies in the week ending June 29, according to Nielsen SoundScan. 

With the arrival atop Rap Albums, it marks the first No. 1 album in 2014 by an act that's never scored a hit on the Rap Airplay tally. The last artist to do so was Childish Gambino, last December, when his "Because the Internet" opened at No. 1 (before he later garnered a Rap Airplay hit in May of 2014 with "V. 3005").

G-Eazy: The Billboard Photo Shoot

Elsewhere, G-Eazy’s “I Mean It” (featuring Remo), enters the sales/streaming/airplay hybrid chart Hot Rap Songs at No. 24. The track was streamed 738,000 timed during the tracking week, with 46 percent of its total stemming from Spotify plays (a 101 percent increase). 

AB-SOUL'S 'DAYS' ARRIVES: Another indie-distributed rapper, AB-Soul, opens at No. 2 on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and Rap Albums with “These Days,” moving 22,000 units. That sum is his best sales frame ever, and it gives him his highest charting album on either tally.

Like G-Eazy, AB-Soul debuts without having any history on Rap Airplay.  “These Days” boasts some major featured acts including SchoolboyQ, Rick Ross, Kendrick Lamar, and SZA among its collaborations.  AB-Soul last appeared on the album chart with his 2012 set “Control System,” which peaked at No. 12 upon its release.

Ab-Soul on the Duality of 'These Days'

JOE BUILDS 'BRIDGES' AT NO. 1: On R&B Albums, Joe claims the Hot Shot Debut with “Bridges” entering at No. 1 with 15,000 units. The singer dips 5-6 on R&B Airplay with “Love & Sex Pt. 2” (featuring Kelly Rowland), in the song’s 19th week on the chart.

“Bridges” lands at No. 3 on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, 21 years after his chart debut with “Everything,” which peaked at No. 16 in 1993.  The R&B veteran holds 10 top five albums on the list, including his bestselling set “My Name Is Joe,” which opened at No. 1 in 2000 and has sold 2.7 million copies to date.

TINASHE GOES TOP 10: On Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, Tinashe scores her first top 10 as “2 On” (featuring Schoolboy Q), jumps 13-9, grabbing both Airplay and Streaming gainer tags. Across streaming services, the track climbed to 1.8 million domestic clicks (a 141 percent rise), with 65 percent stemming from YouTube and VEVO on YouTube views. On the Rhythmic chart, the track climbs 4-3 with a 19 percent gain (to 3,962 spins) with KSFM Sacramento, CA leading in plays (132). 

SCHOOLBOY'S 'STUDIO' GAINS: Schoolboy Q also collects digital greatest gainer honors on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs as “Studio” (featuring BJ the Chicago Kid), rises 34 percent to 30,000 digital downloads. The song leaps 23-14, granting the rapper his fourth top 20. On Rap Digital Songs, “Studio” climbs 8-5, his best showing yet as a lead artist, and highest position since Macklemore & Ryan Lewis reached No. 3 with “White Walls” (featuring Schoolboy Q & Hollis), in December 2013.