Eminem and his cohorts in D12 have reclaimed the top spot on The Billboard 200. Third week sales of D12’s “Devil’s Night” (Shady/Interscope) declined 21%, yet the 174,000 copies it moved, according to SoundScan, squeaked the title past last week’s No. 1, Alicia Keys’ “Songs in A Minor” (J Records). Keys’ set, which sold 173,700 copies, performed well enough in urban markets to best D12 on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums tally, where “Songs” is No. 1 for a second straight week.
Keys’ single “Falling” continues its rise up the singles charts, rocketing 45-30 on The Billboard Hot 100, where it enjoyed the week’s greatest gain in airplay. D12’s “Purple Hills” also continues to perform well, holding at No. 2 on the Hot Rap Singles chart for the third-straight week, behind Lil’ Romeo’s “My Way,” which has had a lock on that chart’s No. 1 spot for 10 weeks running.
Speaking of Lil’ Romeo, the 11-year-old son of Master P makes a grown-up bow on The Billboard 200 with his self-titled Soulja/Priority debut. The set arrives at No. 6 on the strength of 99,000 units sold. He charts one better on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, pulling in at No. 5.
The young rapper’s numbers are, in fact, stronger first week totals than those posted by his dad’s last album. Master P’s “Ghetto Postage” (No Limit/Priority) moved 93,000 units in its debut week last December. Of course, Lil’ Romeo hasn’t completely bested his paterfamilias — Master’s P’s “MP Da Last Don” sold nearly 500,000 units in its first week in June 1998.
In a relatively quiet retail week — the first in nearly four months where no album sold more than 200,000 units — Jagged Edge’s “Jagged Little Thrill” (So So Def/Columbia) joins Key’s “Songs” as the only other debut from last week to stay in the top-10 of The Billboard 200. As a result of a 37% sales dive, “Thrill” slips one slot to No. 3. Sales of Beanie Sigel’s “The Reason” (Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam) slid 50% to 75,000, knicking it down 5-11, while country act Lonestar sees its BNA set “I’m Already There” drop 9-16, the victim of a 40% sales decline to 67,000 copies sold. Even so, that album’s title track manages to retain the No. 1 single on Billboard’s Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart for a fifth straight week.
The soundtrack to “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” continues to perform well in the wake the video release of the film, rising 18-14 on an 11% sales increase over the previous week. The bluegrass-laden Mercury set is also back atop Billboard’s Top Country Albums tally for a 12th, non-consecutive week.
Controlling the Hot 100 for a third-straight week is Usher’s “U Remind Me.” The track — from his forthcoming Arista album, “8701,” due in August — is also No. 1 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks tally for a third week. Blu Cantrell’s “Hit ‘Em Up Style (Oops!)” moves up to No. 2 on the Hot 100 after skyrocketing 44-5 last week. Eve’s “Let Me Blow Ya Mind” featuring Gwen Stefani inches up the chart one position to No. 3.
Willa Ford’s “I Wanna Be Bad,” which jumps 36-34 on the Hot 100, had the week’s greatest retail gain. The teen singer’s Atlantic album, “Willa Was Here,” will bow in stores on Tuesday (July 17).
This week’s top Hot 100 debut is Luther Vandross’ “Take You Out,” which arrives at No. 38. The cut also makes its way into the top-10 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks tally, moving 21-7. Other notable debuts on the Hot 100 include Brooks & Dunn’s “Only in America” at No. 77, Smash Mouth’s cover of the Monkees’ “I’m a Believer” at No. 78, Lee Ann Womack’s “Why They Call it Falling” at No. 81, and Darude’s “Sandstorm” at No. 92.