Tupac Shakur’s seventh posthumous release, Loyal to the Game, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Charts Wednesday (Dec. 22), making the album Pac’s third chart-topper since his murder in 1996.
Loyal to the Game (Amaru/Interscope), a compilation of Pac’s unreleased vocal tracks over new production, sold 330,000 units in the week ending Friday (Dec. 19), according to Nielsen Soundscan. The record is Pac’s fifth No. 1 album to date.
Multi-platinum rapper Eminem served as executive producer on Loyal to the Game, along with Pac’s mother Afeni Shakur. The project features such notable artists as Nate Dogg, G-Unit and Outlawz, with additional production from Red Spyda, Scott Storch and Raphael Saadiq. Eminem crafted the album using Pac’s previously recorded lyrics over new beats.
Pac’s posthumous releases have grossed more than 18 million units in the United States, bringing his career album figures to 24.4 million. His preceding album, Better Dayz, debuted at No. 5 in 2002, selling 366,000 copies in its first week and 1.6 million in total.
Loyal to the Game bested Ludacris’ Red Light District, which held the top spot for one week and now occupies the No. 12 position.
R&B singer Ashanti was the only artist besides Pac to break into the top 10 this week, with her third album Concrete Rose debuting at No. 7 and selling 245,000 copies.
Ironically, according to Ashanti her album title was inspired by Pac’s poem, “The Rose That Grew From Concrete,” which later became a poetry book and corresponding audio CD.