ChartWatch: The Sales Are Sluggish, But See Who's Doing What!

Our thoughts and prayers continue to go out to Haiti this week as the country moves forward in the aftermath of devastating earthquakes. At number one this week is Hope for Haiti Now, a compilation album featuring a slew of musical artists. Everyone, from Alicia Keys and Neil Young to Jay-Z and Taylor Swift, is featured on the album whose proceeds are going completely to the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, Oxfam America, Partners in Health, the Red Cross, UNICEF, the United Nations World Food Programme, and the Yele Haiti Foundation. The compilation comes in this week at number one selling 173,000 copies.

Now, here at ChartWatch we mainly focus on Hip Hop so let’s look at how rap music sold this week. There (sadly) is only one Hip Hop representative in the top ten and if you have ever read this column then you know how I feel about them. The Black Eyed Peas continue to sell their brand of Pop Hop to the masses with their latest album, The E.N.D, selling 35,000 copies and grabbing the number eight spot. This album really will not die.

You know what else? That Ke$ha chick (the one from the Flo Rida album…if you don’t know check the last column) is at number nine. She raps (and I say that in the loosest sense of the word) so I’m gonna put her in the column. Why? Because we had a chance to stop Flo Rida. We could have shut him off. But did we? No. And from Flo Rida came Ke$ha. Now I have to hear a valley girl rapping about P. Diddy and Jack Daniels. Ok. Rant over.

Congratulations to the New Orleans Saints as their team heads to the Superbowl. New Orleans native Lil Wayne ought to be happy about that as well as the continued sales of his label’s compilation album. We Are Young Money sells another 18,000 copies which helps them take the number 23 spot this week.

They are followed by the man to whom Lil Wayne aspires to be. Rap music’s big CEO/Rapper, Jay-Z, sells another 14,300 copies of The Blueprint 3 and claims the number thirtieth spot.

Directly behind him in the thirty-first spot Eminem whose Relapse album sells another 14,000 copies.

Gucci Mane’s The State vs. Radric Davis continues its slow burn in sales moving 10,900 copies this week and claiming the thirty-ninth spot.

Last up in the top fifty is Long Beach representative Snoop Dogg. If you get a chance listen to the remix for “I Wanna Rock” featuring Snoop and…a bunch of rappers. His latest album, Malice ‘N Wonderland, sells 9,000 copies and takes the forty-ninth spot.

Dropping This Week

Anyone know who Stoney Jackson is? He is an actor known for his work in The White Shadow and 227 along with a major appearance as a gang member in Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” video. Dude was also in CB4. (I know a lot of ya’ll don’t know The White Shadow but please say ya’ll remember 227. You know…the show with Jackee Hary? Ok, you might know her as the mom on Sister, Sister but she used to be fine...annoying voice…but fine.) Well, if anyone knows what Stoney is up to give a call to Strong Arm Steady because they’re looking for him. The Los Angeles group has trimmed down from a quartet to a trio since Xzibit left the group in 2006, but while losing a member the group gained a recording contract. Mitchy Slick, Phil Da Agony, and Krondon signed with Talib Kweli’s Blacksmith Records in 2007. The trio now releases In Search of Stoney Jackson whose production is helmed completely by the Madlib. The album features Planet Asia, Fashawn, Phonte, Tri-State, Guilty Simpson, and, of course, Talib Kweli to name a few. Good group. Probably a good album. Plus it has one of those interesting covers that I like so much.

I always have a weird feeling about “best of” albums because they usually signify one of two things. First, the artist is trying to fulfill some recording contract obligation so he or she just throws one out there to make a quota. The artist may even put a really good song in the collection so true fans will purchase the new disc even though they already have all the songs. That’s why you get artist at the top of a short, but successful run, dropping a greatest hit for seemingly no reason. It’s like if Drake came out with a “Best of” album right now. Ok, maybe not Drake but you get the point.

Then there’s the second category. The “We-here-at-the-record-company-have-no-chance-(or in some cases desire)-to-work-with-the-artist-but-we-still-have-some-leftover-music-so-lets-put-out-and-album” category. I think the last two albums in “Dropping” come from this second category. Def Jam releases The Very Best of DMX this week along with Sony Legacy which drops The Very Best of KRS-One. I’m never big on “best of” albums. Especially when true fans know that these albums rarely contain the “best of” material from the artist. That is unless you’re talking about the best of Skee-Lo. (Initially, I was saying this as a joke but upon further inspection, ah-hem…Wikipedia, Skee-Lo is working on a comeback. Skee-Lo?! Dude has a discography. Who knew? ) In my opinion if you want to get the “best of” DMX go pick up Flesh of my Flesh, Blood of my Blood or It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot. Now to limit KRS-One to one disc is a difficult task seeing as the MC has put out 21 albums (when you count the work with Boogie Down Productions) and has helped to shape Hip Hop as we know it today. Sony does a decent job of picking out some classics but those Hip hop fans that are not in the know should dig deeper. Just scratch the surface of KRS’s career and you’ll find where some of your favorite rapper’s got their lines. So go out and find some music because to be fan of Hip Hop and not know the classics is like…suicide, it’s a suicide. (If you didn’t get this reference then go pick up The Very Best of KRS-One).