Clear the decks. With six new records debuting in the Top Ten, the nation's music sales charts have a drastically different look this week. There is one constant, though: hip-hop still dominates.
The latest by prolific rapper Jay-Z, Volume II: Hard Knock Life, comes in on top for the week ending October 4, selling 352,000 copies according to SoundScan. Right on Jay-Z's heels were two other hip-hop acts with new albums: Outkast at No. 2 and Tribe Called Quest at No. 3. Also landing in the Top Ten their first week out were Sheryl Crow, gospel star Kirk Franklin, and the rap compilation, Mean Green Presents Major Play. Further down the chart, new releases by Soul Coughing (No. 49), P.J. Harvey (No. 54), Brand Nubian (No. 59), Joni Mitchell (No. 75) and the collaboration between Burt Bacharach and Elvis Costello (No. 78), highlighted the busy week at record stores.
All the hectic retail action bumped Lauryn Hill from No. 1 to No. 4. Only three other acts from last week's Top Ten managed to stick around in the high rent district: 'N Sync, Shania Twain and Barenaked Ladies. Falling out of the Top Ten were Keith Sweat, Beastie Boys, Marilyn Manson, DC Talk, Kiss and the soundtrack to Rush Hour.
From the top, it was Jay-Z, followed by Outkast's Aquemini (selling 227,000 copies); Tribe Called Quest's Love Movement (175,000); Hill's The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (157,000); Crow's Globe Sessions (123,000); 'N Sync (121,000); Franklin's Nu Nation Project (105,000); Twain's Come On Over (90,000); Mean Green Presents Major Play (89,000); and the Barenaked Ladies' Stunt (83,000).
Meanwhile, at the other end of the chart, this may be the last week Pearl Jam's Yield hangs on to Top 200 status. After thirty-five weeks in stores, the album slipped from No. 180 to No. 200, selling 6,600 copies in the last seven days. Since its release, Yield has sold 1.3 million copies.