Nas Bumps Britney off Top of the Charts

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Riding the year's strongest single-week sales showing, New York rapper Nas easily took over the No. 1 spot on the nation's album chart.| Nas' I Am..., the follow-up to his multi-platinum 1996 hit, It Was Written, sold 471,000 copies for the week ending April 11, according to SoundScan. That mark easily surpasses the 318,000 copies TLC's Fanmail sold its first week in stores back in February. Fueling the success were Nas' rap hit "Nas Is Like," as well as his new single featuring Puff Daddy, "Hate Me Now."

The week's other big debut also came from the rap bin, as Krayzie Bone's Thug Mentality 1999 came in at No. 4. Featuring appearances by Mariah Carey, Eightball and Fat Joe, the generous two-CD, thirty-eight-cut Thug Mentality sold 137,000 copies.

Making the week's boldest chart jump was the hard rock soundtrack to the Keanu Reeves action flick Matrix. The album (Rob Zombie, Rage Against the Machine and Monster Magnet) went from No. 18 to No. 9 in its second week out.

Meanwhile, thirteen has not turned out to be Blur's lucky number. The British rock band's latest release, 13, dropped to No. 143 in just its third week in stores.

From the top, it was Nas' I Am..., followed by TLC's Fanmail (selling 162,000 copies); Britney Spears' . . . Baby One More Time (143,000); Krayzie Bone's Thug Mentality 1999; Eminem's The Slim Shady LP (135,000); Shania Twain's Come On Over (103,000); Andrea Bocelli's Sogno (97,000); the Offspring's Americana (89,000); the Matrix soundtrack (86,000); and Lauryn Hill's The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (80,000).