Hellllooo Beasties. The hip hop boy wonders crash the music sales charts this week as their Hello Nasty album debuts at No. 1, crushing all comers in the process. The record sold 682,000 copies for the week ending July 19, according to SoundScan. That easily makes it the biggest debut of 1998, out-selling first week sales by Master P (495,000), the Dave Matthews Band (421,000), Garth Brooks (372,000) and Pearl Jam (358,000). Only during the height of Titanic mania last winter did any album this year sale more copies in one week. (Titanic sold 847,000 copies one week in February, but that was after being in stores for months.)
Driving the Beasties’ blockbuster debut was the fact the record was four years in the making, creating inestimable anticipation among fans. Also, the Boys’ hit single/video “Intergalactic,” massive coverage of the trio in the music press, and increased band awareness generated by the annual Tibetan Freedom Concerts, which the Beastie Boys help organize, helped cement the monster first-week numbers.
Two other artists make big top ten debuts for the week. East Coast hardcore rapper Noreaga, who breaks out from rapping with his partner Capone, scores a No. 3 hit with this solo release, N.O.R.E. It sold 153,000 copies this week, its first official week in sales. But thanks to massive street date violations (that’s when retailers put a record on sales days before its ‘official’ release), the record actually debuted last week at No. 136, selling 9,000 copies. Meanwhile, R&B diva Monica’s The Boy is Mine (also the name of her hit duet with Brandy), debuts at No. 8.
From the top it was Hello Nasty, followed by the soundtrack to Armageddon (selling 233,000); N.O.R.E.; the soundtrack to City of Angels (149,000); Brandy’s Never Say Never (104,000); the Barenaked Ladies’ Stunt (98,000) the soundtrack to Dr.Dolittle (95,000); The Boy Is Mine (91,000); the Backstreet Boys(87,100); and Will Smith’s Big Willie Style (87,000).