Smooth as Silkk

New Orleans rapper slides in high with second solo effort

The Titanic soundtrack is still barreling ahead with all engines full steam, but the top of the nation's music sales charts have some new blood, courtesy of southern gangsta rap and an '80s-based flick. Titanic's still No. 1 by a long shot, selling 562,000 copies for the week ending February 22, according to SoundScan (That makes four million copies sold in just 11 weeks for the soundtrack; during all of 1997 just two records, Jewel's Pieces of You and the Spice Girls' Spice, sold more copies.). But making a run at the top spot is rapper Master P's younger brother, New Orleans' own Silkk the Shock. His Charge It 2 Da Game debuts at No. 3, selling 248,000 copies, while the soundtrack to Adam Sandler's The Wedding Singer, featuring the flashback sounds of Culture Club, the Smiths, New Order and Musical Youth (Class of '84, anyone?), bounds from No. 26 all the way to No. 9, selling 89,000 copies.

The other noteworthy debut was singer/songwriter Ani DiFranco's Little Plastic Castle. Released on her own Righteous Babe Records, the record comes in at a lofty No. 22. For one week, at least, the indie babe from Buffalo, N.Y. managed to outsell mainstream pop diva Mariah Carey, whose Butterfly logged in at No. 24.

From the top it was Titanic, followed by Celine Dion's Let's Talk About Love (selling 288,000 copies); Charge It 2 Da Game; Savage Garden (105,000); Pearl Jam's Yield (102,000); Backstreet Boys (99,000); Usher's My Way (95,500); Spice Girls' Spice World (95,000); The Wedding Singer; and Matchbox 20's Yourself or Someone Like You (87,000).