Too close to call? Not in the music business this week. Jay-Z debuts at No. 1 on Billboard’s album chart by selling 558,000 copies of his latest, ”The Dynasty Roc La Familia (2000- ).” This marks his second No. 1 of the year: his last album, ”Vol. 3 — The Life and Times of Sean Carter,” began 2000 at the top of the charts. But Jay-Z’s latest ace showing was nearly bested by the Atlanta based hip hop duo Outkast, who moved 526,000 units of their new set ”Stankonia” to place at No. 2. In fact, early reports last week suggested that Outkast was outselling Jay-Z at some key retail outlets.
Despite the narrow margin separating the two hip hop acts, execs at their respective labels aren’t demanding a recount or expressing concern about future sales. ”The race is not about the first week,” L.A. Reid, the President/ C.E.O. of Outkast’s label Arista, told the New York Daily News. ”It’s ultimately about where the album ends up.” And Kevin Liles, president of Jay-Z’s label, Def Jam, tells EW.com that the success of both acts represents a victory for rap music overall. ”These two artists sold more than one million albums combined in one week. So, whether Jay was No. 1 or Outkast was No. 1, it was a great week for hip hop. ”
The week wasn’t half bad for rock either. Old timers U2 placed at No. 3, selling 428,000 copies of their ”All That You Can’t Leave Behind,” followed by Limp Bizkit (No. 4) and Boston’s alt metalers Godsmack, who debut at No. 5. The bottom half of the top 10 features a multigenre mix: Nelly’s Southern hip hop (No. 6); the retrorock of Lenny Kravitz (No. 7); the Baha Men’s kid friendly ragga (No. 8); alt rockers Creed (No. 9); and the fourth rap act on this week’s chart, Ja Rule (No. 10). All together now, hip hop hooray!