Perhaps it’s fitting that during the Fourth of July holiday, the chart’s top album hails from our nation’s capital: D.C. rapper Wale snagged his first ever No. 1 this week with The Gifted, which debuted with 158,000 in sales.
And while that marks a career-high chart position for the wordy rhymesman, it’s actually a slip sales-wise from his last effort, 2011′s Ambition, which sold 164,000 when it landed at No. 2 in its debut week.
Speaking of slips: last week’s chart-topper, Kanye West’s Yeezus, suffered a steep drop, falling to No. 3 with 65,000 — an 80% drop. As the number-crunchers at Billboard report, all the previous No. 1 albums this year experienced a second-week drop of 69% on average.
And according to Soundscan, Yeezus‘ fall is the fourth-biggest since the service started keeping records in 1991. (The record, if you’re curious, belongs to Madonna’s MDNA, which fell 87% percent after its debut week last year.)
Those seemingly dire numbers will, of course, cause many people to speculate about whether Yeezus‘ unusual marketing campaign — his “I’m promoting my album by telling people I’m not promoting my album” strategy — helped or hurt him overall. Then again, the release of an actual Yeezus single could help Kanye stop the bleeding.
Rapper J. Cole, on the other hand, was better able to hold his ground: his sophomore effort Born Sinner remained at No. 2 with 84,000 — a 72% drop from its debut last week. Right behind him is Christian-y rock group Skillet, whose eighth album Rise debuted at No. 4 with 60,000 (as well as No. 1 on the Rock and Christian albums charts). And rounding out the top five is the unstoppable Daft Punk, whose blockbuster Random Access Memories rose from No. 6 with 31,000.
Other notable events from this week’s chart: R&B vet India.Arie saw her latest effort, SongVersation, debut at No. 7 (31,000), while rockers August Burns Red entered at No. 9 with their album and their album Rescue & Restore (26,000). Imagine Dragons’ Night Visions, meanwhile, rose for a second straight week in the top ten, landing at No. 8 (29,000), and Black Sabbath’s 13 fell from No. 5 to No. 10 (25,000).