Chart Watch: Rick Ross, not Snoop, is top dog on album chart

When it rains hip-hop albums, it pours — sometimes. And after a relative drought, three of this week’s six top-selling albums were from returning rappers. Rick Ross’ second album of all-new material, Trilla, sold 199,000, topping the 187,000 units his first album bowed with. It’s also one of the best opening weeks so far during this admittedly weak sales year. Less thrilling was Snoop Dogg’s Ego Trippin’, which debuted at No. 3; that appears to be an enviable chart position, until you realize that the 137,000-copy opening tally represents the lowest first week any of his studio albums has ever had, according to Billboard. (His last album, Tha Blue Carpet Treatment, opened with 264,000.) The third entry in this week’s hip-hop trifecta, Fat Joe’s The Elephant in the Room, saw a less-than-elephantine bow with a modest 46,000 units, which was still good enough to grab No. 6.

Some other albums making their first appearance on the sales chart: the NOW 27 collection, which debuted at No. 2 with 169,000, as well the NOW franchise’s incursion into the nostalgia market, Now That’s What I Call 80’s, which bowed at No. 11 with 34,000. A live Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus album, the soundtrack to the recent 3D Best of Both Worlds movie, popped in at No. 10 with 34,000. That sounds like a fairly low number for the tween-appeal phenomenon, but for now, the Montana album is a WalMart exclusive; it won’t become available through other retailers until April 15.

One dawg that fell well short of the top 10 was Randy Jackson’s Music Club Volume One, a collection produced by the American Idol judge: Despite the buzz — both positive and negative — surrounding the album’s first single, “Dance Like There’s No Tomorrow,” sung by fellow judge Paula Abdul, the disc only made it to No. 50, on sales of 13,000.

Likely leading the way on next week’s chart: albums that hit the streets Tuesday by Danity Kane, Flo Rida, and Yael Naim, as well as Gnarls Barkley‘s so far digital-only sophomore effort.

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