Nelly Grabs #1 Spot; De La Soul Debut At #9

Hip-hop newcomer, veterans hit top 10.

Hip-hop newcomer Nelly grabbed the #1 spot on the Billboard 200 albums chart this week with his first album, while hip-hop veterans De la Soul boasted the week's highest debut with their first album in four years.

Nelly's album, Country Grammar, features the catchy, sing-song single "Country Grammar (Hot ...)" (RealAudio excerpt), which is garnering heavy radio airplay.

"I'm really happy,'' Nelly said in a statement released Wednesday (Aug. 16). "And I'm really proud to have put St. Louis on the map, musically, for my generation. This is just the beginning.''

De la Soul, who haven't had significant pop success since their debut album, 1989's Three Feet High and Rising, saw their new album, Art Official Intelligence: Mosaic Thump, debut at #9. The album includes the single "Oooh" (RealAudio excerpt), with a guest appearance from Redman.

Now That's What I Call Music 4, the hits compilation featuring Britney Spears, the Backstreet Boys and Mandy Moore, slipped to #3 after holding the #1 slot for three weeks in a row.

Spears' Oops! ... I Did It Again (RealAudio excerpt of title track) held on at #2, while Eminem's The Marshall Mathers LP landed at #4. *NSync's No Strings Attached took the #5 slot.

Late rapper Big L's The Big Picture, which debuted at #13 last week, dropped to #29.