Though it’s not a club many musicians are rushing to join, [artist id=”510062″]Lil Wayne[/artist] will make his mark alongside the late Tupac Shakur next week when the physical copy of Weezy’s latest album, I Am Not a Human Being, debuts at #1 on the Billboard 200 chart. The digital copy of the album — which, like Shakur’s 1995 Me Against the World, will hit the top spot while Wayne is incarcerated — debuted at #2 two weeks ago with sales of 110,000, while the in-store copy bested those numbers, moving 125,000 in its first week, according to figures provided by Nielsen SoundScan.
Wayne leads a quartet of new albums crashing the top of the chart, including former Hootie and the Blowfish singer Darius Rucker, whose second country album, Charleston, SC 1966, comes in at #2 with 101,000 in sales. It’s followed by the debut of teenpop TV act Big Time Rush, whose BTR slips in at #3 with 67,000, and new country act the Band Perry’s self-titled debut (#4, 53,000).
In a strong showing, indie folkie Sufjan Stevens crashes the top 10 at #7 with his second effort this year, The Age of Adz,
(36,000) while metalcore rockers All That Remains will notch their highest-ever chart position with For We Are Many (#10, 29,000).
The rest of the top 10: Eminem, Recovery (#5, 50,000), Kenny Chesney, Hemingway’s Whiskey(#6, 40,000), Zac Brown Band, You Get What You Give (#8, 34,000) and Toby Keith, Bullets in the Gun (#9, 30,000).
It was a big comedown for Bruno Mars, whose full-length debut, Doo-Wops & Hooligans, has a precipitous nine-spot fall to #12 in week two as sales trailed off by 50 percent to 27,000. Further down the line, twee pop favorites Belle & Sebastian hit #15 with Write About Love (22,000), country trio Lady Antebellum get into the holiday spirit early with a #23 debut for A Merry Little Christmas (18,000) and “Like a G6” popsters Far East Movement can’t match their singles chart success as their debut, Free Wired, lands at #24 on sales of 17,000.
Rucker had better luck on the iTunes album chart, which had a nearly wholesale change, as his Charleston takes the top spot, followed by Big Time Rush, Wayne, Far East Movement and the tenacious Mumford & Sons with Sigh No More. At #6 on the iTunes albums tally is Eminem with Bruno Mars just behind and Stevens, singer/songwriter Joshua Radin and All That Remains rounding out the list.
Over on the iTunes singles chart (which, like the iTunes albums countdown, does not reveal specific sales figures), Taylor Swift leads the way with “Back to December,” with Far East just behind with “Like a G6,” followed by Nelly (“Just a Dream”), Mars (“Just the Way You Are”), Rihanna (“Only Girl (In the World)),” Pink (“Raise Your Glass”) and Flo Rida (“Club Can’t Handle Me”). The top 10 is filled out by Usher (“DJ Got Us Fallin’ in Love”), Taio Cruz (“Dynamite”) and Trey Songz (“Bottoms Up”).
There will be more shuffling at the top next week with the arrival of Kings of Leon’s Come Around Sundown, as well as The Rocky Horror Glee Show and the soundtrack to the final season of Miley Cyrus’ “Hannah Montana” series, Hannah Montana Forever.