J. Cole had no problem hanging out in the second position, waiting for his time to rise. And next week, the Born Sinner rapper will finally get his chance when his latest climbs into the #1 spot on the Billboard 200 album chart thanks to sales of nearly 58,000, according to figures provided by Nielsen SoundScan.
That was more than enough to push him past the three-week total for former #1 holder Kanye West, whose Yeezus shed another 40 percent of its business to hang at #3 (39,000). To date, Cole has moved 439,000 units, while West is just shy of 431,000. Last week's #1, Wale's The Gifted, slipped a spot to #2 as sales moved down 68 percent to 50,000.
The most impressive footnote to Cole's rise is that, according to Billboard, since the advent of SoundScan in 1991, only 13 percent (76) of the 583 albums that have reached #1 on the chart have done so after not debuting at #1.
The bigger news is that next week, when Jay-Z's Magna Carta Holy Grail? is expected to take #1 on projected sales of 350,000-400,000?, the top four spots could be filled by Roc nation signed, managed or affiliated artists. That would be a coup not only for Jigga, but could also represent the first time in recent memory that the top four slots on the chart have been filled by hip-hop albums.
The other big story of the week was the four-spot rise of Imagine Dragons' nearly year-old Night Visions (36,000), which slid up to #4, for the band's second-best chart position since its September debut. The week's only top 10 debut came from R&B singer Joe, whose Doubleback: Evolution of R&B landed at #6 on sales of 31,000.
The soundtrack to "Pitch Perfect" also keeps moving up the charts, jumping another seven spots to #13 (19,000), powered by the sudden pop radio explosion of Anna Kendricks' inescapable single, "Cups (When I'm Gone)", which has moved more than 1.3 million units so far.
Next week will, of course, bring the official chart debut of Jay's MCHG, which is expected to easily give him his 13th #1 album. The disc is already #1 on this week's iTunes album chart thanks to pre-orders.
Given the holiday weekend, things were pretty slow on the Digital Songs chart as well. The summer's biggest smash, Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines," continued its dominance, holding on at #1 on sales of 423,000, followed by Miley Cyrus' "We Can't Stop" (210,000), Florida Georgia Lines' "Cruise" (198,000), Imagine Dragons' "Radioactive" (184,000) and Daft Punk's "Get Lucky" (179,000).
Kendrick's "Cups" moved up two spots to #8 on sales of 117,000 for its best sales week yet and Selena Gomez's "Come & Get It" rounded out the top 10 (101,000).