This may have been 'N Sync's week to explode on the pop charts, but Ice Cube can at least take solace in the fact he sits at the top of hip-hop.
The veteran Los Angeles rapper's War & Peace Vol. 2 (The Peace Disc) was the top-selling hip-hop album last week. This week, it sits atop the Billboard R&B/hip-hop albums chart. While his N.W.A colleagues Dr. Dre and M.C. Ren appear on the rumbling "Hello," other songs on the album take a more melodic, laid-back slant, such as the single "Until We Rich." Krayzie Bone of Bone-Thugs-N-Harmony sings the song's hook.
Ice Cube, during an in-store appearance at the Virgin Megastore in New York's Times Square last week, said he's mellowed since his incendiary days with N.W.A and the early stages of his solo career. He gained his acclaim through his verses on N.W.A's "Fuck tha Police" and his own songs, such as "I Wanna Kill Sam" and "The Nigga You Love to Hate."
"I've kind of retired from that part of the business," he said. "I'm concentrating on Ice Cube."
Behind The Peace Disc, at #2, comes Irv Gotti Presents the Murderers, on which producer Irv Gotti constructs more of his tight, resonant beats for six rappers on his Murder Inc. label, including Ja Rule. The other hip-hop albums in the top 10 include Black Rob's Life Story (#5), DMX's ... And Then There Was X (#6), Bone Thugs-N-Harmony's BTNHResurrection (#7), Dr. Dre's Dr. Dre 2001 (#8), Beanie Sigel's The Truth (#9) and the hip-hop-meets-wrestling compilation WWF Aggression (#10).
On the Billboard rap singles chart, bass group Ying Yang Twins shake it and groove it on "Whistle While You Twurk," which is at #1 this week. Behind them are the following: Missy Elliott's longstanding hit "Hot Boyz" at #2; Miracle's "Bounce" at #3; Drama's "Left, Right, Left" at #4; Nelly's "(Hot Shit) Country Grammar" at #5; Lil Jon and the East Side Boyz's "I Lke Dem" at #6; Ol' Dirty Bastard's "Got Your Money" at #7; the 69 Boyz's "How We Roll" at #8; Drag-On's "Down Bottom/Spit These Bars" at #9 and the Eastsidaz's "G'd Up" at #10.