Mase disc hip-hops to top of chart

Hip-hop again tops the nation’s album sales chart, as “Harlem World,” the eagerly awaited disc from Mase was the best selling album with more than 272,000 copies sold. The Bad Boy/Arista disc joined RCA’s Dave Matthews Band and Universal’s Chumbawamba as the trio of newcomers to the chart’s Top-10 list, according to sales data released Wednesday.

The bow of Matthews’ “Live At Red Rocks,” at No. 3 on sales of 103,000 copies, wasn’t sufficient though to topple LeAnn Rimes’ stranglehold on the No. 2 spot, where her Curb Records offering “You Light Up My Life” resides.

The teenager’s disc of inspirational tunes moved nearly 107,000 copies during the seven-day period thanks primarily to the widespread radio play the disc’s Diane Warren-penned “How Do I Live” single.

Mariah Carey’s “Butterfly” disc landed at No. 4 for the second week running, continuing its strong sales pace begun with its chart-topping bow four weeks ago.

The songstress’ Columbia Records disc logged 88,000 copies during the period ended Nov. 2, which was sufficient to keep it ahead of the previous week’s chart leader Aftermath/Interscope Records’ “The Firm.”

The disc of hip-hop big-guns dropped four notches to No. 5 with sales of 86,000 copies.

But one of the chart’s biggest surprises was the continuing stamina of Fleetwood Mac’s “The Dance” disc, which checked in at No. 6 and logged another week in the Top-10 by boasting sales of 84,000 copies.

The band’s tour and its ubiquity on cabler VH1 and several radio formats with its “Silver Springs” single have helped the Reprise Records’ disc close in on 2 million units in the marketplace in just 10 weeks of release.

The chart’s other head-scratcher was Janet Jackson’s fall from the chart’s upper reaches, as “The Velvet Rope” dropped six berths to No. 11 in just its fourth week of release.

Though the Virgin Records disc drew sales of 70,000 copies, it was outpaced by such lower profile offerings as Aqua’s MCA Records disc “Aquarium,” which landed at No. 7 with sales of 75,000 copies, and the La Face/Arista soundtrack to “Soul Food” nabbing the No. 9 spot on 72,000 units.

Jackson’s insistence on making a creative statement by releasing “Got ‘Til It’s Gone” as the disc’s first single — the musical departure apparently caught many fans off-guard — seemingly sent a mixed signal to all but die-hard fans and now the label must play catch up.

But the disc is already getting a boost with the widening radio acceptance of the new single, “Together Again” and it should see an uptick during Jackson’s turn in the VH1 spotlight next month.

Universal’s Chumbawamba saw its “Tubthumper” bow jump seven chart rungs to No. 8 thanks to sales of nearly 74,000 copies.

The multi-radio format embrace of the band’s catchy title track and some stateside performances have combined to give the two-year-old label another winner.

Motown’s Boyz II Men closed out the Top-10 with its “Evolution” disc logging 71,000 copies.

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