'Blue Side Park' is first indie rap release to hit No. 1 since 1995
Rapper Mac Miller’s “Blue Slide Park” blew onto the national music chart at No. 1 last week, marking the first time an indie rap album has topped the list in more than a decade and a half.Miller’s Rostrum Records release, handled by Universal Music Group’s indie arm Fontana and digital distributor INgrooves, shifted 144,000 units, according to Nielsen SoundScan data for the week ended Nov. 13. It’s the first full-length by the Pittsburgh performer, whose mixtapes and single “Donald Trump” have won him a large fanbase. Snoop Dogg’s 1995 set “Dogg Food” was the last indie rap set to reach the pinnacle. The digital side accounted for most of Miller’s first-week tally: UMG said 76% of the release’s sales came via online retailers. With the holidays nearly here, Michael Buble’s “Christmas” (Warner Bros.) rose six positions to No. 2, moving 123,000 (a 38% gain). Two familiar franchises settled into the top five. The Capitol-distributed 40th edition of “Now That’s What I Call Music” debuted at No. 3 with a 119,000-unit bow, while the soundtrack for “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1″ arrived at No. 4, moving 105,000 out of the box. Seemingly impervious to the growth of digital track sales, the “Now” series has placed all 40 of its hit-compiling volumes in the top 10 since the series — inspired by a like-named U.K. package — made it to these shores in 1998. Current edition is being marketed in one- and two-disc versions. The Chop Shop/Atlantic “Twilight” package, which prefaced the week’s opening of the fourth and penultimate installment of Summit Entertainment’s vampire romance, was soft compared to other franchise debuts. Last year’s “Eclipse” arrived at No. 2 with a first-week score of 146,000; the previous two “Twilight” soundtracks came in at the top of the chart. Adele’s “21” (Columbia) sat at No. 5, adding 104,000 more units (off just 3%) to its 4.4 million sales total. Two other debuts reached the top 10 this week. Romeo Santos’ “Formula Vol. 1″ (Sony Music Latin) entered at No. 9 with a 62,000-unit frame; it’s the Dominican-American vocalist’s first top-10 release. Operatic pop unit Il Divo’s “Wicked Game” (Syco/Columbia) became the U.K. act’s fifth U.S. top-10 set, moving in at No. 10 with 61,000 shifted. The week’s top holdovers included Justin Bieber’s “Under the Mistletoe” (No. 6, 97,000 sold, off 54%), Susan Boyle’s “Someone to Watch Over Me” (No. 7, 72,000, down 46%) and Coldplay’s “Mylo Xyloto” (No. 8, 70,000, off 32%). Album sales, already cooking with five albums topping 100,000 last week, should continue to roar, as albums by Drake, Nickelback and Daughtry and a new “Glee” Christmas album all reached stores this week.
Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more