UPDATE: Nicki Minaj takes the #1 spot by 100,000 units as a De La Soul-branded project returns to the charts for the first time in over eight years. Obie Trice also debuts with "Bottoms Up."
Arguably, a Hip Hop/Rap album returned to #1 this week with Young Money alum Nicki Minaj's sophomore album, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded. Nicki's second release in a year-and-a-half is definitely a much less Rap-driven album than her 2010 Pink Friday debut. However, Nicki out-sold reigning charts queen Adele just shy of 100,000 units this week, eclipsing the 250,000 mark. Two-thirds of De La Soul also cracked the charts, with a concept project and the legendary Native Tongues' and in conjunction with Duck Down Music. Former Shady Records artist Obie Trice also debuted with his Eminem-supported independent release, Bottoms Up.
Nicki Minaj's Roman Reloaded Debuts At #1
Nicki Minaj's first #1 happened this past week, with her second solo album. Following the platinum success of Pink Friday, "Barbie" returned with a Pop-inspired sophomore album that features the likes of Nas, Cam'ron and Rick Ross. Returning cast from the first LP included Drake and Lil Wayne, with producers JR Rotem, Kane Beatz and T-Minus. Like her debut, the 2012 album has been met with mixed reviews.
De La Soul Returns, Sorta
After Over 23 years making albums as a trio, De La Soul's Plug 1 & Plug 2 Present... First Serve released last week, by the group's emcees Posdnuos (as Jacob "Pop Life" Barrow) and Dave (as Deen Whitter). Producer/deejay Maseo was not involved as French producers Chokolate and Khalid stepped in. Legendary New York independent label Duck Down is involved in the project, a first for the brand since 2009's Nike-sponsored Are You In? release with Flosstradamus. Although reports are coming that the trio is working with Prince Paul on the next group album, De La has not released a fully-distributed studio album since 2004's The Grind Date.
Hip Hop Album Sales: The Week Ending 4/8/2012
#1. Nicki Minaj - Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded - 253,000 (254,000)
#26. Drake - Take Care - 17,000 (1,669,000)
#36. Tyga - Careless World: Rise Of The Last King - 12,000 (181,000)
#48. Young Jeezy - TM103: Hustlerz Ambition - 9,400 (552,000)
#63. Odd Future - OF Tape, Vol. 2 - 7,200 (59,000)
#79. Diggy - Unexpected Arrival - 5,800 (39,000)
#113. Obie Trice - Bottoms Up - 4,400 (4,000)
#137. E-40 - Block Brochure, Volume 2: Welcome To The Soil - 3,300 (11,000)
#141. E-40 - Block Brochure, Volume 1: Welcome To The Soil - 3,300 (11,000)
#192. De La Soul's Plug 1 & Plug 2 Present... - First Serve - 2,600 (2,800)
* data comes from Nielsen Soundscan, rounded to nearest thousandth for units above 10,000, nearest hundredth for units below 10,000. Each week, HipHopDX presents top albums in Hip Hop/related, and five notables.