Nas ‘n Marley beat Rolling Stones in chart

Distant Relatives, the joint album by rapper Nas and deejay Damian Marley has out charted the Rolling Stones to secure the top 5 position on the Billboard 200 album chart whilst also topping the Hip Hop and Reggae album charts for its debut week.

The album recorded the fifth highest sales in the US according to this week’s chart released yesterday by Billboard–regarded as the music bible. The album reportedly sold over 55,000 physical copies in its first week in the US however the Observer was unable to verify these statistics, up to print.

The only other debuting albums which bettered the Distant Relatives–released on Universal Republic Records, a division of UMG Recordings–in the US was Glee: The Music Volume at 1 and Brothers by The Black Keys at 3. Interestingly, the album outsold the legendary rock band Rolling Stones with Exile On Main Street: Rarities an album which debuted at 27. However it was unable to beat another related Stones album which re-entered the charts at 2 entitled Exile On Main Street after debuting 44 weeks ago. The Nas and Marley album out charted other debuting albums in the top 30 including Infinite Arms from Band of Horses at 7; This is Happening LCD Soundsystem at 10; The ArchAndroid: Suites II A…by Janelle Monae at 17; and Revolutions Per Minute by Talib Kweli + Hi-Tek Are Reflection Eternal at 18.

Meanwhile online on iTunes charts the album was charting at 4 in the US up to mid-day Thursday. Distant Relatives’ highest charting position on iTunes has been number 2 behind Damian Marley’s father Bob Marley which has a reissued Legend album according to Observer analysis. Last week the singles from the album secured top-10 spots in the US, UK, France, Germany and Canada on iTunes Reggae charts.

Last Tuesday, the 2005 single, Road to Zion from the Welcome to Jamrock album was charting in the UK at 8 on iTunes, it was the first collaboration between both artistes which sparked the Distant Relatives album.

Digital sales are significant as they account for one-third of global music sales and the Apple-owned iTunes is the leading online music store accounting for 70 per cent of world-wide digital sales according to Reuters and Billboard. The album has been categorised on iTunes in the genres of Reggae, Hip-Hop and Rap.

Rapper Nas and deejay Marley officially released their first video last Monday which aired on the US based show, BET 106 & Park. The duo stated on their Myspace.com page that the album was not aimed at being commercial, however it has been highly anticipated for over a year.

“What we’re about to do right now is go back. Back to a time when rap’s greatest hits were created in basement soundrooms, not corporate boardrooms. When dancehall and hip-hop music was all about moving the crowd not moving units,” a joint statement read.

The youngest son of Reggae legend Bob Marley, Damian Marley has sold over 500,000 copies of his Grammy winning album Welcome to Jamrock in 2005. Nas has sold over 20 million albums world-wide spanning over a decade. The son of jazz trumpeter Olu Dara, Nas first reached an international audience when his track Halftime was tapped by producer MC Serch as the opening cut on 1992’s Zebrahead movie soundtrack. His first full-length album, Illmatic was released in 1994. Since then he has released eight solo albums and three compilation albums that have garnered 11 Grammy nominations.

JAMAICA OBSERVER

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