Rap Rules The Charts This Week

(Radio.com) For the second straight week, rap not only tops the U.S. album charts, but also makes a hat-trick of the top three spots, continuing a solid few weeks for the genre after a quiet start.

This time, it's Wale who takes the cake, scoring the No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 with his third studio album, The Gifted. The Gifted is the D.C. rapper's first No. 1 album, selling 158,000 in its debut week, according to data from Nielsen SoundScan.

His previous best was a No. 2 debut for 2011′s Ambition, while debut album Attention Deficit peaked at No. 21. That said, The Gifted doesn't eclipse Ambition in first-week sales; the latter sold 164,000 in November 2011, beat out only by Justin Bieber's Mistletoe.

Sales of The Gifted were supported by lead single "Bad" featuring Tiara Thomas, his highest-ranking single on the Hot 100 to date with a No. 21 peak so far. The song has also found the top five on the Billboard's R&B and Rap charts, though it has yet to unseat Ambition's "Lotus Flower Bomb," which hit No. 1 on the R&B chart.

Kanye West and J. Cole are Nos. 2 and 3 this week, but not in the same order the two rappers were last week, when West's Yeezus sat on the chart throne.

This week, it's J. Cole's Born Sinner that wins the waning battle between the two artists, moving 84,000 its second week out. That's a 72 percent drop from last week's 297,000, but it's not nearly as large as Yeezus' fall to No. 3 with sales of 65,000 an 80 percent cut in sales. more on this story

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Copyright Radio.com/CBS Local - Excerpted here with permission.

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