Life, Death, Love and Freedom Debuts at #7 on Billboard Top 200

Nas Dethrones Lil Wayne Atop Billboard 200

July 23, 2008 , 11:05 AM ET

Katie Hasty, N.Y.
One rapper replaces another atop The Billboard 200 this week, as Nas' untitled Def Jam album dethrones Lil Wayne's Cash Money/Universal set "Tha Carter III." Nas' album sold 187,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan, becoming the rapper's fifth No. 1 here.

Nas' prior album, 2006's "Hip-Hop Is Dead," also debuted at No. 1 but sold 354,000 over Christmas week. Meanwhile, after three non-consecutive weeks at No. 1, "Tha Carter III" slips to No. 2 with a 15% sales decrease to 105,000.

The Decca soundtrack to "Mamma Mia!," the film adaptation of the hit theatrical musical based on ABBA's songbook, experiences an 89% sales boost after the movie hit theaters Friday (and earned the highest grossing weekend opening ever for a musical); it climbs 7-3 with 91,000. Coldplay's "Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends" (Capitol) slips 2-4 with 90,000 (-20%), while the Jonas Brothers-led soundtrack to Disney's "Camp Rock" descends 3-5 with 78,000 (-12%).

Though it slips 5-6 on the chart, Kid Rock's "Rock N Roll Jesus" (Atlantic) continues to resurge with the help of the Hot AC/Adult Top 40 single "All Summer Long," selling 73,000 with a 20% sales increase.

John Mellencamp's Hear Music debut "Life Death Love and Freedom" bows at No. 7 with 56,000, his fourth top 10 album. It's his 19th charting record overall, stretching back to the Aug. 18, 1979, debut of "John Cougar."

David Banner debuts right behind at No. 8 with his third straight top 10 studio album, "The Greatest Story Ever Told" (SRC/Universal), shifting 52,000. His previous set, 2005's "Certified," peaked at No. 6.

"Beautiful Eyes," a new Wal-mart exclusive EP/DVD from country star Taylor Swift, begins with 45,000 at No. 9. Meanwhile, her Big Machine self-titled debut climbs 14-12 with 35,000 (+20%) in its 59th week on the chart. Rihanna's "Good Girl Gone Bad" (SRP/Def Jam) rounds out the top tier, slipping 8-10 with 41,000 (-12%).

O.A.R.'s "All Sides" (Atlantic) earns the group its biggest charting and sales week ever, debuting at No. 13 with 33,000. Country veteran Randy Travis also snares his highest charting album ever on The Billboard 200 as "Around the Bend" (Warner Bros.) debuts at No. 14 with 31,000.

Other debuts this week include Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard's soundtrack to new Batman movie "The Dark Knight" (Warner Bros.) at No. 20 with 25,000 and Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band's live EP "Magic Tour Highlights" (Columbia) at No. 48 with 12,000.

At 7.48 million units, sales this week are up 2.1% from last week's sum and down 7.85% from the same week last year.

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