Pop Album Chart : N.W.A Muscles Its Way to the Top

This news will send shock waves through the music industry: N.W.A, the radical gangster-rap group whose music is too violent and racy for radio, is sitting on top of the Billboard magazine pop album chart with "Niggaz4life." (Even the title is unsettling to many.) The album moved up to No. 1 just one week after debuting at No. 2--the highest chart entry in four years. Billboard's new method of gathering chart information is pushing more country artists up the charts. The latest is singer Ricky Van Shelton, whose "Backroads" shot up to No. 34 in three weeks. Paul McCartney's "Unplugged--The Official Bootleg" debuted at No. 14.

* Vanilla Ice may not be a favorite of the media and other rappers, but his fans sure love him. His live album, "Extremely Live," debuted at No. 48.

Rank Rank 2 Weeks Title (Label) Last Week Weeks Ago on Chart 1."Niggaz4life" 2 ... 2 N.W.A (Priority) 2."Spellbound" 1 1 4 Paula Abdul (Virgin) 3."Out of Time" 3 3 13 R.E.M. (Warner Bros.) 4."Gonna Make You Sweat" 5 5 24 C+C Music Factory (Columbia) 5."Time, Love and Tenderness" 4 2 7 Michael Bolton (Columbia) *"Extremely Live" ... ... 1 Vanilla Ice (SBK)

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