NEW ORLEANS rapper Juvenile has the first No. 1 of his decade-plus career as his new CD, "Reality Check," tops the Nielsen SoundScan chart of the bestselling albums in America.
The rapper, born Terius Gray, has six previous solo albums and came close to the top spot once before: His "Project English" album peaked at No. 2 in 2001.
"Reality Check" sold 174,000 in its first week. Last week's No. 1 seller, "In My Own Words" by Ne-Yo, slides down four spots this week.
Matisyahu, who has carved out a singular spot in the music scene with an unlikely mix of reggae, hip-hop and Judaism, has the second-best debut of the week with "Youth," his third CD, which sold 119,000 copies.
The only other debuts in the Top 20 come from a British rock veteran and a hard-core Houston rapper. David Gilmour, of Pink Floyd fame, claims the No. 6 slot with "On an Island," his first solo album in 22 years, while Scarface, who rose to fame with the Geto Boys, takes over No. 12 with "My Homies, Part 2."
The top country debut is an unlikely one: Soulful Irish singer Van Morrison may be more closely associated with the 1970s rock scene, but his new CD, "Pay the Devil," has him digging into the songbooks of Hank Williams, Webb Pierce and other heroes of twang. It debuts at No. 26.
-- Geoff Boucher