Figures. Now that he's out of Cash Money, Juvenile's Check is bouncing right to the top.
The New Orleans' rapper, who rose to prominence on the Cash Money label, has seen his inaugural Atlantic release, Reality Check, become his first number one debut. The disc sold 174,000 copies for the week ended Sunday, according to Nielsen SoundScan figures released today.
Juvenile, whose home was destroyed during Hurricane Katrina, takes aim at the government's response with the lead single "What's Happening." His previous hits include the 2000 club anthem "Back That Azz Up" and 2004's "Slow Motion," which became the emcee's first Hot 100 chart topper.
With Juve bouncing to the top, Ne-Yo's In My Own Words slipped down to number five on 113,000 copies. Meanwhile, James Blunt's Oprah appearance helped propel Back to Bedlam to number two on 161,000 copies.
Living up to the hype with a number four debut was Hasidic reggae star Matisyahu. His latest, Youth, which includes a studio version of his live hit "King Without a Crown," scored the best opening week for a reggae album since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking sales in 1991, selling 119,000 copies. Meanwhile, his Live at Stubb's disc climbed to number 36, making him the only artist to have two albums in this week's Top 40.
Aside from that live album, which has sold more than 500,000 copies since its release a year ago, Matis has appeared on the recent P.O.D. cuts "Roots in Stereo" and "Strength of My Life." His indie debut, Shake Off the Dust...Arise, dropped in 2004.
Also making a splash was David Gilmour's new solo album, On an Island. The Pink Floyd alum's latest, which has already topped the U.K. chart, opened at number six with 96,000. It's his first solo release since 1984's About Face.
The rest of the Top 10, all holdovers, included The High School Musical soundtrack at three, Carrie Underwood's Some Hearts at seven, The Legend of Johnny Cash at eight, Walk the Line soundtrack at nine and Jack Johnson & Friends' Sing-A-Longs and Lullabies for the Film Curious George in the 10 spot.
Houston rapper Scarface just missed the Top 10 as the Geto Boys alumnus opened at 12 with My Homies 2 selling more than 57,000 copies. As with the 1998 original, My Homies 2 pairs the rapper with a host of different emcees and producers, such as on the Tone Capone-produced single "Never Snitch" with the Game and Beanie Sigel.
Van Morrison's Pay the Devil also registered a strong first week, selling nearly 32,000 copies at 26. Other noteworthy debuts included the That's So Raven Too soundtrack at 44, Norah Jones' countrified side project the Little Willies' self-titled at 48, alt-country songbird Neko Case's Fox Confessor Brings the Flood at 54, Trent Tomlinson's Country Is My Rock at 95 and Shawn McDonald's Ripen at 116.
Finally, thanks to post-Oscar buzz for Three 6 Mafia's Best Original Song, "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp," the Hustle & Flow soundtrack hustled and flowed 70 spots to 73 with nearly 14,000 copies sold.
Overall sales continue to lag behind 2005 by 3 percent. SoundScan reports 10.7 million CD were sold last week, down about 2 percent from the previous week and 1 percent off from the same period in 2005.
Here's a recap of the Top 10:
1. Reality Check, Juvenile
2. Back to Bedlam, James Blunt
3. High School Musical soundtrack, various
4. Youth, Matisyahu
5. In My Own Words, Ne-Yo
6. On an Island, David Gilmour
7. Some Hearts, Carrie Underwood
8. The Legend of Johnny Cash, Johnny Cash
9. Walk the Line soundtrackk, various
10. Sing-A-Longs and Lullabies for the Film Curious George, Jack Johnson & Friends