Score another hit for a Fugee member--Wyclef Jean has the highest-charting debut in the country this week with his second solo album, "The Ecleftic--2 Sides II a Book."
"Ecleftic" sold 95,000 copies during its first week in stores to debut at No. 9 on the nation's tally of album sellers, compiled by SoundScan's retail monitoring service. At the top of the chart, meanwhile, St. Louis rapper Nelly, speaking to fans with the huge radio hit "Country Grammar," logs its third consecutive week at No. 1.
For Jean, "Ecleftic" is more grounded in hip-hop than his first solo project, the 1997 disc "Wyclef Jean Presents the Carnival," but this new collection lives up to the eclectic mind-set suggested by its title; collaborators include longtime country music fixture Kenny Rogers, the popular pro wrestler the Rock, along with soulful singers Mary J. Blige and Whitney Houston.
Any project from Jean has some high historical standards to meet. The Haitian native was one-third of the Fugees, the hip-hop collective that in 1996 produced "The Score," the best-selling hip-hop album ever with 17 million copies sold. Two years after that, another Fugee, Lauryn Hill, delivered a solo album that became a huge commercial success and won numerous Grammys, including album of the year.