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.
The top five albums this week remain unchanged from the week before: Nelly, followed by Britney Spears, Eminem, the fourth volume of the "Now That's What I Call Music" survey of recent hits by various artists and Creed.
The soundtrack to "Coyote Ugly" continues its ascent on the charts. The collection, which features four songs by country singer LeAnn Rimes, sold 81,000 copies last week to move up to No. 10 on the new chart, its highest position since it debuted at No. 61 four weeks ago.
Atlanta rapper 'Lil Zane debuts this week at No. 25 with 40,000 copies sold of his "Young World: The Future," a disc that includes the bouncy hit "Callin' Me."
Other debuts include Incubus, the hard-edged rockers from Calabasas, at No. 41 with their limited-edition mini-album "When Incubus Attacks, Vol. 1"; the soundtrack and performance excerpts from "Original Kings of Comedy,"a comedy concert film, at No. 50; and Orange County's (Hed) p.e. at No. 63 with the rap-rock collection "Broke."