Booty bested beefcake on this week’s Billboard album chart, as New Orleans based rapper Mystikal’s ”Let’s Get Ready” – which includes the infectious ”Shake Ya Ass” – landed the No. 1 spot that most industry observers had predicted would go to ”Revelation,” the latest from boy band 98 Degrees (No. 2). ”Ready” sold 331,000 albums in its first week, while 98 Degree’s effort moved only 276,000 copies – far fewer than the 500,000 - 750,000 units that analysts had expected it to sell. (The rest of the top five: Madonna, at No. 3; Nelly, No. 4; and Shyne, No. 5).
Mystikal’s debut upset 98 Degrees for one simple reason: His ”Shake Ya Ass” is a bigger hit than the boy band’s competing first single ”Give Me Just One Night (Una Noche).” ”Shake” not only has the urban audience that ”Night” lacks, it’s also beating the Spanish tinged tune on pop radio. (”Shake” shimmies at No. 10 on the Hot 100 Airplay chart, while ”Night” rests at No. 15. ) Mystikal’s airwave support is luring fans into the stores. ”People have been asking for the song ever since it first hit radio,” says Violet Brown, a buyer at the chain Wherehouse Music.
Another rap act – 13 year old Ohio bred Lil’ Bow Wow – also had a strong debut, finishing at No. 8 with ”Beware of Dog.” (Creed took No. 6, Eminem No. 7.) Brown thinks the youngster will be on the charts ”for a long time to come. There are a lot of kids buying records now, and there hasn’t really been a rapper that’s just for them.” And Lil’ Bow Wow also adds an African American face to the current kiddie pop craze. ”Black kids don’t have any teen stars like white kids have ‘N Sync and the Backstreet Boys,” says ”Beware”’s producer Jermaine Dupri. ”Bow Wow is gonna be their star.”
Rounding out the chart this week are 3 Doors Down (No. 9) and Baha Men (No. 10). If you’re wondering where Britney is, you’re right to be concerned. For the first time in 19 weeks, she and her pals ‘N Sync are both out of the top 10. Oops… guess they actually couldn’t do it again.