Ice Cube Debuts At #1; T.I. Sets Billboard Record

Gangsta and political rap pioneer Ice Cube displayed his independent strength once again, as the veteran’s eighth solo album Raw Footage debuted #1 on Billboard’s Rap and R&B Chart and #5 on the Top 200. The set sold 69, 234 copies its first week and is on pace to duplicate Cube’s previous effort Laugh Now, Cry Later, which was the highest selling independent Hip-Hop release of 2006.

Ice Cube, who was pleased with the public’s reception, said that he was inspired by the economic woes that are ravaging the United States.

“I made this record to talk about what is going on in the world today,” Ice Cube explained. “We are dealing with a recession, and I know a lot of people feel helpless in a way. I consciously decided to try to give a voice to those who feel voiceless in the world.”

T.I. also set a record this week with his new single “Whatever You Like,” which catapulted from #71 to #1 on the Hot 100 Chart, the biggest one week leap in Billboard history.

Produced by Jim Jonsin, the track is also #1 on the Hot Digital Charts Songs list, posting first week figures of 205,000 downloads.

T.I.’s sixth studio Paper Trail is due in stores September, and contains guest spots from Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, Kanye West, Usher, Justin Timberlake, Usher, Rihanna, John Legend, and Fall Out Boy.