The leader at the halfway mark, Beautiful and Brutal Yard (via Black Butter) becomes the Stratford, England-born rapper and singer’s second leader, following 2020’s Big Conspiracy, and his third career top 10 placing (his 2017 debut Common Sense peaked at No. 6).
Three tracks from Beautiful and Brutal Yard appear in the current U.K. singles chart top 40: “Who Told You” with Drake (down 4-5), “Militerian” featuring Naira Marley (new at No. 23), and “Masculine” with Burna Boy (new at No. 24).
Taylor Swift continues to swamp the U.K. albums chart, led by Speak Now (Taylor’s Version), down 1-2. It’s one of six Swift titles on the climb in the top 20 (all via EMI), no doubt fueled by the excitement surrounding the ticket onsale for the 2024 U.K. leg of The Eras Tour. Further down the Official U.K. Albums Chart, 2022’s Midnights is up 9-5, 2014’s 1989 gains 10-8, 2019’s Lover improves 12-9, 2017’s Reputation lifts 21-15 and 2019’s folklore spikes 25-16.
Rita Ora’s return with You & I (BMG) nets her a second top 10 entry. The British artist’s new album bows at No. 6, for her highest-charting LP in over a decade. Her 2012 debut ORA peaked at No. 1, and its 2018 followup Phoenix hit No. 11.
Further down the list, British-born Canadian singer and songwriter Lauren Spencer Smith just misses out on a top 10 debut with Mirror (Island), new at No. 11; while Glasgow, Scotland singer and songwriter Gerry Cinnamon nabs his third top 40, with Live at Hampden Park (Little Runaway) appearing at No. 12. The live collection is the week’s best-seller on wax.
Also impacting the albums survey for the first time are titles from DJ and producer Joel Corry (Another Friday Night at No. 24 via Atlantic); U.S. pop band Pvris (EVERGREEN at No. 25 via Hopeless); New York rapper and singer Lil Tjay (222 at No. 26 via Columbia) and British singer-songwriter Mahalia (IRL at No. 31 via Atlantic).