Lloyd Banks’ Hunger Debuts At #1; Brandy Settles For #3

Usher's Confessions holds on to #2, while Lil' Wayne bows at #4.

Roc-A-Fella had better watch its back: 50 Cent is developing a dynasty of his own.

With skills to match the G-Unit’s main man, Lloyd Banks will follow in 50′s footsteps by debuting at #1 on the next Billboard 200 albums chart. Last week Banks sold more than 433,000 copies of his debut, The Hunger for More, according to SoundScan figures released Wednesday (July 7).

And though as a collective, the G-Unit’s Beg for Mercy debuted with fewer sales than either rapper’s debut, considering it hit shelves at the same time as Jay-Z’s The Black Album and Tupac’s Resurrection, the 376,000 copies it sold is nothing to scoff at.

While certainly impressive — only five other albums had greater first-week sales in 2004 — Banks’ draw can’t touch that of 50, whose Get Rich or Die Tryin’ moved more than twice that number after its first week in stores last year. Still, since then, no other hip-hop artist has had a better first week.

Banks’ massive debut might surprise some, but the man himself is through being fazed with his success. “I didn’t know, but 50 knew,” Banks said. “He told me it was gonna happen, so I could be cocky and feel confident in every move we made. I never was shocked because it’s hard to be shocked when somebody’s telling you, ‘We’re gonna look to the corner and jump out and they gonna mob you and run up to you for autographs.’ ”

Usher’s Confessions remains at #2 for a fourth consecutive week after selling more than 148,000 copies during its 15th week in stores. Brandy’s Afrodisiac bows at #3 with more than 131,000 copies sold. The R&B singer’s fourth album was produced mostly by Timbaland and includes the hit single “Talk About Our Love,” which features Kanye West.

Lil’ Wayne’s fourth album, Tha Carter, makes a big splash at #5 with more than 116,000 copies sold. It’s a notch higher than the perch his last album, 2002′s 500 Degreez, sat upon after its first week, though that album sold some 25,000 more copies.

With their Curiosa touring festival less than three weeks away, the Cure land at #7 after selling more than 90,000 copies of their self-titled 13th album. The Dave Matthews Band’s live CD/DVD The Gorge, the group’s fourth concert album since its last studio LP, 2001′s Everyday, caps off the top-10 debuts at #10, having sold more than 83,000 copies.

The rest of the top 10 finds Jadakiss’ Kiss of Death dropping three to #4 (with more than 122,000 copies sold); the Beastie Boys’ To the 5 Boroughs slipping three to #6 (91,000); Gretchen Wilson’s Here for the Party moving from #6 to #8 (87,000); and the soundtrack to the country’s top box-office draw, “Spider-Man 2,” dropping two spots to #9 (84,000).

Country duo Big & Rich will continue their steady climb, placing at #13 with Horse of a Different Color, which enjoyed a 33 percent spike in sales last week. The pair’s forward strides are offset by JoJo’s stumbles. In her second week, the teen-pop singer’s self-titled debut plummets from #4 to #17. That’s still better to than the 57 percent hit taken by Wilco, whose A Ghost Is Born dives from #8 to #31.

Feedback, an eight-track covers EP by veteran prog-rockers Rush, takes the #19 spot, while Breaking Benjamin’s second album, We Are Not Alone, lines up right behind at #20.

Other notable debuts include Atreyu’s The Curse at #32; Slum Village’s Detroit Deli: A Taste of Detroit at #37; Uncle Kracker’s Seventy Two & Sunny at #39; Maroon 5′s 1.22.03 Acoustic EP at #46; Akon’s Trouble at #52; Goodie Mob’s One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show at #85; Midtown’s Forget What You Know at #109; Earshot’s Two at #127; and Tiger Army’s Tiger Army III: Ghost Tigers Rise at #146.

For more on Lloyd Banks, check out the feature “Nipping At 50 Cent’s Heels.”