Most other weeks, hip-hop’s most valuable player would have scored a third seat at the top of Billboard’s albums chart, but the G-Unit-heavy soundtrack to 50 Cent’s film debut, “Get Rich or Die Tryin’,” landed on record-store shelves the same week that Kenny Chesney’s The Road and the Radio was unleashed for mass consumption.
Chesney’s The Road and the Radio finished its first week out with over 469,000 copies sold, besting “Get Rich” by more than 150,000 copies and earning the country star his biggest-selling opener. The Road is the former Mr. Renée Zellweger’s 10th LP, and the third to debut at #1 on Billboard’s albums chart.
Second place isn’t all that bad, though. Sure, the “Get Rich or Die Tryin’ ” soundtrack — featuring new material from 50 as well as longtime collaborators Tony Yayo, Young Buck, Olivia and Lloyd Banks — failed to duplicate the success of the rapper’s 2003 debut of the same name (which opened at #1 with more than 872,000 in sales) and couldn’t hold a candle to 2005’s The Massacre (which also debuted on top with more than 1.1 million copies sold). But according to the latest SoundScan figures, 50’s failure to swipe Billboard’s crown wasn’t for a lack of tryin': the album scored first-week sales of more than 317,000, securing the disc a comfortable #2 finish.
Only two other artists managed to crack this week’s top 10 with new releases. Neil Diamond’s Rick Rubin-helmed 12 Songs netted sales of nearly 93,000 to take Billboard’s #4 slot, and Flo’Ology, the third studio LP from neo-soul duo Floetry, opens as the chart’s #7 with just under 77,000 copies sold.
Last week’s #1, the 20th installment in the Now That’s What I Call Music! franchise — featuring hits from Black Eyed Peas, Franz Ferdinand, the Pussycat Dolls, Destiny’s Child, Fall Out Boy and others — falls two spots to #3, with over 221,000 copies sold. Nickelback’s All the Right Reasons slips two spaces to #5 with week-six sales of 92,000 and change, while Black Eyed Peas’ Monkey Business follows at #6 with sales of 84,000. Santana’s All That I Am drops from #2 to #8 with week-two scans of 73,000. Destiny’s Child’s #1’s falls to #9 and Kelly Clarkson’s Breakaway climbs to #10, both albums earning sales of just over 56,000.
There were a number of newcomers to the Billboard 200 this week, including the debut offering from crunk freshmen D4L, Down 4 Life, which takes the chart’s #22 spot after moving over 36,000 copies. After Taxes, the new one from Sheek Louch, is close behind at #23 with just 300 fewer discs sold. Reggaetón duo Wisin & Yandel’s Pa’l Mundo opens at #30 with nearly 30,000 sales. Young Buck’s T.I.P. debuts at #40 with over 26,000 sold.
Beastie Boys’ Solid Gold Hits and Limp Bizkit’s Greatest Hitz both make Billboard debuts. The Beasties pop up at #42 with 26,000 in sales, while Fred Durst’s troupe takes #47 with 23,000 copies sold. The Bizkit’s most recent studio offering, The Unquestionable Truth (Part 1), fared a bit better when it debuted six months ago, opening at #24 with 37,000 in sales.
Aerial, iconic songstress Kate Bush’s first studio LP in over a decade, opens at #48 with nearly 23,000 copies sold, while Scab Dates, the Mars Volta’s first official live release, debuts at #76 with close to 16,000 scans. Relient K’s Apathetic EP takes Billboard’s #94 spot with close to 13,000 copies sold. The band’s Mmhmm also experienced a 70 percent sales boost, reappearing on the chart after a four-week sabbatical at #154 with sales of over 8,000. Africa Unite: The Singles Collection, a Bob Marley and the Wailers retrospective, debuts at #101 with 12,000 copies sold, and the Eurythmics’ Ultimate Collection takes #116 with 11,000 scans.
Music From ’The O.C.’ Mix 5, featuring tracks by the Subways, Kasabian, the Shout Out Louds, Of Montreal, Gorillaz and the Kaiser Chiefs, debuts at #108 with sales of over 11,000, while Cyndi Lauper’s The Body Acoustic follows at #112 with just 17 fewer copies sold. Nonpoint’s To The Pain opens at #147 with nearly 9,000 sales.