Canibus, Hole Crack Top 10

Rapper debuts on album chart at #2 while Courtney Love and company bow at #9.

Which controversy will generate the most record sales: upstart rapper Canibus battling

rap vet LL Cool J (combined with Canibus album producer Wyclef Jean allegedly pulling

a gun on Blaze editor Jesse Washington) or Courtney Love enlisting the writing

help of Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan for Hole's latest album?

As demonstrated on this week's Billboard 200 albums chart, the answer seems to

be Canibus. According to SoundScan, the battle-rhymer's Wyclef Jean-produced debut,

Can-I-Bus, sold 127,000 copies in the week ending Sept. 13 -- enough to send it

to #2 in its first week of release.

Canibus made hip-hop headlines earlier this year with

HREF="">"Second Round

K.O." (RealAudio excerpt), a song that jabbed at LL Cool J over a

behind-the-scenes conflict that took place during the recording of LL's "4,3,2,1," from the

album Phenomenon. LL responded to the Canibus track with


Ripper Strikes Back" (RealAudio excerpt), which included a reference to Wyclef

as "a Bob Marley impostor." In turn, Wyclef responded to "The Ripper" with "Retaliation,"

a rap that implied LL is old and irrelevant.

Can-I-Bus was also the subject of a controversy this year, when Blaze

editor Jesse Washington alleged in an editorial that album producer Wyclef Jean

displayed a gun when Washington gave him the chance to respond to a bad review that

was going to run in Blaze's premiere issue.

Hole, meanwhile, sold 86,000 copies of Celebrity Skin and bowed at #9. The

album generated controversy earlier this year when frontwoman Courtney Love and

Smashing Pumpkins leader Billy Corgan traded barbs through the media about how involved Corgan was in the making of the album. Corgan said he was quite involved; Love said Corgan was only in the studio for 12 days. Corgan is given credit with

helping to write the music on five of Celebrity Skin's songs: "Petals," "Hit So

Hard," "Malibu," "Dying" and

HREF="">"Celebrity Skin"

(RealAudio excerpt).

Still perched at #1 this week was the critically acclaimed The Miseducation of Lauryn

Hill, which sold 214,000 copies, bringing its grand total up to 903,000.

In other news, just as Madonna was the big winner at this year's MTV Video Music

Awards, she was also the only one of the show's performers to see a substantial

increase in sales as a result of the televised exposure. Her electronica-fueled Ray of

Light sold 35,000 copies last week, as opposed to 31,000 in the week previous to the

awards show, bringing her grand total up to 2.2 million. The show's other performers --

including punk-rappers the Beastie Boys, swing-revivalists the Brian Setzer Orchestra,

jam-rockers the Dave Matthews Band and pop stars the Backstreet Boys -- all matched

their previous week's sales or witnessed a sales drop.