Rapper 50 Cent simply can't be stopped. His latest album, The Massacre, sold more than 210,000 copies last week, once again securing him a seat at the head of Billboard's proverbial table -- for a fifth consecutive chart, no less.
Many have tried to overthrow 50 as the chart king, and some have come close, but all have inevitably failed. SoundScan sales figures show that eclectic alterna-crooner Beck, who comes in at #2 on next week's Billboard albums chart, at least gave it the old college try. More than 162,000 copies of his latest effort, Guero -- his first disc since 2002's Sea Change -- disappeared from store shelves during the LP's first week of release. The latest album from incarcerated South Philadelphia rapper Beanie Sigel, The B.Coming, finished at #3 with an impressive first-week showing, scoring close to 131,000 scans.
Right behind Jay-Z's tough-guy protégé -- currently in New Jersey lockdown on a drug charge -- come soulful R&B quartet 112, whose album Pleasure & Pain netted first-week sales of more than 117,000. A 63 percent sales slump knocked the 18th installment of mega-hit compilation Now That's What I Call Music! to the #5 spot; the record sold just over 100,000 copies during its third retail week.
Following a long period of musical dormancy, Will Smith returned to the Billboard albums chart top 10 this week, grabbing #6 with his latest, Lost and Found, which sold more than 98,000 copies. Shocking the industry, comedian Larry the Cable Guy takes the #7 slot with his disc, Right to Bare Arms. Now, along with contributing the catchphrase "Git-R-Done" to the American lexicon, the Dirty South funnyman can add first-week sales of more than 92,000 to his list of accomplishments.
Acoustic surfer dude Jack Johnson's record In Between Dreams continues to sell by the boatload, finishing at #8 with more than 65,000 copies scanned. Right behind him is Frankie J's The One, which suffered a 51 percent plummet in sales and falls from #3 to #9, scoring little more than 64,000 scans. At #10 is Green Day's American Idiot, which sold more than 63,900 copies during its 28th week on the chart.
Hot Fuss, the Killers' debut offering, takes #11, moving 55,000 discs and bumping the band out of the top 10. Kelly Clarkson's Breakaway is in at #12 with sales of 51,000 plus, followed by Ciara's Goodies at #13, with scans of close to 48,000. Coming in at #14 is the Game's The Documentary, with more than 44,500 copies sold, followed by Gwen Stefani's Love, Angel, Music, Baby at #15, with sales of just over 44,000. Jennifer Lopez's latest, Rebirth, drops from #7 to #20, thanks to a 45 percent decline in sales.
New York dance rockers the Bravery sold more than 33,000 copies of their self-titled debut last week to take #18. Indie-rock troupe Mae scored themselves an impressive debut, coming in at #51 with sales of more than 18,000. First-week sales of the Game's West Coast Resurrection, an album of the rapper's older material, fell just short of the 18,000 mark to finish at #53.
Overall, it was a fairly sluggish week at retail -- for everyone but Damien Rice. His album O resurfaced on Billboard's chart at #138, thanks to a 33 percent surge in sales. A SoundScan spokesperson attributed that growth to a 36 percent increase in online sales of the disc, as well as a 51 percent hike in chain scans.
50 Cent's The Massacre will likely score the top spot on the next Billboard albums chart as well, as Faith Evans (First Lady), Hot Hot Heat (Elevator), the Crystal Method (Community Service II), Lisa Marie Presley (Now What) and A Static Lullaby (Faso Latido) try to slow his sales machine.
Week Two = Weak Sales
Several albums that debuted on the previous week's albums chart experienced the harsh reality of the second-week sales slump. After their fifth-place debut, Queens of the Stone Age suffered a 61 percent retail dip, which accounted for more than 37,000 scans, dropping the band's Lullabies to Paralyze to #17. Lifehouse's self-titled LP debuted at #10 and nosedives to #28, thanks to a 56 percent sales slip. Tweet's It's Me Again sustained a 59 percent drop in sales, while retail interest in C-Murder's Truest Sh-- I Ever Said waned by 53 percent.
Likewise, second-week sales faded for Moby's Hotel (32 percent), the Decemberists' Picaresque, (37 percent), Trust Company's True Parallels (61 percent) and Billy Idol's Devil's Playground (64 percent).