Maybe L.L. Cool J is actually as great as he says he is.
The rap pioneer will bump hip-hop newcomer Nelly from the top of the album chart next week as L.L.'s "G.O.A.T." ("Greatest Of All Time" for those not down with the acronym) was the best-selling album in the land last week. According to sales figures released by SoundScan on Wednesday, L.L.'s latest sold more than 208,000 copies in its first week in stores to debut at number one on next week's "Billboard" album chart.
The big sales numbers seem to back the bold statement L.L. made in selecting the title of his latest record, which had raised a few eyebrows.
Being great is not about me being a greater human being than anybody else because everybody's life is valuable and worth something," L.L. explained to MTV News regarding the now chart-topping album's title. "Obviously, there's always going to be a small percentage of people who resent you saying something like that or are shocked.... But it's a lot
more fun than naming my album 'L.L. The Pretty Good Rapper.' I think that might be a little boring." (For more from L.L., check out our feature, "L.L. Cool J: Past, Present, Future.")
L.L.'s big debut ends Nelly's chart-topping run, which stretched back to mid-August. The St. Louis rapper doesn't drop far, though, as his "Country Grammar" album hangs tough at number two on next week's chart. Eminem rounds out rap's strangehold on the top of the album chart, sliding into the number three slot with "The Marshall Mathers LP.
R&B mainstays Boyz II Men return to the chart in grand fashion, with the group's first album in three years scoring the next highest debut on the chart. Boyz II Men's "Nathan Michael Shawn Wanya" sold more than 132,000 copies to debut at number four.
The great white north also launched an offensive
on the charts, as good-time guys Barenaked Ladies score a top five debut with their latest. The Canadian export managed to sell more than 127,000 copies of "Maroon" to land at number five on the album chart.
While not quite reaching the lofty heights of L.L.'s debut, a couple of other hip-hop releases score top 20 debuts next week. Too Short's "You Nasty" sold more than 82,000 copies in its first week to debut at number 12, while the Cash Money family's soundtrack to "Baller Blockin'" sold more than 80,000 copies to debut at number 13.
Irish family act The Corrs also boast an impressive debut; the group's "In Blue" sold more than 46,000 copies to land at number 21.
Meanwhile, dipping into the Latin market paid some dividends for Christina Aguilera. The singer's first Spanish-language album, "Mi Reflejo," sold more than 42,000 copies in its first week in stores to debut at 27.
Other Latin artists saw a surge in sales, likely sparked by last week's Latin Grammy
Awards. Riding a wave of exposure thanks to two Latin Grammys and a performance at the awards show, Shakira lands two albums on the charts, as her "MTV Unplugged" hits number 156 and her "Dónde Están Los Ladrones" lands at 167. Meanwhile, a compilation collecting tracks from many of the Latin Grammy nominees debuted at number 125.
The week's other notable debuts include Emmylou Harris' "Red Dirt Girl" at 54; B-Legit's "Hempin" at 64; Joan Osborne's "Righteous Love" at 90; the soundtrack to "Duets" at 112; the soundtrack to "Almost Famous" at 136; Vast's "Music For People" at 142; Rickie Lee Jones' "It's Like This" at 148; At The Drive In's "Relationship Of Command" at 151; DJ Skribble's "2000-Essential Dance" at 158; and Cold's "13 Ways To Bleed On Stage" at 174.