HITS Daily Double


No Sophomore Slump for High-Profile Producer/Rapper, as New Album Posts Old-School Numbers
Every once in a while, it’s good to have an album come out with a real bang and remind us what it used to be like. Yes, it's refreshing to realize that the right music can still motivate buttloads of people to part with a dozen or so of their hard-earned dollars in order to get their hands on it.

Such is the case with Kanye West’s Late Registration (Def Jam/IDJ), which is well on its way to a first-week debut of 900k as of this morning. Indeed, as the counting continues after the long weekend, it’s clear that the fans who buy West’s records like the new one as much as the critics do—and that’s a lot.

What isn’t clear at this point is just how much of a bump the project might have gotten from West’s unscripted Bush-whacking on Friday night’s multi-network A Concert for Hurricaine Relief telethon. Could the headline-generating power of that moment raised his profile enough to register additional sales?

The reality of that scenario notwithstanding, West’s 900k-or-so first week will give him an uncontested #1 on this week’s chart, posting later today. But while West will stand head and shoulders (and torso, legs and feet) above the rest, that doesn’t mean there isn’t other notable debut action kicking in.

G-Unit member Tony Yayo’s debut effort, Thoughts of a Predicate Felon (Interscope), will lay claim to the #2 chart position, with first-week sales headed toward a total of around 225k. Yayo’s showing will help give Universal Music Group both the #1 and #2 berths for the week, representing well over a million albums sold.

Also making their debuts this week are Death Cab for Cutie’s major-label debut, Plans (Atlantic), which appears headed for a 70k-80k first week; Rihanna’s Music of the Sun (Def Jam/IDJ), looking at 60k-65k; Eric Clapton’s Back Home (Warner Bros.), headed for 40k-50k; Cold’s A Different Kind of Pain (Lava), also looking like 40k-50k; 30 Seconds to MarsA Beautiful Lie (Virgin) looking like 30k; and Our Lady Peace’s Healthy in Paranoid Times (Columbia), which appears headed for a first week of 25k-30k.

Actual numbers may vary. Be sure to check them out when the HITS Building Album Chart goes final this afternoon.