HITS Daily Double
Early indications are that the [Ray Charles] album will have a great first week, coming in at between 135-145k.


Who’ll Take Top Debut? Looks Like LL,
But It’s Close
This week’s chart is a tough act to follow—what with debuts from Tim McGraw, R. Kelly, Young Buck and Mase combining for sales of over 1.65 million and snagging the top four slots all at once.

But somebody’s gotta follow it, and this week it’s all about LL Cool J and Jill Scott. The rapper and the neo-soulstress are duking it out for Top Debut honors on next week’s chart, with early reports from national accounts indicating that Mr. Smith’s DEFinition (Def Jam/IDJ) and Ms. Scott’s Beautifully Human: Words & Sounds 2 (Epic) are each on track to sell around 170k for the week.

It’s too early to tell for sure (they’ve only been in stores for one day, for crying out loud), but prognosticators are giving the early lead to LL by a slim margin.

It appears neither will have a shot at #1 next week, given that even if McGraw’s Live Like You Were Dying (Curb) fell off by 60% in its second sales week, it will still sell over 300k, making it a lock for a second week at #1. R. Kelly’s Happy People/U Saved Me (Jive), for that matter, is pretty well assured a second week at #2, since he’s likely to see sales of 200k or better. Depending on what happens with Young Buck or even Mase, LL or Scott could potentially slip into #3, however. We’re not saying either will, mind you, but it could happen.

Also hitting the street yesterday was Ray CharlesGenius Loves Company (Concord), the duets set the soul man had just finished prior to his death. Early indications are that the album will have a great first week, coming in at between 135-145k.

And then there’s everybody’s favorite psychotic Detroit clown duo, Insane Clown Posse, who yesterday made an appropriately schizophrenic statement by releasing their new album in two packages, each containing a different DVD value-add. Hell’s Pit—Version 1 (Psychopathic) comes with 3D glasses and a 15-minute 3D horror flick based on the song “Bowling Balls.” Version 2 comes with a non-3D film of an ICP show at Red Rocks in Denver, plus a 13-minute career retrospective.

If the two versions are combined to make one album chart entry (and we think they will be), Hell’s Pit will likely appear showing sales of around 75k for the week.

Hmmm... maybe those clowns know what they’re doing after all.