DMX scored his fifth consecutive chart-topping album with The Grand Champ, which sold 312,000 copies last week, according to SoundScan. The title of the rapper's latest is apt, a reference to the victor in a series of pitbull fights. While DMX continued his Number One-winning streak, he's taken a few licks over the years. DMX's last album, The Great Depression, sold 440,000 copies upon its debut two years ago, and his previous records -- And Then There Was X and Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood -- were both spitting distance from 700,000 copy debut weeks.
But enough with the chart gloom. Sales are up more than 500,000 units in the Top 200 from last week, and it's the first time five albums reached six-figure sales since July. A Perfect Circle and Erykah Badu both posted very strong debuts; the former sold 231,000 copies of Thirteenth Step at Number Two and the latter moved 144,000 copies of Worldwide Underground at Number Three. And John Mayer's Heavier Things (Number Four, 137,000) and Hilary Duff's So Yesterday (Number Five, 126,000) maintained strong sales.
And even more newcomers peppered the Top Ten: Thursday sold 74,000 copies of War All the Time at Number Seven; Sheek Louch sold 64,700 copies of Walk Witt Me at Number Nine; and Bubba Sparxxx moved 64,500 copies of Deliverance at Number Ten. The Ying Yang Twins just missed at Number Eleven, with 62,000 copies sold of Me and My Brother.
Veterans also got on the scoreboard. David Bowie's Reality debuted Number Twenty-nine with sales of 33,000 (though both numbers pale compared to last year's Number Fourteen, 55,000 copy bow for Heathen). The Steve Miller Band's Young Hearts: Complete Greatest Hits jumped in at Number Thirty-seven, selling 26,000 copies. And The Very Best of the Grateful Dead charted at Number Sixty-nine, with sales of 16,000.
On the singles charts, a pair of buffed and re-polished vintage tracks duked it out. Last week's Number One-selling single, Elvis Presley's "Rubberneckin'" (as remixed by Paul Oakenfold), was unseated by the Rolling Stones' "Sympathy for the Devil" (remixed by the Neptunes, Fatboy Slim and others) by a mere ten copies, 8,610 to 8,600.
Next week's chart promises a second straight week of strong sales, as a rush of new albums dropped into record stores this week, led by Dave Matthews' solo debut, the latest from Limp Bizkit and a two-CD set from OutKast.
This week's Top Ten: DMX's The Grand Champ; A Perfect Circle's Thirteenth Step; Erykah Badu's Worldwide Underground; John Mayer's Heavier Things; Hilary Duff's So Yesterday; Beyonce's Dangerously in Love; Thursday's War All the Time; Alan Jackson's Greatest Hits, Volume Two; Sheek Louch's Walk Witt Me; and Bubba Sparxxx's Deliverance.