Jadakiss Beats Beasties

Rapper puts second album on top of the charts

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Jadakiss sold 246,000 copies of his second album, Kiss of Death, according to Nielsen SoundScan, to debut Number One. The Ruff Ryders rapper knocked off the Beastie Boys' To the 5 Boroughs, which posted sluggish sales (compared to their previous album) for the second straight week. Boroughs fell to Number Three with sales of 143,000, putting its total at just over 500,000 in two weeks, almost 200,000 copies lower than the first-week tally of 1998's Hello Nasty. The Beasties' dip allowed Usher's Confessions to hang onto Number One with sales of 149,000.

Teen pop R&B singer JoJo -- not to be confused with pop R&B singer JoJo, partner of K-Ci -- made a bit splash at Number Four, selling 95,000 copies of her debut album. The Spider-Man 2 soundtrack debuted three spots lower, with sales of 82,000. And Wilco continue to pierce the notion that if music is free, fans won't buy it. The band's fifth album, A Ghost Is Born, sold 81,000 copies at Number Eight, despite being offered for streaming on Wilco's Web site through the spring. Ghost is Wilco's first Top Ten, as 2002's buzzy Yankee Hotel Foxtrot sold 56,000 at Number Thirteen two years ago.

There was little shaking outside the Top Ten, and for that matter the rest of the Top 200. The singles chart did enjoy the kind of boom that only comes with the release of new American Idol merch. Fantasia (sans the Barrino) sold a whopping 142,000 copies of "I Believe"/"Chain of Fools" to best the Number Two single, Clay Aiken's "Solitaire," by 138,000 copies. In fact, "I Believe" sold more copies than the other 199 records on the singles chart combined.

This week's relatively cool album chart has set the stage for a free-for-all next week. Confessions will undoubtedly top any record on the charts this week, but a handful of new albums released this week could find their way to Number One, especially with sales as tepid as they've been of late. Four years ago, the Cure sold 71,000 copies of Bloodflowers at Number Seventy-one. The group's new self-titled record has garnered a gaggle of buzz and seems to be a Top Ten lock. New country has fared well the past three years, and Joe Nichols' Revelation follows a hit-laden debut. There's also Brandy, who has flashed chart clout in the past, though her Afrodesiac will have to do as well, if not better, than the 155,000 copies that Full Moon sold in its first week of sale back in 2002. And then there's also Lloyd Banks. Though solo records by entourage members don't typically make the biggest chart splashes, most things 50 Cent touches turn to money, so the debut by his G-Unit buddy isn't without a shot at Number Two.

This week's Top Ten: Jadakiss' Kiss of Death; Usher's Confessions; Beastie Boys' To the 5 Boroughs; JoJo's JoJo; Prince's Musicology; Gretchen Wilson's Here for the Party; Spider-Man 2; Wilco's A Ghost Is Born; Velvet Revolver's Contraband; and Avril Lavigne's Under My Skin.

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