Kanye West Blows Up

Hip-hop super-producer nears million in first week with sophomore effort

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Kanye West took Number One this week with his second album, Late Registration, selling an impressive 860,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The latest CD from the hip-hop super-producer (and recent Time cover boy) almost doubled the first-week sales of his debut, 2004's Grammy-winning The College Dropout, which opened at Number Two. In second place this week is G Unit rapper (and ex-convict) Tony Yayo's solo debut, Thoughts of a Predicate Felon, which rode the 50 Cent wave to sell 214,000 copies.

The no-frills Hillbilly Deluxe, the latest from country's biggest-selling duo, Brooks and Dunn, debuted at Number Three (111,000). And at Number Four is the major-label debut of indie darlings Death Cab for Cutie, Plans, which moved 90,000 CDs. This marks a watershed for the Seattle band, whose last effort, Transatlanticism, though a critically acclaimed instant indie classic, got nowhere near the Top Twenty.

Non-stop sellers Mariah Carey and Black Eyed Peas continued to hold strong: Carey's The Emancipation of Mimi dropped two spots to Number Five (86,000) in its fifth month out, and the Peas' Monkey Business also fell two places to Six (84,00), after three months in stores. Following these chart regulars are two hits compilations: The nineteenth installment of the blockbuster series, Now That's What I Call Music! 19, slipped five spots to Number Seven (78,000); while teen queen Hilary Duff's best-of release, Most Wanted, last week's Number One, fell seven places to Number Eight (77,000).

Another big debut this week came from Florida Christian pop group Casting Crowns, whose second studio album, Lifesong, sold 71,000 copies to land at Number Nine. And Jay-Z protegee Rihanna R&B/dancehall debut, Music of the Sun, opened at Number Ten (69,000), on the strength of her single, "Pon De Replay."

Meanwhile, two rock legends debuted in the Top Twenty. With more Cream reunion dates underway, Eric Clapton's fourteenth studio album, Back Home, sold 59,000 copies to take Number Thirteen. And the seventh volume of Bob Dylan's Bootleg Series moved 51,000 CDs to land at Number Sixteen. These tracks double as the soundtrack to Martin Scorsese's upcoming, feature-length Dylan documentary, No Direction Home, which debuts on PBS in two parts on September 26th and 27th and is also set for DVD. This installment of the series features home recordings, demos and alternate studio takes of classic songs by the legendary singer-songwriter.

Next week, expect the chart to be split between hip-hopper Kanye West and rock & roll veterans the Rolling Stones, who make a loud return with their first studio album since 1997's Bridges to Babylon, A Bigger Bang.

This week's Top Ten: Kanye West's Late Registration; Tony Yayo's Thoughts of a Predicate Felon; Brooks and Dunn's Hillbilly Deluxe; Death Cab for Cutie's Plans; Mariah Carey's The Emancipation of Mimi; Black Eyed Peas' Monkey Business; Now That's What I Call Music! 19; Hilary Duff's Most Wanted; Casting Crowns' Lifesong; Rihanna's Music of the Sun.