Ludacris sold 430,000 copies of his third album, Chicken and Beer, giving the motormouthed rap phenom his first Number One. Ludacris has enjoyed a slow steady success over the past three years capped by Chicken, his first Number One record. Ludacris' independent 2000 release Incognegro was reworked that year as Back for the First Time, which slowly crept into the Top Ten. A year later, Word of Mouf earned him a Number Three debut with first-week sales of 282,000, a figure dwarfed by his latest.
Chicken faced little competition: Fellow Georgia rappers OutKast were knocked out from Number One, falling one slot below with Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, which sold 187,000, pushing the album's cumulative sales to 933,000 in three weeks of release.
The King's reign also came to an end with this week's chart. The new Elvis Presley compilation, 2nd to None sold 181,000 copies, a big drop from the half-million copies that 30 #1 Hits tallied in its first week of sales last year at Number One.
Several other new releases posted solid, if unremarkable, numbers. Sevendust sold 67,000 copies of Seasons at Number Fourteen. And fans of 2Pac proved to be savvy in their buying habits. Posthumous releases by the late rapper typically find their way to Number One, but Nu-Mixx Klazzics, a collection of 2Pac's old material given an unnecessary remix facelift by Death Row Records, piffed at Number Fifteen with sales of 66,000.
Next week's chart promises a new Number One, as American Idol finalist Clay Aiken released his debut album, Measure of a Man this week, as sure a chart-topping bet as any release this year.
This week's Top Ten: Ludacris' Chicken and Beer; OutKast's Speakerboxxx/The Love Below; Elvis Presley's 2nd to None; Dido's Life for Rent; Dave Matthews' Some Devil; Sting's Sacred Love; Bad Boy's Da Band's Too Hot for TV; R. Kelly's The R in R&B Collection, Vol. 1; Hilary Duff's So Yesterday; and Nickelback's The Long Road.