After warding off hot shot releases by Korn and Papa Roach, Eminem's The Eminem Show finally found a worthy competitor. Nelly's Nellyville knocked Mr. Mathers off the top of the charts in a big way, selling 714,000 copies in its first week, according to SoundScan, and giving the St. Louis rapper the year's second highest single-week tally, falling only behind Eminem's 1.2 million second week of sales. And for further proof that he's joined the big leagues, Nelly's total nearly tripled the first-week sales of his first record, Country Grammar, giving him two Number One debuts in two tries. Batter up, indeed.
And with a pair of top-notch sluggers in the middle of the order, the rest of the lineup looked better and boasted a flurry of new material. Rapper Noreaga's solo project, N.O.R.E.'s God's Favorite, jumped in at Number Three with a healthy 119,000 copies sold, Dr. Dre protege Truth Hurts put her Truthfully Speaking at Number Five with sales of 89,000. Will Smith might not have jiggied his way to the top, but his Born to Reign still sold 60,000 copies for a Number Thirteen debut. Still, when the Men in Black II numbers come in next week, he may choose to stick with his bread-maker, rather than his first career.
Avril Lavigne's Let Go continues to climb, moving up to Number Four behind a 25,000 copy sales increase. Ashanti's Ashanti and Pink's Missundaztood also had smaller sales spikes, up to 86,000 and 66,000, respectively. The week's best improvement went to the Lilo and Stitch soundtrack, which over the past three weeks has climbed from Number Fifty-seven to Number Eleven, with sales of 66,000 last week.
This week's Top Ten: Nelly's Nellyville; Eminem's The Eminem Show; N.O.R.E.'s God's Favorite; Avril Lavigne's Let Go; Truth Hurts' Truthfully Speaking; Ashanti's Ashanti; Korn's Untouchables; Papa Roach's Lovehatetragedy; Totally Hits 2; and Pink's Missundaztood.