There's been a rap stranglehold on the top of the charts of late. After Eminem's The Eminem Show spent six weeks at Number One, it was knocked off by Nelly's Nellville last week. Nellyville's Week Two figure -- 447,000 copies sold, according to SoundScan -- was good enough to easily push the album past 1 million mark in two weeks of sale and lock up a second trip to the top spot.
The Eminem Show is still going strong, moving 263,000 copies in its seventh week of release. And a pair of newcomers bounced into the Top Five. Platinum-producing producer, Irv Gotti's Irv Gotti Presents the Inc. sold 193,000 copies for a Number Three draw, and Aerosmith's two-CD compilation, O Yeah! Ultimate Greatest Hits sold a chunky 137,000 copies, no small feat considering that the band's compilations (including a pair of box sets and greatest hits packages, both live and not) nearly outnumber their studio recordings.
There were a number of other solid first-week scores. The Bow Wow-centric Like Mike soundtrack sold 44,000 copies for a Number Eighteen bow (wow). Oasis' Heathen Chemistry -- like releases by Gorillaz, Travis, Coldplay, etc. etc. etc. -- proved that there are exactly 38,000 hard-core Britpop fans in the U.S.
Next week Nelly will face competition for the top spot from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, whose By the Way will make its chart debut. The Counting Crows' Hard Candy will also be vying for a Top Ten slot.
This week's Top Ten: Nelly's Nellyville; Eminem's The Eminem Show; Irv Gotti's Irv Gotti Presents the Inc.; Aerosmith's O Yeah! Ultimate Greatest Hits; Avril Lavigne's Let Go; Ashanti's Ashanti; Korn's Untouchables; N.O.R.E.'s God's Favorite; Pink's Missundaztood; and Totally Hits 2.