Twista Crashes Onto the Chart

Chicago rapper unseats OutKast

The grassroots success of his 1997 album Adrenaline Rush paired with numerous recent guest appearances helped make Twista one of the most buzzed-about rappers under the radar. But his new release, Kamikaze, ended that stealth this week, with explosive sales representative of its title. The record sold 312,000 copies, according to SoundScan, to easily debut Number One, breaking a month of weak-selling chart-toppers.

Kamikaze easily ousted OutKast's Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, which sold 85,000 copies (only down 1,000 from last week) at Number Two. Sheryl Crow's The Very Best of Sheryl Crow (80,000), Evanescence's Fallen (74,000) and Ruben Studdard's Soulful (70,000) rounded out the Top Five.

Overall sales in the Top 200 were up from 3.4 million on last week's chart to 3.8 million, but take Kamikaze out of the equation and the two charts are virtually identical. A few compilations represented the only other Top Fifty debuts: the dance-minded Fired Up! (Number Fourteen, 50,000 copies sold) and the self-explanatory Wow Gospel 2004 (Number Twenty-seven, 32,000) and Disneymania 2 (Number Twenty-nine, 31,000). To find another non-compilation new release, one has to scan to Number Sixty-one for Air's Talkie Walkie, which sold 19,000 copies. Also notable was the Cure's four-CD box set Join the Dots: B Sides and Rarities, which sold 12,000 copies at Number 106 despite its $50 price tag.

Next week could be 2004's first good fight for Number One. Twista should still work up low six-figure sales with Kamikaze, which could see some competition from Incubus, David Banner and Five for Fighting, who released new albums this week.

This week's Top Ten: Twista's Kamikaze; OutKast's Speakerboxxx/The Love Below; Sheryl Crow's The Very Best of Sheryl Crow; Evanescence's Fallen; Ruben Studdard's Soulful; Britney Spears' In the Zone; Toby Keith's Shock N Y'all; 2004 Grammy Nominees; Chingy's Jackpot; and Now That's What I Call Music! 14.