So who hates who this week? New York rapper Nas remains at No. 1 on the nation’s album sales chart, with his two-week-old I Am selling 206,000 copies for the week ending April 18, according to SoundScan.| But putting a damper on Nas’ victory lap was the news last week that Puff Daddy, who is featured on Nas’ new single, “Hate Me Now,” allegedly attacked Nas’ manager Steve Stoute. The beat-down, which occurred at Universal Records and sent Stoute to the hospital, reportedly centered on a dispute over the final edit of the “Hate Me Now” video. Regardless, don’t look for Puffy and Nas to be sharing a mic any time soon.
Elsewhere, veteran rocker Tom Petty returns with his Heartbreakers to the Top Ten. The singer’s latest, Echo, debuted at No. 10, selling a solid 81,000 copies. Buddy Bruce Springsteen also returned to the chart, at No. 64, with 18 Tracks, a stripped down version of last year’s boxed-set, Tracks.
Meanwhile, Cher’s comeback wagon continued to gain speed. Her album Believe jumped from No. 12 to No. 5, the highest position yet for the six-month-old release. No doubt VH1’s recent primetime “Behind the Music” profile of Cher helped boost Believe’s sales. (The VH1 sales bounce was particularly evident with Cher’s new greatest hits package, If I Could Turn Back Time, which jumped from No. 114 to 57 last week.) And with the Martin Lawrence/Eddie Murphy comedy Life finally reaching theaters, the R&B soundtrack, out for five weeks already, jumped from No. 20 to No. 12.
From the top, it was I Am, followed by TLC’s Fanmail (selling 164,000); Britney Spears’ … Baby One More Time (1117,000); Shania Twain’s Come on Over (114,000); Cher’s Believe (113,000); Eminem’s The Slim Shady LP (109,000); the soundtrack to The Matrix (92,000); Andrea Bocelli’s Sogno (84,000); the Offspring’s Americana (82,000); and Petty’s Echo.