T.I.'s "Paper Trail" (Grand Hustle/Atlantic) is on course to debut at No. 1 on The Billboard 200 next week. The rapper's sixth studio set leads Nielsen SoundScan's Building chart, released today (Oct.

T.I.'s "Paper Trail" (Grand Hustle/Atlantic) is on course to debut at No. 1 on The Billboard 200 next week. The rapper's sixth studio set leads Nielsen SoundScan's Building chart, released today (Oct. 3). Unweighted sales of "Paper Trail" through the close of business yesterday stood at 357,000.

Billboard estimates the nine merchants who report to Nielsen SoundScan's Building chart -- Trans World Entertainment, Best Buy, Circuit City, iTunes, Starbucks, Borders, Target, Anderson Merchandisers and Handleman Co. -- comprise about 80% of all U.S. album sales.

The 357,000 figure is the third-largest Friday Building Chart sum of the year, trailing only Lil Wayne's Cash Money/Universal Motown set "Tha Carter III" (630,000) and Coldplay's Capitol album "Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends" (459,000). Those two albums finished their first full week in stores shifting 1 million and 721,000, respectively.

If "Paper Trail" does hit No. 1, it will be T.I.'s third straight chart topper on The Billboard 200, following "King" in 2006 and "T.I. Vs. T.I.P." in 2007. "King" bowed with 522,000 while "T.I.P." landed with 468,000.

Next week's Billboard 200 will also greet handsome entries from Jennifer Hudson's self-titled debut (Arista) and Robin Thicke's "Something Else" (Star Trak/Interscope), both of which are looking good for top five debuts.

Other albums with a chance for a top 10 entry are Jack's Mannequin's "The Glass Passenger" (Sire/Warner Bros.), James Taylor's "Covers" (StarCon/Hear Music), Kellie Picker's self-titled sophomore album (BNA) and Ben Folds' "Way To Normal" (Epic).

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

Print