Playing with his first major-label release, rapper the Game wins the top slot on The Billboard 200 by a landslide this week with his Aftermath/G-Unit/Interscope debut. “The Documentary” sold 587,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan, more than half a million copies ahead of its closest contender.
The Compton, Calif.-born artist’s first single, “How We Do” featuring 50 Cent, dropped hints for a successful album debut as it rose 11-9-6 on Billboard’s Hot 100 in recent weeks. In addition to 50 Cent, the record features appearances by Dr. Dre, Nate Dogg, Kanye West and Just Blaze.
The Game’s first project, “Untold Story” was released just a few months ago on the independent Get Low label. The set debuted at No. 146 on The Billboard 200 with sales of 8,000 copies; it re-enters the chart this week at No. 191 with a to-date total of 82,000.
Sliding sales find the majority of the top 10 titles in continuing decline, the sole exception being Kelly Clarkson’s “Breakaway” (RCA), which remains locked at No. 6 for a second week with 61,000, a 1% gain over the previous week.
After two weeks on top, Green Day’s “American Idiot” (Reprise) falls to No. 2 on a 15% slide to 85,000 units, while Eminem’s “Encore” (Shady/Aftermath/Interscope) drops 2-3 on an 11% drop to 75,000.
Lil Jon & the East Side Boyz’s “Crunk Juice” (TVT) gains one, lodging at No. 4 despite a 10% slip to 63,000. The album trades places with John Legend’s “Get Lifted” (Sony Urban Music/Columbia), which experienced a 15% fall to sales of 62,000 copies.
Usher’s “Confessions” (LaFace/Zomba) moved 52,000, down 7%, and holds steady at No. 7 for a second week. Despite a 6% dip to 52,000, Ludacris’ “Red Light District” (Disturbing Tha Peace/Def Jam South) advances one spot to No. 8.
The 17th installment of “NOW That’s What I Call Music!” (Sony BMG/Universal/EMI/Zomba/Capitol) moves 10-9 with 49,000 units (down 7%), while Destiny’s Child’s “Destiny Fulfilled” jumps one to No. 10 despite an 11% slide to 47,000.
With a 226% boost, Time Life Records’ “I Can Only Imagine: Ultimate Power Anthems of the Christian Faith” is the chart’s greatest sales gainer. The compilation, which features songs by popular Christian acts like MercyMe, Amy Grant and Point Of Grace, ascends 190-49 on the chart.
At 9.6 million units, overall U.S. album sales were down 7% from the same week in 2004. With a 29.8 million unit total, sales for the year are down 16% when compared last year.