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"It’s nice to see some big records coming out before we hit the dog days of summer."
—Tony Ross, Central South

WHOA NELLY: TWO HIP-HOPPERS HOP INTO TOP 5, AND PRICE IS RIGHT AT #6

Two Top Five Hip-Hop Debuts Plus A #6 R&B Bow Give The Chart An Uptown Vibe
You know, this whole hip-hop thing may just happen after all.

Yes, folks, not one, but two, hip-hop projects debuted in the Top Five of the HITS Top 50 this week, as Universal's Nelly and Atlantic's Lil' Kim bowed at #2 and #4, respectively, behind rap phenomenon Eminen, who held strong at #1. Meanwhile, R&B chanteuse Kelly Price (Def Soul/IDJ) spent her first week in the #6 slot.

"Once again, Urban titles rule the day," said Tony Ross of Central South, who went on to cite the Eagles' ‘In The City' as one of his favorite Urban titles. "Nelly, Lil' Kim and Kelly Price were, by far, the biggest debuts of the week." Other dandy Urban titles cited by Ross included Nick Gilder's "Hot Child In The City."

And if that ain't enough rap for you, Interscope's Ruff Ryders' "Ride or Die Vol. II," which hit the street on Tuesday, promises to make a healthy debut on next week's chart.

"It's nice to see some big records coming out before we hit the dog days of summer," said Ross who added, "Hot town, summer in the city, back of my neck gettin' dirty and gritty."

But it's not just about Urban, kiddies. Look at Columbia's young, sweet and innocently virginal Jessica Simpson. Her album, "Sweet Kisses" (but only on the lips and NO TONGUE!) is exploding, thanks to the hit single, "I Think I'm In Love" (but my pants stay on until I'm damn sure of it!).

The other big mover belongs to DreamWorks' tattooed love boys Papa Roach, who easily cross the six-figure plateau for the week.

"That's cool, because we built this city…we built this city on rock & roll," said Ross, who is living just enough, just enough for the city.

Is it fall yet?

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