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"People shouldn’t let the expectation level on the 98 diminish the sales story we’re seeing...We’re thrilled with the numbers we had."
—Vince Szydlowski, Virgin Megastores

MYSTIKAL GETS READY
FOR 4Q RUMBLE

Jive Rapper Edges 98 Degrees, As Shyne and Lil' Bow Wow Make Top 10 Bows
Suddenly, those doggone dog days of summer seem so far away.

One week after magical Madonna gave birth to a 400k+ #1 album chart debut, the embryonic but boffo fourth quarter got a whole lot boffo-er this week, with Jive rapper Mystikal's "Let's Get Ready" packing a monster #1 bow in an incredibly tight finish against those incredibly tight, muscle-bound, corn-fed, crotch-bulging, hunky, strapping beefcake…oh sorry, we got a bit carried away…98 Degrees (Universal).

"It was a very tight race this week between two big debuting artists," said Virgin Megastores' Vince Szydlowski (gesundheit), who used some of those sales receipts to buy himself a vowel.

"People shouldn't let the expectation level on the 98 Degrees diminish the sales story we're seeing," continued Sxuygheyski, referring to the fact that some delusional prognosticators had proclaimed a seven-figure takeoff for the young bucks. "We're thrilled with the numbers we had at Virgin."

Rounding out the Top Five were WB's Madonna and a champagne-bottle-popping, gun-toting #5 debut for Bad Boy's Shyne.

"It was quite possibly the surprise of the week," said Scvhuyrwoski, whose ability to simultaneously use silverware and scratch himself constituted the real surprise of the week.

Other impressive debuts belonged to So So Def/Columbia prodigy Lil' Bow Wow at #8, BNA's Kenny Chesney at #13, Jive's little (as opposed to lil') Aaron Carter at #14 and Atlantic Nashville's John Michael Montgomery at #16.

"And there's even more to come next week!" screamed Schurwokiyski, reaching for this week's Billboard to make sure his bold statement was correct.

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(Adele.)
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