BACKSTREET, BEATLES INTO THE HOME STRETCH

Rage Will Debut Top 5, With Xzibit and Snoop Dog The Last of the Biggies
"Black & Blue" should continue bringing in the green until the Fat Man slings.

The Backstreet Boys' new album—which has sold almost 2.3 million copies its first two weeks out—will fight it out for 4Q honors with the Beatles' "1." The Fab Four narrowed the gap this week to around 80k—with votes from Boca and Delray Beach yet to be counted—and could just flip-flop with the Fab Five before we start paying homage to Stanley Kubrick's "2001."

Based on one-day sales, Rage Against The Machine's covers album, "Renegades" (Epic) will move in the neighborhood of 150-200k, which would land it right around the Top Five. Others looking to move over 100k include Roc-A-Fella/IDJ's Memphis Bleek, (125-150k), Loud's Funkmaster Flex (100-120k) and MCA's K-Ci & JoJo (100-120k).

With the year coming to a close, only two more albums have a chance at busting through the Backstreet/Beatles hegemony: Loud's Xzibit, which hits Dec. 12, and Snoop Dogg's highly touted new No Limit/Priority effort, "Tha Last Meal," with a Dec. 19 street date.

We promise that this will be the last time we use the word "hegemony" in 2000. Thank you.

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