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JA RULES NEXT WEEK’S CHARTS

"Rule 3:36" Will Debut #1 With 200k+, Orgy, Wallflowers, E-40 Flirt With 100k

Murder Inc./IDJ rapper Ja Rule will hit the charts with a vengeance next week, based on first-day sales reports from national retailers. According to reports from Best Buy and Wherehouse, among others (see hitsdailydouble.com "Sales"), "Rule 3:36" will end Radiohead's one-week reign at the top, with more than 200k in sales.

Said Best Buy's Kevin Engler: "It's another big debut for Def Jam, which continues their excellence in marketing, promotion and radio. In just about every way, they seem to set up records better than anyone else. Ja has turned in an extremely strong second album and should easily debut #1 nationally, selling well over 200,000 units."

The week's other top releases include Elementree/Reprise glam-rockers Orgy's "Vapor Transmissions" and Interscope scions the Wallflowers' "Breach," both of which will be solid contenders for a Top 10 bow, with the former looking north of 100k and the latter slightly south. Also, rappers E-40 (Sick Wit It/Jive) and M.O.P. (Loud) are showing strength on the West and East Coasts, respectively.

Said Wherehouse Pop buyer Bob Bell: "We had good first days on both Orgy and Wallflowers. The strong numbers on the Orgy record are going to surprise some people. The Wallflowers is also off to a good start. If it's anything like their last, it will sell well over a long period of time. By the way, ya know anybody that can get me a pair of Radiohead tickets?"

Ja Rule, a rapper from Irv Gotti's Murder Inc. imprint (see Gotti interview at hitsdailydouble.com), broke through with his June '99 album, "Venni Vetti Vecci," which sold 180k its first week out on its way to 1.3m OTC. The new album is being boosted by strong Crossover airplay for the first single, "Between Me And You."

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