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As the crunching of numbers continues, it looks like Chapter II (Murder Inc./IDJ) will roll in somewhere around 130k for the week.

WEAK IN PREVIEW:
ASHANTI VS. BEYONCE

Murder Inc. Songbird Tries to Hold #1 for Second Consecutive Week
As the figures continue to come in,  it looks like Ashanti will be battling it out with Beyonce for the #1 position on this week’s Top 50 Albums chart.

All due respect to the lovely and talented Ashanti, of course, but there just ain’t a thing out there to challenge her this week, so two weeks at #1 it may be. As the crunching of numbers continues, it looks like Chapter II (Murder Inc./IDJ) will roll in somewhere around 130k for the week.

Meanwhile, Beyonce's Dangerously In Love continues to hold strong, and is a true contender for the top spot.

The top debuts on the chart will be Thalia’s eponymous English-language debut (Virgin), and Trace AdkinsGreatest Hits Collection Vol. 1 (Capitol), each of which should come in at around 50k.

Meanwhile, with Chingy’s Jackpot (Priority/Capitol) and the Bad Boys II soundtrack (Universal) leading a pack o’ albums hitting the streets tomorrow, look for a battle to brew between those two titles at the top of next week’s chart. Both will benefit from retail rebate programs, and early-early predictions/forecasts/blind guesses have them selling in or around the 125k-150k zone. We’d equivocate more, but we think you get the idea.

Now where’d we put the end of this story? Oh yeah—it’s right thurr.

AJR ORBITS MERCURY
The Met brothers have a new label home. (5/18a)
TOP 20: KENDRICK
LEADS THE WAY
Another record-breaking debut week. (5/18a)
GREEN AS EVER
A think piece—cool! (5/18a)
LIVE FROM NEW YORK, IT'S HARRY ON APPLE
Won't be long now. (5/18a)
AN OPEN LETTER TO
KEVIN WEATHERLY
We can't wait to see what he's got up his sleeve. (5/18a)
SUPERSTAR RELEASES
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MUSIC BIZ SPECIAL
It's Comic-Con for numbers geeks.
THE BIG CHEESE
Theories of evolution from 30,000 feet.
THE NEXT GIANT DEAL
A&R in overdrive.
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