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Even with two fewer sales days, the Shady/Aftermath/ Interscope album is expected to easily top next week’s sales chart, though the initial estimates of 200-250k may be a bit steep for the shortened release window.
50 CENT STARTS TO GET RICH AS SALES GO BEYOND EXPECTATIONS
Shady/Aftermath/Interscope Rapper’s Album Hits the Streets Five Days Early As Sales Look to Soar Above 500K
All hail the new king.

The eagerly anticipated Shady/Aftermath/Interscope 50 Cent album, Get Rich or Die Tryin', hit retail stores today, and in some cases, yesterday, and is flying out of the stores, with predictions for its first-week total soaring over 500k, and possibly going as high as 650k.

"The bottom of the total is 500k," said UMVD boss Jim Urie. "But it could go even higher. In fact, I've had to use my fingers and toes to count 'em all."

The controversial rapper’s major label bow was made available five days before its scheduled Feb.11 release date due to rampant Internet piracy, according to Interscope Geffen A&M marketing guru and TV pitchman Steve Berman, who gushed, "50 Cent has exeeded our wildest expectations. It's a tribute to the vision of Eminem and Dr. Dre and the artistry of 50 Cent."

It is rare that an album goes on sale on a day other than Tuesday, though it was done last Memorial Day weekend, when Eminem’s The Eminem Show went on sale on Sunday instead of the following Tuesday. Last December, Columbia moved the release date of its Nas album up several days as well.

Even with two fewer sales days, the Shady/Aftermath/Interscope album will easily top next week’s sales chart.

The Jamaica, Queens-born rapper, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, ironically made his reputation by selling bootleg mix tapes on the street before inking a reported million-dollar deal with Eminem and Dr. Dre last spring.

The hip-hop star has been embroiled in controversy, harboring feuds with, among others, Murder Inc.’s Irv Gotti, fellow rapper Ja Rule and Source magazine. He’s been shot a total of nine times and, last New Year’s Eve, was arrested for gun possession.

Tracks from the album have been available online since Tuesday for 99 cents apiece at Pressplay and Liquid Audio.

50’s indie album, Guess Who’s Back?, on Full Clip Records, debuted on the HITS’ Album chart at #49 this week, with 17k in sales.

A HOLLY, JOLLY
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