Even with a typical drop of more than 50%, Now 19 should finish at around 200k, a healthy number for the dog days of summer.


Now 19 Should Hold Serve, but Rookie Rapper Young Jeezy Could Threaten
In an attempt to manufacture some drama going into what’s shaping up to be another blah week at retail, we’ll state that a rookie rapper has a chance to debut at #1 on next week’s chart…just not a very good one.

The Capitol-released <I>Now 19</i>, which bowed this week at a reassuring 428k, should be strong enough to hold onto #1 for the second week in a row. Even with a typical drop of more than 50%, the collection should finish just above, or just below, 200k, a healthy number for the dog days of summer.

But a finish on the low end of expectations for <I>Now 19</i>, combined with a better-than-expected showing from Def Jam’s Young Jeezy, could make things interesting, and let’s face it—stranger things have happened. That said, don’t let the possible excitement cause you to cancel your vacation. For the record, Jeez (as we affectionately refer to him) should end the week with a total of 170k-180k.

The week’s X factor is comic Dane Cook, a Comedy Central regular whose debut album, on the cable channel’s ADA-distributed label, is off to a surprising start and could end up at 80k-90k.

Other playas with brandy-new albums include Atlantic’s Jason Mraz, who’s looking at 70k-80k, Arista’s Babyface, who should fall into the 50k-55k range and Atlantic’s Trey Songz, who’s trending toward 40k-45k.

In terms of the big picture, “down” is the operative term again this week. A total of 10.1 million albums were sold on the week, meaning business was down 0.9% (or 94k units) compared to last week, and down 10.5% (or 1.2 million pieces) versus the same week in 2004. The year-to-date deficit continues to inch back toward double digits; it now stands at -7.8%, with the 313.6 million-unit total a hefty 26.6 million less than a year ago at this point.