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The album, which features collaborations with his mentor, as well as Trey Songz, Drake and Missy Elliott, has surpassed even label expectations with prospects of a sales total approaching 225-250k its first week.

IT’S A COLE WORLD

Jay-Z Protégé Rapper’s Debut Album to Bow at #1 with 225-250k Possible, blink-182, Wilco, Chikenfoot, Switchfoot Next
Meet Jermaine Lamarr Cole, hip-hop’s newest superstar.

The German-born rapper J. Cole, who grew up in Fayetteville, NC, then went to school on a scholarship to St. John’s in Queens before getting discovered by Jay-Z, who made him the first signing to his Roc Nation label through Columbia, debuts at #1 with Cole World: The Sideline Story.

The album, which features collaborations with his mentor, as well as Trey Songz, Drake and Missy Elliott, has surpassed even label expectations with prospects of a sales total approaching 225-250k its first week. Cole had steadily built a following with a trio of well-received mixtapes, including last year’s Friday Night Lights.

Cole just finished a stint as the opening act on the just-concluded Rihanna Loud tour, where rumors of a steamy romance and sex tape have filled the Internet blogosphere, though it’s being roundly denied. She appears in the video for the album’s second single, “Can‘t Get Enough,” shot in her native Barbados with Cole and Trey Songz after the tour ended.

This is the second consecutive week Columbia Records has exceeded sales expectations on a release, after Tony Bennett's Duets II topped the album charts last Tuesday.

Veteran Interscope Orange County punk-rockers Blink-182’s Neighborhoods, their sixth overall, and first in more than eight years, since 2003’s self-titled effort, should debut with between 130-150k, pretty good for a band that’s been away that long.

dbpm/Anti- recording artists Wilco return with their first-ever self-release, the highly touted The Whole Love, on track for 70-75k.

eOne supergroup Chickenfoot—the all-star collab featuring Sammy Hagar, Joe Satriani, Michael Anthony and Chili Pepper drummer Chad Smith—are back with their strangely named second album Chickenfoot III, which Hagar explains is his way of avoiding the sophomore jinx. First-week estimates see a total from 50-60k

On the other hand, Atlantic veteran San Diego spiritual rockers Switchfoot’s Vice Verses, their eighth studio album in a career that began in 1997, is on track for 45-50k

Reprise young Atlanta metallurgists Mastodon’s fifth studio album, The Hunter, is next up with estimates of 35-40k in first-week sales.

Geffen’s deluxe Nirvana Nevermind reissue, timed to coincide with the album’s 20th anniversary, should do between 24-27k.

Roadrunner veteran heavy rockers Machine Head, the Oakland metal heads who released their first album in 1994, see their latest, Unto the Locust, debut with 18-21k in sales.

Verve’s Gloria Estefan album, Miss Little Havana, featuring her collaboration with Pharrell Williams, her first English language album since 2003’s Unwrapped, will bow as a Target exclusive with 17-20k.

Capitol/EMI Music reissues all 14 Pink Floyd albums this week, with perennial best-seller Dark Side of the Moon leading the way with 14-17k.

Album sales were down 5% vs. last week, up 5% vs. same week last year and up 3% year to date. Track sales were down 1% vs. last week, up 8% vs. same week last year and up 11% year to date. TEA (Track Equivalent Album) sales are down 4% vs. last week, up 6% vs. same week last year and up 5% year to date.

L’shana tovah, y’all.

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