That theoretical Rick Ross-Eminem rap battle has yet to materialize, and I wouldn’t hold your breath, either. Big boss Ross did, however, face off this past week against someone who’s incessantly compared to Eminem: Asher Roth, whose debut album happened to drop on the same day as Ross’ Deeper Than Rap. The more established artist won the day handily, topping the Billboard 200 for the third time in his career with 158,000 copies sold according to Nielsen SoundScan; Roth’s Asleep in the Bread Aisle came in at No. 5 with 62,000 units moved. Though that’s a respectable opening number for a newbie with one real hit to his name, it doesn’t exactly validate the whole “second coming of Eminem” mythology that’s surrounded Roth, fairly or not.
Depeche Mode squeaked between the two rappers, bowing at No. 3 with a healthy 80,000 copies sold of their twelfth studio album, Sounds of the Universe. Italian goth-rockers Lacuna Coil landed at No. 16 after selling 21,000 copies of their Shallow Life. And that was it for Top 20 debuts this week. One other interesting number: Jadakiss’ The Last Kiss is still, just barely, in the Top 10 in its third week. That album is far from his best work, but the N.Y. rap head in me is pleased to see Jada hanging in there. Any chart results this week that you’re loving or hating?