Fabolous puts out pretty much the same exact album every couple of years. Hey, it’s a pretty good album — why tamper with success? The 99,000 fans who, according to Nielsen SoundScan, bought this year’s model, Loso’s Way, represent a bit of a decline from the 150,000-ish base that’s turned out for the Brooklyn punchline master’s four previous releases in their respective first weeks. I doubt Fab cares too much about that, though: This being a slow week, 99,000 was still enough to win him his first No. 1 debut on the Billboard 200.

Here’s where I note that, yet again, Michael Jackson’s Number Ones was the actual top-selling album in the country this past week, with another 114,000 units shifted, but it didn’t count for the flagship Billboard 200 chart because it’s too old. It’s getting to the point where it’s more surprising when MJ doesn’t outsell the Billboard 200’s No. 1 — which is funny, since up until the week of Jackson’s death a catalog album had never accomplished that feat in Billboard history. I hate to keep harping on this point every Wednesday, but the fact is that Michael Jackson’s greatest hits continue to show the kind of chart legs that precious few new releases can muster these days. In fact, Number Ones has now sold 1.37 million copies in 2009 — more than any other album this year save Taylor Swift’s Fearless, which stands at about 1.5 million. And so the asterisks march on.

Returning to the Billboard 200, the only other top-20 debut this week came from Ashley Tisdale, whose Guilty Pleasure sold only 25,000 copies, less than half of the 64,000 her debut notched two years ago. No one ever said life after High School would be easy, did they?

What do you think of this week’s chart numbers? The comments section awaits below.

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