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Last week was a big one for the hip-hop hype machine, with the long-awaited debut album from Kid Cudi as well as an EP from Drake hitting stores. Turns out neither one of them sold quite as well as their elder Jay-Z, who moved a hefty 298,000 additional units of his week-old The Blueprint 3, according to Nielsen SoundScan, securing a second week at No. 1 on the Billboard 200.

Much of the movement elsewhere on this week’s chart resulted from choice TV appearances. Whitney Houston’s two-part interview with Oprah Winfrey helped boost flagging returns for her album I Look to You, propelling her back up to No. 2 with 156,000 in new sales. The MTV Video Music Awards, meanwhile, reaped rewards throughout the week for several artists who performed during the Sept. 13 broadcast. Jay-Z’s VMAs turn (as well as his Jay Leno performance) no doubt helped him stay at No. 1. Muse debuted at No. 3 with 128,000 copies sold of The Resistance. Taylor Swift hopped up two spots to No. 8 with 46,000 sold, a 37 percent increase on the previous week. Lady Gaga did even better, vaulting from No. 23 to No. 12 with 33,000 sold, a 76 percent improvement. And Kanye West? Well, his 808s and Heartbreak, which came out around the same time as Swift’s Fearless, hadn’t sold enough copies to appear on the Billboard 200 last week, and the VMAs did not change that situation this week.

Getting back to this week’s slate of chart debuts, Kid Cudi made it to No. 4 with 104,000 copies sold of Man on the Moon: The End of Day — not bad. Drake’s So Far Gone came in at No. 6 with 73,000, a pretty great number for a seven-track EP drawn mostly from an old mixtape. No. 7 went to Lil Boosie, a gruff Louisiana talent who sold 49,000 copies of the hilariously titled Superbad: The Return of Boosie Bad Azz. Megadeth’s latest metal opus, Endgame, took No. 9 with 45,000. Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits sold 23,000 copies of Get Lucky, his latest solo album, for a No. 17 finish. Jonas Brothers buddies Honor Society sold 22,000 copies of their debut, Fashionably Late, landing at No. 18.

What do you think of this week’s chart performances? Surprised by how high or low anyone placed? Did you expect the VMAs brouhaha to have more or less of an impact on retail sales than this? Weigh in below.

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