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Ludacris keeps Atlanta hip-hop in No. 1 spot

October 16, 2003|Robert Hilburn | Times Staff Writer

Atlanta hip-hop rules the nation's pop album sales chart for the third consecutive week, but it's now Ludacris at No. 1, not OutKast, the duo that led the sales parade for the last two weeks.

Ludacris' "Chicken-N-Beer" sold 430,000 copies last week, easily surpassing the 187,000 registered by the runner-up, OutKast's "Speakerboxxx/The Love Below." The latter's two-disc set, which consists of separate solo albums by the team's Andre 3000 and Big Boi, has now sold 933,000 copies in three weeks, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Both Ludacris and OutKast are based in Atlanta and have contributed to the continuing rise of Southern hip-hop. In reviewing "Chicken-N-Beer" for The Times, Soren Baker praised Ludacris' lighthearted though R-rated approach, calling him one of hip-hop's "most consistently rewarding artists."

The only other album to enter the Top 10 this week also has Southern ties. Elvis Presley's "2nd to None," the follow-up to 2002's "Elvis: 30 #1 Hits" compilation package, finished No. 3 after selling 181,000 copies in its first week in stores.

Clay Aiken, the runner-up in the second "American Idol" TV competition, is expected to enter the chart at No. 1 next week with his debut album.

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