T.I.'s Paper Trail Almost First on Billboard 100
T.I.'s "Paper Trail" (Grand Hustle/Atlantic) is on course to début at No. 1 on The Billboard 200 next week. The rapper's sixth studio set leads Nielsen SoundScan's Building chart, released today (Oct. 3). Unweighted sales of "Paper Trail" through the close of business yesterday stood at 357,000.
Billboard estimates the nine merchants who report to Nielsen SoundScan's Building chart -- Trans World Entertainment, Best Buy, Circuit City, iTunes, Starbucks, Borders, Target, Anderson Merchandisers and Handleman Co. -- comprise about 80% of all U.S. album sales.
The 357,000 figure is the third-largest Friday Building Chart sum of the year, trailing only Lil Wayne's Cash Money/Universal Motown set "Tha Carter III" (630,000) and Coldplay's Capitol album "Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends" (459,000). Those two albums finished their first full week in stores shifting 1 million and 721,000, respectively.
If "Paper Trail" does hit No. 1, it will be T.I.'s third straight chart topper on The Billboard 200, following "King" in 2006 and "T.I. Vs. T.I.P." in 2007. "King" bowed with 522,000 while "T.I.P." landed with 468,000.
T.I. - "Whatever You Like" (First Single):
[No. 1] Billboard 100
[No. 1] Hot Digital Songs