The race for the top of the pop chart started yesterday (September 11) when highly anticipated albums by rappers 50 Cent and Kanye West hit stores.
According to early sales reports, Kanye West's Island Def Jam album Graduation is on pace to sell over 750,000 copies the first week in stores, while 50 Cent's Shady/Aftermath/Interscope album Curtis is expected to move around 550,000 units.
West's Graduation is expected to debut at the top of the Billboard Top 200 charts next week, while Curtis will battle for the #2 spot with country music star Kenny Chesney.
Chesney's new album Just Who I Am: Poets and Pirates is expected to move over 500,000 units and the album could possibly push 50's album to the #3 position on the chart next week.
A number of retail outlets have said that West's Graduation is outselling 50 Cent's Curtis by at least 2 to 1.
In related news, West is dominating YouTube's charts.
The rapper's Strong American Schools' ED in '08 education reform Public Service Announcement (PSA) was one of the top 20 most viewed YouTube videos last week, garnering over 130,00 viewers.
50 Cent also tapped YouTube while promoting Curtis.
50, along with Common and Polow Da Don recently named San Francisco rapper Conceit the winner of the YouTube On the Rise rap competition.
Conceit will record a professional single for G-Unit/Interscope Records, a $10,000 Guitar Center Shopping Spree, a Boss BR-1600 Digital Multitrack Recorder and a Roland MV-8800 Production Studio.