D12, Eminem's original Detroit rap crew, opened at number one with its debut release, Devil's Night. The disc was produced by Eminem and prominently features the rhymes of the controversial hip-hopster.
D12 (short for the Dirty Dozen) is the first group on Eminem's Interscope-distributed Shady Records. "We made a pact years ago," says Eminem. "Whichever one of us gets signed comes back for the rest."
For the week ending Sunday, Devil's Night sold 371,000 copies, according to SoundScan. The numbers were significantly lower than the 500,000 million retailers predicted and the 1.76 million first week enjoyed by Eminem's last solo effort, The Marshall Mathers LP. The sales may have been hurt by MTV banning the video for D12's first single, "Purple Pills."
The ban forced the group to retitle and recut the video and lyrics to be more TV- and radio-friendly. Despite the retooling, the G-rated "Purple Hills" video will still be relegated to after-hours viewing only on MTV.
Although their own headlining tour won't kick off until the fall, the members of D12 hope to hype their disc while making the rounds this summer on the Vans Warped Tour.
A fellow Warped Tour act and last week's number one, Blink-182, tumbled two spots to number three, as Take Off Your Pants & Jacket sold 165,000. Staind's Break the Cycle, the top-selling disc two weeks ago, remained at number two, selling 189,000.
Meanwhile, four other discs debuted in the top 10.
In the R&B battle between new and old, Luther Vandross' eponymous album bested Sisqó's Return of Dragon by 12,000 copies, landing at numbers six and seven respectively. For Vandross, whose debut album topped the charts 20 years ago, his latest scored him his best ever first-week sales.
The oft-troubled Stone Temple Pilots made a number nine bow selling 98,000 copies of Shangri-La Dee Da. Should frontman Scott Weiland stay out of trouble (knock on wood), STP plans to join Staind and Linkin Park on this fall's third installment of the Korn-founded Family Values Tour. Because of Weiland's well-documented run-ins with the law, the veteran alt-rockers haven't been able to take to the road to support their recent releases.
The week's final top 10 bow belongs to Omaha's own 311, whose From Chaos sold 82,000 copies to squeak into the 10 spot.
Holdovers made up the rest of the list: Destiny's Child's Survivor at four, the Moulin Rouge soundtrack at five and the St. Lunatics' Free City at eight.
Just missing out was The Fast and the Furious soundtrack. Fueled by the movie's winning run at the box office, the disc jumped seven spots to number 11 and could crack the top 10 next week.
In other new-release action, actor, singer and Brandy-sibling Ray J dropped in at 21 with This Ain't a Game; Mandy Moore landed at 35 with her new eponymous album; Damon Albarn was at 39 with his side project Gorillaz's Gorillaz; the soundtrack to John Singleton's Baby Boy enterted at 47; Georgia's Widespread Panic opened at 57 with Don't Tell the Band; alternative axe hero Dave Navarro (Jane's Addiction, Red Hot Chili Peppers) came in at 61 with Trust No One; SoCal punk faves Pennywise opened at 67 with Land of the Free?; and the Dr. Dolittle 2 soundtrack materialized at 76.
Look for more major debuts next week, including the new album by Jagged Edge, Jagged Little Thrill.