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The Game wins rap battle on chart

L.A. rapper's 'The R.E.D. Album' tops Jay-Z and Kanye

In a faceoff of rap stars, the Game’s “The R.E.D. Album” took the crown from Jay-Z and Kanye West’s reigning “Watch the Throne” on the U.S. album chart last week.

L.A. rapper’s Geffen album bowed at the top with first-week sales of 98,000, according to Nielsen SoundScan figures for the week ended Aug. 28. It is his third No. 1 collection. Bow for “R.E.D.” is a far cry from the 239,000 copies shifted out of the box by the Game’s last release, 2008’s “LAX,” which entered at No. 2.

After two weeks at No. 1, Jay-Z and West’s Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam/Roc Nation title slipped to No. 2 with 94,000 shifted (off 47%).

Rap kingpins will likely have to clear out of the way in the coming week when Lil Wayne’s “Tha Carter IV” makes its debut. Set appears destined to arrive with a score in excess of 800,000 units — big enough to outgun the three-week “Watch the Throne” total of 707,000.

Wayne’s “Tha Carter III” entered with sales of more than 1 million in 2008. Last year’s atypically rock-styled “I Am Not a Human Being” opened with a relatively tepid 110,000.

Adele’s “21” (Columbia) slipped to No. 3 with an 82,000-unit week but shows continuing sales consistency, actually gaining 3%.

Barbra Streisand arrived at No. 4 with “What Matters Most.” Recital of songs by Streisand’s friends and regular tunesmiths Alan and Marilyn Bergman racked up 68,000 units.

Week’s other debuts were ascendant country star Miranda Lambert’s distaff trio Pistol Annies, whose “Hell on Heels” (Columbia Nashville) logged on at No. 5 with 44,000 sold, and the covers set “Muppets: The Green Album” (Disney), good for No. 8 with 30,000 tracked. Latter collection features such rock acts as OK Go, Weezer, the Fray and Airborne Toxic Event.

Other top 10 entries included the “Now 39” compilation (No. 6, 44,000 sold, down 31%) and three country sets: Luke Bryan’s “Tailgates and Tanlines” (No. 7, 35,000, down 34%), Jason Aldean’s “My Kinda Party” (No. 9, 29,000, off 22%) and Eric Church’s “Chief” (No. 10, 24,000, down 23%).

“I’m With You,” funk-rocking Red Hot Chili Peppers’ first new album in five years, is the coming week’s other top chart candidate.

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