It used to be the case as recently as a few years ago that record sales in the hundreds of thousands - anywhere from a few hundred thousand to upwards of a million copies sold - was considered a good first week. Obviously those days are long gone.

T.I.'s long since forgotten King hit that mark earlier this year (then fell off precipitously), but that's been about it. Southern rappers like Young Dro and Rick Rawls at least managed to crack the six digit mark, but artists like the Roots and Method Man haven't been nearly as fortunate.

In an age when rap albums are selling as if they've been pre-dipped in chode sweat (no Lance Bass), and when it's becoming relatively common to not have a single rap album in the top 10 of Billboard's top 200, does 60,000 copies sold the first week out now constitute a success?

I suppose first week sales of, say, 62,000 could be viewed as a success in the sense that, hey, that's at least 1,000 more copies than the Roots could manage. But somehow I find it hard to imagine these corporations' shareholders being swayed by that kind of logic.

On a long enough timeline (say, a million years), such an album might eventually go platinum. But realistically, it'll probably struggle just to crack the six digit mark. At the end of the day, that's just not very much money, especially once you factor in whatever it costs to promote an album.

In case you haven't heard, the first week numbers for Lupe Fiasco's Food and Liquor are in. Email spam operation Hits Daily Double is reporting that it debuted at No. 8, with 85,000 copies sold, but Billboard, MTV and XXL are all reporting that it actually debuted at number 12, selling 58,000 copies.

27,000 copies seems like quite a discrepancy, even by Hits Daily Double standards, though neither figure strikes me as particularly impressive anyway. Fiasco himself has decided to roll with the 85,000 figure and has taken to congratulating himself on the message boards over at, of course, okayplayer.

phew!...85,000!!!...we'll im happy...God Is Great!!!...thanx for the love OKP...finally put out an album...1 down...2 more to go...then its bye bye hip-hop well at least as a rapper...

God is great indeed.

At this rate though, he may end up having to check those retirement plans.