I don't think I've done one of these stories where I mock a rapper for debuting low on the Billboard charts since the summer of '06 (back then, it was shocking to see so many prominent rappers selling 60,000 copies their first week out), but you know something's gone horribly wrong with the world when more people would rather listen to Bow Wow and the motherfucking Birdman than the Wu-Tang Clan.

Yep, the number's for last week - probably the last really big week for these 4th Quarter rap albums, unless I'm forgetting something - are in, and the shit's downright depressing. The week's highest-selling hip-hop-related debut was Bow Wow and Omarion's Face Off, which sold about 107,000 copies - which wasn't quite enough to crack the top 10. Actually, I suppose that could be viewed as good news, in the sense that those guys' careers are obviously in decline. I mean, if that's the best the two of them together could do - during the big holiday shopping season, even.

[In this amusing video, Bow Wow, who's been on a mission lately to prove that he's gully, probably because he just realized he's teh ghey, throws a bitch fit re: his lack of respect from the industry. Here's hoping he develops a nasty drug habit and ends up like that guy from Hi-Five.]

And I suppose it could also be viewed as good news that the Wu-Tang Clan was not only beaten by Bow Wow and Omarion, but also by Birdman, whom I didn't even know had an album coming out, whose album 5 * Stunna debuted at #18 having sold about 85,000 copies, in the sense that it proves once and for all that 8 Diagrams is a fucking awful shit sandwich that hardly anyone likes and never should have happened. Never mind that Pitchfork has seen fit to include in on their Top 50 Albums of 2007, along with a bunch of other high profile major label garbage. (Seriously, I thought that was an independent music site?)

8 Diagrams debuted way down at #25, having sold about 68,000 copies. Which is actually way less than I expected. I figured they might sell 100 or 150,000, and I'd have to deal with mofos who were all like, "Well that's not that bad, given today's sales climate. It's still at least better than recent albums by the likes of Ghostface Killah and Wyclef." But no. You'd have to think that last week was about as bad, if not worse, than any other high profile hip-hop flop this year, especially when you consider the number of kids who still show up to Wu-Tang shows to this day rocking 10 year-old Wu-Wear shirts. Clearly, those kids heard how much of a travesty 8 Diagrams is and stayed home in droves last week.

Speaking of which, I can't imagine it will help matters at all, at least as far as this album is concerned, that the Wu has gone out on tour sans the RZA and isn't performing any material from 8 Diagrams. At all. Supposedly, the RZA couldn't make the tour, because he had his own solo tour to do; but I think it's pretty obvious he just plain wasn't welcome. It sounds like it might be the show to catch though. I read about it on the blog Fake Shore Drive, run by my boy AB, the guy who introduced me to C-Rayz Walz that time. Nullus! Pretty much every Wu affiliate you can think of besides the RZA was there, and who wants to hear anything from 8 Diagrams anyway? I only wish this tour was coming to St. Louis.