The Chart

'Grand' Entrance

No one wanted to draw the straw to tell DMX his album title was a misnomer, so 312,000 people bought ''Grand Champ,'' ensuring its chart-topping success. But a few fans may have forgotten the X-Man during his two-year layoff, since his last album debuted with an even grander 440,000. Anyhow, music's fall fire sale is under way in earnest, with new entries claiming nearly half the top 15 slots, including A Perfect Circle (231,000 units), Erykah Badu (143,000), Thursday (74,000), Sheek Louch (65,000), Bubba Sparxxx (64,000), and Ying Yang Twins (62,000).

POP ALBUMS

LAST WEEKS WEEK ON CHART

1 -- DMX Grand Champ, Ruff Ryders/Def Jam 1 2 -- A PERFECT CIRCLE Thirteenth Step, Virgin 1 3 -- ERYKAH BADU Worldwide Underground, Motown 1 4 1 JOHN MAYER Heavier Things, Aware/Columbia 2 5 4 HILARY DUFF Metamorphosis, Buena Vista 4 6 5 BEYONCE Dangerously in Love, Columbia 13 7 -- THURSDAY War All the Time, Island 1 8 2 ALAN JACKSON Greatest Hits Volume II..., Arista Nashville 6 9 -- SHEEK LOUCH Walk Witt Me, D-Block/Universal 1 10 -- BUBBA SPARXXX Deliverance, Beatclub/Interscope 1 11 -- YING YANG TWINS Me & My Brother, TVT 1 12 9 CHINGY Jackpot, Disturbing Tha Peace/Capitol 10 13 3 SEAL Seal IV, Warner Bros. 2 14 7 EVANESCENCE Fallen, Wind-up 29 15 8 MARY J. BLIGE love & life, Geffen 4

(C) 2003 VNU BUSINESS MEDIA, INC./NIELSEN SOUNDSCAN. USED WITH PERMISSION FROM BILLBOARD, SEPT. 26, 2003.

In stores October 7

LUDACRIS Chicken-N-Beer (Def Jam South) The Hotlanta rapper's follow-up to Word of Mouf features the Snoop Dogg duet ''Who Let These Hoes in My Room?'' We're pretty sure he's not talking about gardening.

CASSANDRA WILSON Glamoured (Blue Note) Grammy-winning jazz singer Wilson presents originals as well as covers, including Bob Dylan's ''Lay Lady Lay.''

LIVING COLOUR CollideOscope (Sanctuary) The '80s funk-rock heroes are back as well as ''Back in Black'' -- the AC/DC classic gets Colourized on the band's first all-new CD since 1993's Stain.

BELLE & SEBASTIAN Dear Catastrophe Waitress (Rough Trade) Wherein the Scottish twee huggers meet t.A.T.u. and Frankie Goes to Hollywood producer Trevor Horn. Will fans be saying ''Check, please''?

IN THE STUDIO

THE ROOTS, in Philadelphia, where on Sept. 16 they kicked off a 20-day jam session with such guests as Jill Scott and Bilal, which will serve as the foundation of their ninth album, The Tipping Point, expected in April.

ANGIE STONE is in New York City, collaborating with Floetry, Missy Elliott, Erykah Badu, and others on 8 Ball, the follow-up to 2001's sublime Mahogany Soul. The first single, ''Your Love Is Gangsta,'' with rapper (and fiance) THC, comes out in October, and the album hits early next year.

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