It looks like T.I. is making a pretty big Paper Trail as his new album continues to look like it will debut at number one on the charts next week. According to Billboard at the close of business on Thursday, T.I. had already sold 357,000 copies of his new album Paper Trail. The nine merchants reporting these numbers (Trans World Entertainment, Best Buy, Circuit City, iTunes, Starbucks, Borders, Target, Anderson Merchandisers and Handleman Co.) account for about 80% of album sales in the U.S.
The 357,000 figure is the 3rd largest Friday chart sum of the year, behind Lil Wayne's Tha Carter III (630,000) and Cold Play's "Viva La Vida" (459,000). Wayne and Coldplay went on to sell a million and 721,000 copies, respectively. If T.I. does hit number 1, it will mark TIP's third straight chart topping album after his "King" in 2006 (522,000 first week sales) and "T.I. vs TIP" in 2007 (468,000 first week sales).