50 Cent's Curtis, however, is expected to make a strong debut as well, selling in the range of 600,000 copies, placing it in the No. 2 spot.
HITS gauges the sales figures by polling early album sales at key retailers.
While 50 proclaimed that he would retire if he was outsold by Kanye, he appears to have had a change of plans. He reportedly told New York radio personality Angie Martinez Wednesday that if he comes in second, he would respond to Kanye's label Def Jam by releasing a new album on the same day as each of their big releases.
"Hypothetically, if I came in under Kanye West, I would release a new album every time Def Jam had a priority," reports Allhiphop.com. "I would release a record verses every one of their top priorities."
50 expressed disappointment with how his label, Interscope, set up the promotion for the album. "It was the label," 50 Cent said. "Their dropping the ball all over the place. I'll release my next album and then I'm a free agent."
On the Yahoo! Buzz chart, searches for Kanye surpassed those for 50 on Wednesday for the first time since their album sales competition began. On Tuesday, Kanye was the No. 14 search, while 50 Cent ranked at No. 11. On Wednesday, Kanye jumped up to the No. 4 position, with 50 one slot behind at No. 5.