September 11, 2007, a typical Tuesday CD release day for music fans, but not for hip-hop fans. Two chart topping artists go head to head with new releases. 50 Cent releases Curtis, while Kanye West’s Graduation hits stores the same day.
50 Cent has dropped an ultimatum for the dual release date. 50 Cent said that if he doesn’t outsell Kanye on the September 11 release date he will never sing or produce a song again. We should be so lucky. According to a Sodahead.com poll, however, fans don’t believe 50 Cents threat, or promise, to retire if he doesn’t outsell Kanye West.
50 Cent, also known as Fiddy, releases Curtis on Shady/Aftermath/Interscope label. Curtis was previously named Before I Self Destruct, but that title has been given to another release. 50 Cent is known for his edgy, street driven lyrics.
Kanye West releases Graduation on the Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam record label. Graduation is the final release in Kanye’s college themed series. Kanye’s college themed releases include: College Drop Out, Late Registration, and tomorrow’s Graduation album. One criticism of Kanye’s college series is that he continues ad nauseam about the fact that college isn’t for everyone. Kanye’s message is to be who you are, and don’t let others determine your life goals and expectations.
Both hip-hop stars include other artists in their work. 50 Cent features songs including Eminem, Akon, Justin Timberlake, Mary J. Blige, Robin Thicke, and Nicole Sherzinger. Kanye West features T-Pain, Mos Def, Chris Martin, Dwele, and Lil’ Wayne. The ultimate test will not be the featured singers. The most outstanding album will be determined by the fan base of the superstar rappers.
Sales should be close. If rap fans are out; perhaps they will pick up both albums at the same time. On the other hand, Kanye and 50 Cent are two entirely different men going up against each other. Kanye West hasn’t fallen into the typical gangster rapper motif, while 50 Cent exudes the song and rhythm of the streets.
Sodahead.com posted a poll late Monday night/early Tuesday morning, asking fans who they predicted would sell the most albums. For over 12 hours, according to the poll, 50 Cent and Kanye West were running neck and neck, with 50 Cent edging out Kanye by only a few percentage points.
The results of the sale of Graduation and Curtis will not be known September 11, 2007. We may know the result of 50 Cent’s retirement ultimatum, but the competition will last through the next several months and beyond.
Go grab your CD’s and leave your reviews, predictions, and comments below.
Adaso, Henry. “50 Cent Curtis (Interscope).” About.com.
Adaso, Henry. “Kanye West – Graduation (Roc-A-Fella / Def Jam).” About.com.
Adaso, Henry. “Top 10 Hip-Hop Releases – September 2007.” About.com.
Adria. “Kanye West or 50 Cent.” Sodahead.com.
Jones, Steve. “Kanye West, hip-hop’s writer-in-residence.” USA Today, USATODAY.com.
Trend, Tommy. “Is 50 Cent serious when he says he’ll “retire” if Kanye West’s CD outsells his?
Unterberger, Andrew. “Playing God; Kanye West: The College Dropout”
www.50cent.com, “Official Site.”