50 Cent vs Kanye West

I just had to post this… 50 Cent fails against Kanye in first week sales…

But the evening was more like a coronation for West, whose album “Graduation” widely outsold 50 Cent’s “Curtis” in first week sales, according to Nielsen SoundScan: 957,000 copies to 691,000 copies.

“To be a champion, you’ve got to take out a champion,” West declared, as an all-star crowd including Jay-Z, Beyoncé and Diddy cheered him on. Moments later, he called for his “theme music,” then launched into a performance of his song “Good Life.”

Things couldn’t be much better for West, who gave the struggling music industry its best debut of the year with “Graduation,” besting the year’s previous first-week champ, Linkin Park, which sold 623,000 of “Minutes to Midnight” when it debuted in May.

“It feels overwhelming,” West said earlier in the day. “Everyone is coming up to me and telling me how proud they are of me.”

Though selling almost 700,000 copies in the first week is a sterling achievement, it was still a considerable letdown for 50 Cent. His last album, 2005’s “The Massacre,” sold 1.1 million in its first week. In fact, West’s “Graduation” is the only other album to come close to that figure since.

50 Cent, who is planning a world tour for his album, was conciliatory in defeat. In a statement, which didn’t address whether he planned to make good on his vow to retire, he said: “I am very excited to have participated in one of the biggest album release weeks in the last two years. Collectively, we have sold hundreds of thousands of units in our debut week. This marks a great moment for hip-hop music, one that will go down in history.”

But while West is enjoying a No. 2 position on the charts with his hit “Stronger,” 50 Cent has struggled to connect with radio. None of his songs has matched past smashes like “In Da Club”; even his single “Ayo Technology,” featuring Justin Timberlake and Timbaland, is languishing at No. 19.

West said it was his idea to go directly against 50 Cent.

“I was the underdog because I sold less records in the past, so it was a win-win for me,” he said. “If I lost, everyone would be happy that I even went up against him.”

It ended up the music industry version of Ali-Frazier, with an avalanche of pre-fight hype to match. 50 Cent routinely trash-talked West, but it seemed to be in good fun: Both admitted the battle was a great marketing tool.

“The rivalry helped both of them,” said Jay-Z, president of West’s label Def Jam – also a division of Universal Music Group. “It was definitely one of those moments in the game that was exciting, everybody could pick a side and weigh in on and have an opinion . . . it garnered a lot of attention.”

Who didn’t see this coming?

~ by redspyda on September 24, 2007.

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