Hanging up the Mic or Hanging in There: Rap Battle Wrap-up4 min read
BY CHARLOTTA JARBORG
This past week, hip-hop lovers or people who just enjoy a good old celebrity beef have been following the record selling competition between 50 Cent and Kanye West closely.
Last week, the Bullet filled you in on the upcoming battle and summarized the drama that has been filling up celebrity gossip sites and music sites such as billboard.com and of course mtv.com. Now it is time to see what the numbers are and who has actually been coming out on top, so far at least.
Right off the bat, sales have been much higher in favor of Kanye West, which may not be too surprising considering how much more popular his single “Stronger” is compared to 50 Cent’s “Ayo Technology.” When it comes to the world of technology however, the word seems to sound more like “Nayo” rather than “Ayo” for 50.
The self-proclaimed “Queen of All Media,” Perez Hilton himself said “Time to hang up your microphone Fiddy!!!!” on his website www.perezhilton.com.
Hilton reported that music industry insiders have told him and his crew that Kanye West’s latest album “Graduation,”” is reaching 700, 000 copies sold, whereas 50 Cent’s “Curtis” projects only put him at about 500, 000 copies.
Both albums, as we reported last week, dropped on September 11. Perez also included an interesting tidbit that it looks as if country music singer Kenny Chesney’s new album, which was released the same week, will do better than 50 Cent’s latest work. Granted they are of two completely different genres and are perhaps not even comparable, yet it still prompted Perez to ask the question “50 Cent coming in third???”
The famous www.billboard.com is another good source for some of the current statistics on how the race is shaping up to look like. It looks as if Perez’s inside sources were right. Kanye West is so far leading with 781,000 copies sold and 50 Cent is coming up behind him with 603,000 copies.
In an interview with Billboard, 50 Cent reassures his fans that his time to retire may not yet be upon us. The site reports him saying “[The sales] can’t be considered [any one way] anyway because it’s just a few days out.” The whole Billboard article is in fact popping with quotes that sound like a bunch of excuses from 50 Cent’s side.
The article includes parts of an interview 50 Cent had with New York’s Hot 97 radio station where 50 says that had his new album been released by another rapper it would have done better, because of people’s expectations of what he can do, i.e. his past music raised the bar and there is a standard that either needs to be met or improved upon.
Billboard includes a quote from the radio interview where 50 Cent says: “”The [fans that aren’t supporting me now] are the same people that supported me in the past. The impression I gave them was so strong that they have different standards for me. When my music comes out, if it was someone else’s record, it would be a hit because it spun 3,500 times. But they’re looking for the hottest music out at the time from 50 Cent, so if it’s not that, then they show me resistance until I deliver. I’ve only been in the music business for four years and I’m already receiving some backlash. That’s amazing, isn’t it?”
In the last section of the article, they include a few quotes from when 50 Cent visited BET on September 11, where he talked about the difference in exposure between him and Kanye West at the MTV Video Music Awards that aired live September 9.
This time, the blame was put on his record label “Interscope.” Kanye West, as some of you may know, represents “Def Jam.” 50’s take on the Awards Show: “As far as the VMAs were concerned, Kanye received the upper hand. I ain’t going to front. He had four looks — his song “Stronger,” his new record “Good Life,” he had a performance with Soulja Boy, “Crank Dat,” and then he came out with me. So I feel like Def Jam is doing a better job of promoting the CD than Interscope. Interscope is just relying on my base and the actual music. I was on the VMAs for one minute and 20 seconds. I should’ve just stayed home.”
So what do the fans say, should 50 Cent just stay home in his pimped out crib, dreaming of the golden days four short years ago, or should he stay strong and see if he cannot win this thing a la the turtle and the hare?
Here at UMW, the odds do seem to be in Kanye West’s favor. Sophomore Claire Copps, a huge hip-hop fan says: “I’m sorry, but lately Kanye West’s music is just better. It’s obvious that he’s going to win.”
Has the deadline already been reached? If 50 Cent still has faith in his album, at what point does he need to outsell Kanye to prove his status as a fan favorite? Who knows, the sub-title to Kanye West’s single “Stronger” might just turn out to be “for now.”