Every competition has memorable heavyweight face-offs. Tyson and Holyfield. Federer and Nadal.
And now hip-hop has its own.
Kanye West and 50 Cent will square off when both artists drop their third albums on the same day, which will surely make for a record store war as both artists strive for bragging rights. Hype of the battle began roughly six weeks ago, when Kanye moved his release up one week and 50 Cent pushed his back in order to create the controversy (or media stunt) that has been brewing ever since.
Tons of artists and fans have been chiming in with their opinions on the outcome, and the responses seem to be dead even so far. Meanwhile, the artists in the duel have done their job of creating an unbelievable amount of controversy on the topic.
What is the controversy all about? Kanye challenged 50 with his bragging over winning several Grammy awards, to which 50 retaliated, “The people who give out trophies, pick him because he’s safe. But my projects be making a way bigger impression…by actually selling.” However, Kanye didn’t take a backseat to the comments; he came back at his new rival and exclaimed, “Once this album ‘Graduation’ comes out, I just wanna get my credit for being one of the top mc’s. The swag is up crazy. I’ll rip any mc out there that’s really how I feel.”
And the banter became more serious when the ever-confident 50 said he would consider quitting his solo career if he lost the battle. 50 explained: “Put it like this. Let’s raise the stakes. If Kanye West sells more records than 50 Cent on Sept.11, I’ll no longer write music. I’ll write music and work with my other artists, but I won’t put out any more solo albums.”
Now, let’s breakdown each battle artist. Kanye’s first album, “College Dropout” was marked by his own amazing production and his heartfelt single “Through the Wire,” which he rapped from his hospital bed after a near-fatal accident. 50’s debut was “Get Rich or Die Tryin,” on which every song was a wishful and desperate flow as he strived to become a recognized artist, and he became beloved after he released this decade’s biggest single, “In Da Club.” Since their respective debut albums, Kanye has only grown in popularity by producing and being featured on high-profile artists tracks like Nas, John Legend and Pharrell. At the same time, 50 has gone down in publicity by starting fights and drama with nearly every industry heavyweight in hip hop, from Nas to Fat Joe and even Jay-Z. Also, Kanye has had two phenomenal and critically-acclaimed singles in “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” and “Stronger” from his new album, while 50 has had four mediocre singles and only one with significant critical acclaim, “Ayo Technology.” However, 50’s last album “The Massacre” sold 1.14 million copies its first week, while Kanye’s “Late Registration” sold 860,000 copies.
Both albums drop Sept. 11. Which one will you be picking up?
Artist quotes and comments from SOHH.com.
Dan Buyanovsky may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.