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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

50 Cent: HANG UP YOUR MIC!

Well, it came as no surprise to this listener of hip hop that 50 Cent would be eating his words after losing an album sales battle to Kanye West.

Upon receiving the news that his album would be released on the same day as Kanye's (Sept 11), 50 Cent promptly offered a challenge stating that he would retire from making solo rap cd's if Kanye's album outsold his. Immediately I knew it was a mistake, as he says that his reasoning was based on previous album sales like his sophomore album "The Massacre" which sold 1.1M albums in the first week. The recording industry is suffering more than ever so for 50 to expect the same trend in sales was ludicrous, on top of outselling an artist with far more widespread appeal.

Kanye West may be the diva of hip hop, with his rants and tirades over being ignored for major awards, but he debuted a huge hit single, "Stronger" to introduce his new album "Graduation". 50 Cent has received very little airplay and an icy response to his singles so far which should have told him that he had a hard battle ahead.

Well, the results are in as 50 Cent's "Curtis" sold 691,000 copies while Kanye West's "Graduation" album sold a far more impressive 957,000 copies. Hey 50, here's some advice: follow the lead of Al Gore and ask for a recount. Of course, in this case it won't matter since it's pretty obvious who the people want to hear more of. If you ask me, I think the sales numbers reveal a clear message that 50's retirement is what people want to see because he basically gave us all the opportunity to dictate his future.

I doubt that 50 will be a man of his word and actually hang up his mic. If he does, it will be about as long as Jay-Z's retirement lasted, which was almost non-existent. I'm sure he'll come up with some excuse like "it was just a marketing ploy" or something like that to keep making records. Since he is under contract with Aftermath Entertainment, I doubt Dr Dre is about to let 50 sit idle when we all know that 50 is capable of selling a lot of records. I'm guessing that 50 will try to bounce back when he releases the next G Unit album, "Locked and Loaded".

In the end, this was just a really good thing for hip hop. Whether it was a marketing ploy or a foolish sense of self on behalf of 50 Cent, a lot of albums were sold and hip hop again made news.
I'm hoping that both artists take something positive from this, namely 50 Cent as he should learn that if you're going to shoot off at the mouth, at least be able to back it up. Kanye didn't need anymore boost of his massive ego, but I think this is sweet vindication for him.

Now the only question is: will 50 Cent keep his word and stop making solo albums? My guess is no, and in two years when he releases a follow-up album I'll be posting again.

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