Saturday, August 11, 2007

50 Cent vs. Kanye West

I think it’s safe to stay that the two highest selling rap albums of 2007 will be sold by 50 Cent and Kanye West. Both of them will have their album come out on the same day, September 11th. This can be viewed as a competition, but what happens if you lose?

50 Cent recently stated that if he is outsold by Kanye West, then he will retire from rapping. When I read that, I was thinking, “ARE YOU CRAZY?????”

No one wants to be #2, but people have their hits and misses. Jay-Z had a great hit with The Black Album. It was his retirement album, which really wasn’t much of a retirement. He then made a compilation album with R. Kelly and another one with Linkin Park. Three years after The Black Abum, Jay-Z has the album Kindom Come which does not sell well. Jay-Z had an album that failed, but I don’t think that he’ll retire from rap.

Outkast became the first rap group to win the Grammy for Album of the Year for their 2003 album, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. It was a huge hit and one of my favorite albums. I absolutely think that it was a masterpiece. Then they starred in the movie Idlewild and did the soundtrack for it. Both the album and the movie failed. But I’ll be honest, I would be heartbroken if they quit.

50 Cent should understand that artists do not always have success. If he doesn’t believe me, he should ask Snoop Dogg about his film career. Soul Plane was definitely one of the worst films ever.

Someone should remind 50 Cent that he and Kanye West are really two different kinds of rappers. 50 Cent does Gansta Rap and Kanye West does Non-Gansta Rap. 50 Cent was shot nine times. The guy is as hard as nails. The guy chews steel. The guy is tough and can be intimidating. He’s a true gansta rappper while so many rappers are fake, materialistic, and as intimidating as a teletubby. I’m sick of hearing rappers sing only about their wealth. Rappers should rap about something with substance. That’s why 50 Cent is so good, because he is pure substance. He is true Gansta Rap.

Kanye West is not Gansta Rap. He sings rap that is not about the ghetto or about violence. Kanye West is not from the ghetto and I’m so glad that he never pretended to be something that he wasn’t. When I listen to him, I feel like he’s trying to be the next Stevie Wonder. Some of his songs have such good music in them that the rapping is secondary. He also reminds me of Andre 3000 of Outkast in some ways. Rap should be about life, not just the gansta background that some rappers come from.

In the rap world, 50 Cent and Kanye West are apples and oranges. If 50 Cent was outsold by another pure Gansta Rapper like Jay-Z, that would be one thing. But 50 Cent and Kanye West are so different that it shouldn’t matter who outsells who. But this leads me to the most important question…..


I think that if you quit rapping because your album was #2 on the Billboard charts, then I think that you are more concerned with money than with having a great album. Some rappers are so materialistic that they forget that they are supposed to be artists who actually care about their art. So that leads me to this conclusion.


I want to see if he would actually do it. For someone who appears to care more about the money than about having a high quality album, I doubt that he would give up making money. If you threaten to retire, show us that you will. If you are outsold by Kanye West and then you make another album….. then I’ll have to call you out on that one.

I personally look forward to both albums. I hope that 50 Cent can focus on the album over the dollars signs in front of his eyes, because I don’t want him to retire no matter how many albums he sells. I really hope that both albums are great.


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