It' s been a couple of days since the much anticipated, 50 Cent / Kanye West battle. And my wish, that Kenny Chesney would defeat them both, was not granted. First, late on September 11th, Best Buy gave their sales, with Kanye in a large lead. Then late on September 12th, Billboard gave early numbers, also with Kanye leading drastically. This is a snippet of the press release from Billboard;
West's "Graduation" sold an estimated 437,000 copies during its first day of release Tuesday, ahead of 310,000 for 50 Cent's "Curtis" and 107,000 for country star Kenny Chesney's "Just Who I Am: Poets and Pirates," according to a new "Building Chart" devised by tracking firm Nielsen SoundScan.
So, all the tough talk from 50 Cent(very entertaining) didn't help him outsell Kanye. Maybe people were tired of 50 Cent's tough talk, or did they want Kanye's mellow(kind of boring) brand(or did Def Jam do another Dynasty and buy it themselves). Myself, I purchased both albums and have listened to both deeply and compared the quality of the music. Being from Queens(one love to my dunns), I wanted to like 50 Cent more than Kanye West, and I do. Kanye West's Graduation is very laid-back, mellow, and slow. This is a gift and a curse, though the production and lyrics are solid, after a few tracks, you kind of get bored(like a Jay-Z concert). Also, though Kanye's "spit-game" has improved, most of his metaphors, similes, and double entendres are loose(meaning - too simple, overused, or vague). The collaborations are put together well, from T-Pain(who I can't stand), to Lil Wayne(who I can stand a little more than T-Pain), to Chris Martin, John Meyer, and Mos Def(who actually sung back-up). I can actually listen to the entire album without skipping any songs(if I don't fall asleep), except Big Brother(his ode to Jay-Z, in 50's words "He really adores him!"). Now, 50 Cent's Curtis is a different beast, with numerous producers, every song is different(some not so good). From when I first inserted the disc, I fell in love with the Queens ignorance. The first two songs, My Gun Go Off and Man Down(the retitled and censored Officer Down) are instant hood tracks. The next song, I'll Still Kill featuring Akon(who i despise just as much as T-Pain), is a good hood anthem. There's a couple songs that "get no play in my ride", and those are Amusement Park, Fire featuring Young Buck and Nicole Scherzinger, and All of Me featuring Mary J. Blige(even though I find it ironic she makes a reference to feeling like a crack fiend). Other than those I can listen to the rest of the album. The breakout hit, in my opinion, is the Tony Yayo assisted Touch The Sky, the last track on the album, which features one of Yayo's best verses. So, I know you're asking, "why do you like Curtis better than Graduation?", the answer is, I'm from Queens. Even though musically, Kanye made a better album, 50 is from Queens, and his hardest track elevates him beyond Kanye. When I'm rolling through Far Rockaway, South Jamaica, or even Brownsville, I like to bump something hard. Kanye's album is a great "chilling in the crib, cooking or cleaning, album", not a "nod your head in the whip album". But as a semi-backpacker and Hip-Hop purist, I respect Kanye for keeping the "backpacker making #1 on the charts" trend going, from Talib Kweli, to Common, to Kanye(get your incense, postal stickers and markers out, we're back!). You should go out and get the albums and decide for yourself. But I'm going to leave you with something from my boy "Speak & Spell"(who should have made MTV's Top Ten Emcees List, the wordplay is so slick).
Peace, I mean WAR!
And look out for a new 50 Cent album, whenever any Def Jam artist drops an album.