On September 11th 2007, both 50 Cent and Kanye West released their new albums. The highly anticipated releases of both 50 Cent’s “Curtis” and West’s “Graduation” will certainly cause a stir and arouse an inevitable duel for the top spot on the billboard’s top selling albums chart. Both rappers are quick to acknowledge that their album is the superior one.
Kanye tells 50 Cent, “Please, 50, don’t retire once my album sells and beats your album,” and 50 Cent is quick to counter with, “I’m gonna stick around and sell this record-and I will be #1 on September 11” (Gordon Hurd, Yahoo Buzz Log).
The question on everyone’s minds though is this a legitimate rivalry in terms of do these two guys detest each other in the way old school rap rivalries (i.e. East vs. West) went down? Certainly they are two of the most popular figures in the hip hop industry and thus they compete as would two of the best NFL teams, but do they hate each other the way Michigan and Ohio State do?
Old school rappers would probably dismiss this rivalry as guerrilla marketing tactics in an attempt to create hype and buzz to sell more albums rather than a true battle of wit and rhymes the way rappers used settle scores and determine superiority.
Guerrilla marketing can best be explained as an unconventional way of performing promotional activities, typically on a low budget. Now, neither West or 50 Cent and their respective labels have a typically low budget with respect to promotion of these albums; however, their promotions (if indeed it is a fabricated rivalry) would be a design in an attempt to market without their consumers realizing they have been marketed to ala stealth marketing. These tactics can be called into question as deceptive and misleading.
This is not my decision to make, rather one for the fans of these two artists to decide for themselves. Do these two rappers have a legitimate beef with one another or are they merely fabricating this rivalry to sell more records? Does the consumer care either way as long as they enjoy the music of the respective artists?
According to the Yahoo Buzz Index, queries for 50 are significantly more than those for Kanye, but that is certainly no clear indicator that 50 will reign supreme. “Graduation” is the third studio album release from Kanye, and “Curtis” is the third studio album release from 50 Cent (Wikipedia).
Kanye’s album was originally scheduled to be released on the 18th; however, he moved it forward to that it could compete head to head with 50 Cent’s new album. 50 Cent stated that if “Graduation” outsold “Curtis” he would stop releasing solo albums, but he later retracted this statement, (Wikipedia).