The Tale of the Tape

The results are in: Graduation - 957k, Curtis - 691k.

So KanYeezy busts Fiddy's ass - outselling Mr. "I got shot 9 times" by nearly 300 thousand albums.

No shocker here at The Quotable.

Billed as the underdog going into this much over-hyped match-up, Kanye West snatched Hip Hop's album sales crown by a wide margin. But was Mr. West ever really the underdog?

According to My Cousin Sha; "No."

And he's right.

Although both MCs remain two of the most commercially viable artists in today's slumping Rap industry, 'Ye and 50 were at opposite ends of the bell curve once momentum is factored into the equation.

Fiddy dropped the gauntlet on the industry with Get Rich Or Die Tryin', selling over 10 million albums domestically. His follow-up Lp, The Massacre, moved over 5 million units, but was panned by critics and fans alike. Since then, his once platinum G-Unit label mates (Lloyd Banks, Young Buck, et cetera, et cetera) have received luke warm responses from critics with their sophomore albums (Rotten Apple and Buck the World, respectively) and have struggled to go Gold (500,000 units). G-Unit isn't poppin' like it was in 2004-05. Plus, with rumored dissension in the clique (5-0 allegedly cut all funding for his label mates citing an overall lack of hustle from his crew[1]) and the recent recession in the music industry as a whole, its clear the tide changed. 50 Cent's stock price was on the decline, and for the first time since GRODT dropped - Curtis has had to deal with calamity.

The exact opposite can be said for Kanye.

Since his 2004 debut, 'Ye has solidified his fan base by going left of the commercial mainstream and found success in the process. The College Dropout didn't break any sales records, but certainly left a mark on The Culture with its soulful beats and diverse subject matter. Tracks like "Jesus Walks" and "All Falls Down" were hits because they tapped into the common man psyche - discussing self-consciousness and ones relationship with God). His sophomore set, Late Registration, provided more of the same type diversity, but with improved delivery and production. The cocky Kanye West even enlisted help from Jon Brion (Fiona Apple's producer) and Adam Levine (Maroon 5 front man) along with several of Hip Hop's notables (Lupe Fiasco, Jay-Z, Paul Wall, Nas) helping expand his fan base. Moreover, his G.O.O.D. Music record label released platinum selling albums by Common and John Legend which furthered his momentum going into Graduation's release. 'Ye's stock price continued to rise because he continued to put out G.O.O.D music.

Momentum was clearly on Kanye's side going into to D-Day 9/11 and in the end he delivered a better product (see reviews for Graduation and Curtis). So it shouldn't come as a shock to anyone that 'Ye massacred Fiddy this week. Along with being a better artist, Mr. West was simply in a better position leading into the much ballyhooed release date. But as the smoke clears and the dust settles, do you want to know who the BIG winner really is in the end?

Universal Music Group[2].

Corporate America wins again.

[1] Yeah...I can't find the link right now, but I promise you I read that on one of these Hip Hop sites somewhere. Just trust me on this one. 'preciate.
[2] Universal Group is the parent company for both Def Jam and Interscope - the record labels Kanye West and 50 Cent are signed to, respectively. How you like 'dem apples?

Carry On...

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