An Almost Literal Battle of the Titans

50 Cent got shot in the face, Kanye West had his mouth wired shut. Fiddy has starred in his own movie, but Kanye’s mom wrote a book about him. Who’s top-dog in the world of hip-hop, and in a way, all of popular music? Both will drop new albums on the same day, September 11, and the answer will be given.

There’s been a lot of talk about this CD sales showdown. BET proposed a televised debate where the two MCs could verbally duke it out. 50 Cent agreed whole-heartedly, but West responded by saying the debate was “the stupidest thing” he had heard of. I definitely agree with Kanye, but just because something is totally stupid, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. The GOP could use a new candidate – maybe they would have seen something they liked.

Though West isn’t really jumping into a feud, 50 Cent decided to put everything on the line in the battle. “If Kanye West sells more records than 50 Cent on September 11,” 50 cent said in third person, “I’ll no longer write music. I’ll write music and work with my other artists, but I won’t put out any more solo albums.” WHOA! That’s pretty extreme, but this rapper has greatly surpassed West’s sales in previous releases … so he might be OK.

That incendiary comment is why I’ll be buying Kanye’s new disc Graduation come September 11. Not only do I think 50 Cent isn’t a good rapper (more of a pompous mumble-talker), I want him to own up to his words. Maybe I want him to feel really embarrassed and blush when he doesn’t actually retire … I’m not sure what would be better. I’ll take any option that doesn’t lead to a Get Rich or Die Trying sequel.

Besides wanting Fiddy to be publicly shamed, my reasons for choosing West are so typical and embarrassing. Sure he wasn’t one of the Cosbys, nor went to Hillman, but with sampling France’s Daft Punk for the single “Stronger” and performing with the Swedish group Peter Bjorn and John onstage, he certainly seems to be catering to, if not a white audience, at least to a European crowd.

I’m not all-knowing in the world of hip-hop, but when one of the biggest rappers/icons in the world decides to work with a relatively small Swedish pop group, that’s pretty cool. Even on the upcoming LP, the diverse group of guests allows him to attract a wide, varying audience. 50 Cent does seem to dominate popular hip-hop culture, whereas Kanye is more of a colorful one-man pop act, so the cards seem to be favoring Mr. Cent. But if the contest was, whose album is going to dance like a little girl with the early stages of puberty on her heels, I don’t even think either would stand a chance. Kenny “hotter than cattle’s hide on a Texas morning” Chesney has his new album out the same day. Sorry guys, I think the GOP found their new candidate.

Brian can be reached at

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