The history of hip-hop is dotted with feuds, both violent (think 2Pac and the Notorious B.I.G. in the mid-1990s) and the downright ridiculous (think Eminem and Insane Clown Posse in 2001). The latter may likely be the case with the recent clash of hip-hop's top-selling artists 50 Cent and Kanye West, who both released albums Sept. 11, with the former claiming to retire if he loses the fight. So, this day could be remembered as the day Kanye West (sorry, actually, it's Mr. West now) sold more copies of an album, and put an end to 50 Cent's rap career. Or, scenario two could occur, that of 50 Cent selling more albums on this day than Kanye, thus causing immense trauma to his very large ego.
This face-off between the two rappers has generated a tremendous amount of media attention. Both stars are probably jet-setting as I write this to promote their new albums. Both stars are set to appear on MTV's "Total Request Live" and BET's "106 and Park" the day their albums drop, and the next issue of Rolling Stone features the two of them facing off on the cover. They even appeared together on the 2007 MTV Music Awards to present, where they also had a public face-off. 50 Cent appeared playful and macho towering over Kanye, who had to stand on his tiptoes to come face to face with 50. Kanye seemed more in a huff and annoyed at the entire situation.
Usually, Kanye's mouth gets him into media trouble, yet he's the one who has remained rather chill about the situation, while 50 antagonizes him. With past albums Get Rich or Die Tryin' (2003) and The Massacre (2005), 50 Cent has sold more copies than Kanye's The College Dropout (2004) and Late Registration (2005), but as for music appreciation, Kanye has received more accolades: three Grammys.
So is it about money and record sales, or is it about winning Grammys versus being nominated? Is it about being innovative and having a positive message? Kanye seems to have that covered. Is it about music style, style itself or with whom you collaborate? What we have here is a clash of the titans. The King of Chicago and the King of New York are at war, and both have already faced death in the past, so there is no fear in this fight. Kanye won't go down without a rumble — or at least something to say. And 50 Cent won't really retire. No one ever really does — just look at Jay- Z.