By Jane Cohen and Bob Grossweiner
In the rap showdown of 50 Cent vs. Kanye West as to whose album, both released on Sept. 11, was going to outsell the other during first week of sales, West is the clear winner. His “Graduation” sold a monstrous 975,000 albums, outselling 50’s “Curtis” by nearly 300,000 copies. Fiddy’s album sold 691,000 units, Neilsen Soundscan reports.
Competition was so fierce between the two, who brilliantly crafted their own publicity blitz, that 50 Cent said he would quit music if he didn’t outsell West. Well, 50 Cent stills plans a tour supporting “Curtis,” but he pulled out of a couple of promotional appearances in Europe this week. . .
“Everyone is coming up to me and telling me how proud they are of me,” West told the Associated Press. Both albums were released on Sept. 11, accompanied by a torrent of publicity and hype.
Similarly, 50 acknowledged in a statement to the AP: “I am very excited to have participated in one of the biggest album release weeks in the last two years. Collectively, we have sold hundreds of thousands of units in our debut week. This marks a great moment for hip-hop music, one that will go down in history.”
West’s “Graduation” is the biggest first week Soundscan debut by any album since his own Grammy-winning “Late Registration” in 2005. It also entered #1 in the U.K, Canada and Japan, and set a new one-week digital sales record, logging more than 132,000 album downloads.