50 Cent falls to Kanye West - but remains mum on retirement

[19 September 2007]

By Jim Farber

New York Daily News (MCT)

NEW YORK—Fitty better get his fishing rod ready.

Sales figures reveal that Kanye West will indeed trounce first week numbers for 50’s latest CD, an occurrence Cent vowed would make him hang up his mike for good.

Final SoundScan numbers won’t be out until Wednesday, but estimates tallied by the trade magazine Hits put West’s third CD, “Graduation,” at 930,251 copies in its first seven days.

That would be the industry’s biggest opening week in three years—since 2005’s “The Massacre” by, guess who? 50 Cent.

The rapper’s latest, “Curtis,” pushed 659,682 units, according to Hits. That will land it at No. 2, nudged under West’s work on the latest Billboard Top 200 Album list.

All figures estimate both hard copy and digital sales.

West’s label, Def Jam, was already proclaiming victory Tuesday night—but not rubbing it in.

“We’re not gloating,” Def Jam President Jay-Z told The Associated Press. “He’s (West) celebrating his win…. In his mind, he believed he could win the whole time.”

Some media outlets have suggested 50 Cent may be trying to wiggle out of his vow to quit with his recent accusation that Def Jam has been “rigging sales.”

Fitty’s people did not return calls to elaborate on his charges or to comment on whether the rap star will indeed make good on his claim to bow out.

Rolling Stone magazine fanned the flames of the controversy by putting the two sparring rappers on its latest cover. Deputy managing editor Jason Fine says he hardly expects 50 to end it all now.

He added, “650,000 records doesn’t sound like quitting numbers to me. I think he realizes that his moment at the very top of the game might have passed, but the guy did a great job of making an event out of a record release.”

Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/article/50-cent-falls-to-kanye-west-but-remains-mum-on-retirement/