The two rappers spent much of the summer jousting about who would win the first-week-sales battle.
While Mr. West generally avoided triumphant predictions, 50 Cent wasn’t shy about reminding listeners that he was the odds-on favorite.
Now the numbers are in, and it’s not even close. According to Nielsen SoundScan “Graduation” sold 957,000 copies in its first week, while “Curtis” sold only 691,000 copies. It’s the best opening of Mr. West’s career. And it’s the worst opening of 50 Cent’s career.
This is a great day for Universal, the record company that distributes both albums- although you might feel sorry for the Universal executives who have to field 50 Cent’s angry phone calls.
Prescription: In every “Win-Win” situation there is always a loser somewhere. Yes, there were tons of TV appearances and radio interviews- KUDOS to the PR department at Universal–Whoop Whoop! But, the real PR strategy here was not to let two ego maniac rappers direct their public relations campaign. It was to let two ego maniac rappers THINK they were directing their own PR campaign. The result: a PR stunt many say will go down in history, Universal sells a $hit load of records, Kanye West seems a little friendlier and 50 Cent feels a little short changed.
My boy Kelefah @ the NY Times sums it up nicely here: