Battle of the Titans: Kanye West Defeats 50 Cent in Sales Battle

Rapper Kanye West has something to brag about. The MC’s “Graduation” album trampled 50 Cent’s “Curtis” to take the number one spot on the Billboard 200 in a media-hyped sales showdown. According to Nielsen SoundScan, West has sold about 957,000 copies, giving him his best first-week sales ever and topped the year’s previous first-week champ, Linkin Park, which sold 623,000 of “Minutes to Midnight” when it debuted in May. In comparison, 50 sold 691,000 copies of “Curtis.” “It feels overwhelming,” West told The Associated Press, as he walked to Def Jam’s offices on Tuesday afternoon. “Everyone is coming up to me and telling me how proud they are of me.” “We’re not gloating,” Def Jam President Jay-Z told AP. “He’s celebrating his win. … in his mind, he believed he could win the whole time.” Though selling almost 700,000 copies in the first week was a sterling achievement, it was still a considerable letdown for 50 Cent. His last album, “The Massacre,” sold 1.1 million in its first week. Furthermore, West’s “Graduation” the only other album to come close to those sales since. Last month, 50 didn’t think of West as much of a competitor: “It’s great marketing on Def Jam’s part, by putting us out there at the same time and make like we can actually be compared on some level,” he told the AP. In another interview, he said he would retire if West outsold him. 50, who is planning a world tour for his album, was conciliatory in defeat. In a statement to the AP, which didn’t address whether he planned to make good on his threat to retire, he said: “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.”

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