Say what you will about Jay-Z, but he somehow managed to get damn near a million people to buy an album that fucking sucks balls.
This week, the Blueprint 3 remained in the top spot of the Billboard top 200 albums chart for the second week in a row, having sold 200 some-odd thousand more copies, which puts it up near a million copies sold. After only two weeks. In 2009. Eminem’s Relapse has only gone 1x platinum, despite the facts that a) it’s been in stores all summer long; b) Eminem, at his peak, sold way more albums than Jay-Z; and c) Relapse was a genuinely worthwhile comeback effort.
But never mind Eminem. It’s not like he needs the money. And he’s still doing better than pretty much anyone whose name isn’t Jay-Z. Meanwhile, I shudder to think how a new Fiddy Cent album might sell, if the TIs at Interscope ever allow him to release another album. (It’s still not clear to who’s barring 50 Cent from releasing another album.) Remember Curtis got trounced by Kanye West’s Graduation, in their first week sales battle in 2007, and then struggled to reach the 1x platinum mark.
I’ve yet to hear a response from Fiddy (who usually jumps at the opportunity to talk shit) to Jay-Z’s statement, on some radio show over in Europe, that no one is scared of 50 Cent. The host asked Jay about Fiddy’s comment on 106 & Park that, if Kanye would have jumped onstage and interrupted his speech at the VMAs, like he did Taylor Swift, Fiddy would’ve blacked his eye. As if 50 Cent was about to get a Moon Man in 2009. Jay told the host that Kanye would have done the same thing, if it was Fiddy, because no one is afraid of Fiddy.
I doubt that’s true, since Kanye is kind of a pansy and Fiddy is kind of a beast. But it’s gotta sting Fiddy a bit anyway, in the sense that 50 Cent has become such a nonentity. Yeah, if you tried to snatch some shit from his hands, he might punch you in the face, but was Fiddy Cent even at the MTV Awards this year? Even Lil Mama, who’s probably never been on MTV otherwise, was at this year’s ceremony, but 50 Cent was nowhere to be found. They probably asked him to stay home, in case he tried to start some shit. I remember the last time I watched the MTV Awards was that year when Fat Joe pointed out how many cops 50 Cent had with him.
Then I remember reading that, at one of the subsequent VMAs, they had Kanye performing from a remote location in a basement somewhere. They were probably afraid he’d run into 50 Cent, who’d kick the shit out of him, upset about his loss in their sales battle. But that was two years ago, when Fiddy actually had an album out. It didn’t sell very well, and he hasn’t had anything for sale since, so he probably had to watch at home this year. For all we know, he might not be back. Kanye probably wouldn’t have been back either, except for the fact that he somehow managed to sell a few copies of 808s & Heartbreak. He better hope his next album does well, after the stunt he pulled this year.
Jay-Z, with the Blueprint 3, has proven that relics from the late ’90s/early ’00s, who can’t rap well anymore, can still move units. Never mind the economy, illegal downloading and what have you. If 50 Cent wants to do anywhere near as well, he’s gonna have to take a page from the Jay-Z playbook. He can’t just count on aging haters on the Internets. M.O.P., who used to be on G-Unit, tried that shit, and look at how well it did them. The thing is, Fiddy might be hamstrung in his efforts to emulate Jay-Z, in that he can’t play the game like Jay-Z. Fiddy couldn’t go on Oprah even if he wanted to. He might be shit out of luck.