Five years ago today (September 11), 50 Cent and Kanye West’s SoundScan Showdown came to a head. Both rappers released their respective third album on the same day—50 with Curtis and Yeezy with Graduation. 50 added to the ante of an already heated competition by stating that he’d retire if he lost to Kanye.
Kanye’s LP wound up outselling ’Fif’s 957,000 to 691,000 in first week sales, allowing Yeezy to reign SoundScan supreme. Subsequently, 50 didn’t retire.
XXL recently looked back on the hype machine that was 50 Cent versus Kanye West by talking to the G-Unit general himself. Five years later, 50 still remembers the event well.
“At the time, I had a stronger feel for the streets [than Kanye], prior to that competition and trying to compete with each other,” he said. “That was just to build energy because Kanye [and I]…we didn’t have no beef at all. You can’t stand that close to someone and take pictures for the cover of Rolling Stone with having beef.
“That was something that we created,” he added. “Obviously, it riled the fans up in every way and the results are always bigger sales than usual. Both of the numbers were bigger than what they would have been [without the competition]. It was just great marketing.”—Mark Lelinwalla