By now Iâ€™m sure all of you have heard about 50 Centâ€™s statement that if his 9/11 release doesnâ€™t outsell Kanyeâ€™s, he will never release another solo album. The only reason this got any press is because . . .
Well, Iâ€™m not sure why. Iâ€™m pretty sure 50 Cent has always and substantially outsold Kanyeâ€”probably moving at least double the amount of units. 50â€™s statement is just like saying that if the war in Iraq is over by 9/11 heâ€™ll retire. I mean, sure, thereâ€™s a chance but come on. But whatâ€™s really surprised me is the amount Fiddy hatred Iâ€™ve been reading about, guys promising to buy two copies of Kanye just to force a semi-retirement and all. To those folks, I first must say, â€œYou do realize that 50 never said heâ€™d get out of musicâ€”he said heâ€™d stop releasing solo albums. That means we could expect twice as many G-Unit albums. Does anyone really want that?
â€œGet Rich or Die Tryin” was a masterpiece of G-Funk/California sound. It didnâ€™t change anything, really, but to me it was the high-water-mark of commercialized gangsta rap. The genre never got better after that, and that record epitomize everything that came before. It wasnâ€™t better than St8 Outta Compton; Doggystyle; Chronic (or even Chronic 2.0), but the bangers on that record were omnipresent and, admit it, were true to the game.
“College Dropout” is a straight Chi-Town record. Itâ€™s not gangsta and although itâ€™s got a little bling, it also attempted to elevate the genre and speak to middle class America. It had multiple possible audiences and showed complexity where 50 showed caricature. Given a choice between the two, mass audiences generally prefer stereotypes. Thatâ€™s what â€œmassâ€ means: Everyone can understand it because we all know exactly what to expect. Thereâ€™s nothing wrong with mass appeal, but itâ€™s hardly a boast to say, â€œI can make an album that sounds like all my other albums and paints pictures that donâ€™t make you squint or think, and it will sell better than another guy who markets the unexpected.â€
That said, though, Kanyeâ€™s “Late Registration” fell far short of his first and the mixtapes and GAP ads floating around donâ€™t give me hope for his upcoming release. The aware,
not-proud-to-have-been-a-drugdealer crowd has many more voices now: Theyâ€™ve rediscovered Kanye, thereâ€™s Lupe, and Kanye has marketed his sound to so many people for singles and the like. He may find himself irrelevant.
Just like 50.
So maybe he can outsell him?