Wednesday, September 19, 2007

make up to break up: the aftermath of 'ye vs. fiddy

It's done, put a fork in the steak because the beef is over. If you haven't heard it anywhere else (which is damn near impossible and also it's sad what passes off for "news" in the U.S.) but Kanye slapped the taste out of 50 Cent's mush mouth, nearing a million units in sales for "Graduation's" debut week. Not to say that "Curtis" didn't fare well, because Chef Boyarfiddy was able to move 700,000 units which is no walk in the park either.

The whole beef/marketing ploy was pretty stupid anyway. I've never supported either one of these dirtbags, but deep inside, I was rooting for Fiddy. Why?

Well here's the thing: while Kanye is good at what he does (being an artsy fartsy rapper, stealing Dilla's production steez, dressing well), he appeals to a pretty safe audience. He makes ears perk by collaborating with artists as diverse as Common, Mos Def, Daft Punk, Peter, Bjorn & John, John Mayer, etc. But at the same time, it also seems like he tries too hard to appeal to everyone. The thing that I liked about his old mixtapes and records (other than raping the fuck out of the Molemen's beatmaking style) was that while they were still considered niche (for backpacking hip-hop fans), they were still gully enough for thugged out dudes, too. These days, it seems as though Kanye is shilling for that Pitchfork money; mostly because people who religiously read Pitchfork will make the effort to go to an actual store and buy a fucking CD.

I've never really cared much for Fiddy but after destroying Cam'ron's career with "Funeral Music," I just really rooted for him to make a diss track of equal caliber for 'Ye. I guess that shit never happened, and he spent so much time talking about how he didn't give a shit about West, it kind of makes you wonder if he secretly had a crush on him, not unlike when you're six years old and you make fun of a girl that you like.

Anyway, as many sites like Nah Right and Ill Doctrine have pointed out, the real winner here is the Universal Media Group, who still ate at your pockets for about $20,400,000 [1]. So bravo, you idiots. Here's to two more years of labels pricing CDs at ridiculously high price points and releasing more shitty rappers!

[1] This was figure was reached by adding the combined sales of "Curtis" and "Graduation" and multiplying them by $12, which is the median sale price at major retailers. UMG probably stands to make way more from this.

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