With estimated CD sales of two to one (two Kayne to every one Fitty) at Amoeba Music Hollywood and most other music outlets across the country, yesterday it seems that Fitty literally is 50 Cent to every Kayne "dollar bill" West, in terms of sales of the long-feuding artists' highly anticipated and publicized new full-length releases. As San Francisco Amoebite and AMOEBLOGGER Brad Schelden outlined in his "Coming Out Today 9/11" AMOEBLOG yesterday, the latest round in the ongoing battle between Kayne West and 50 Cent (aka Fitty) would manifest itself at cash registers this week upon the release of each high-profile rapper's new album: Kayne West's Graduation and 50 Cent's Curtis.
And according to Tuesday's retail sales figures from each of the three Amoeba Music outlets plus online sales figures released by iTunes and Amazon.com, it is clear that West's new release greatly outsold Fitty's. "In terms of sales here yesterday, it was pretty much two to one in Kayne's favor," said Amoeba Music Hollywood hip-hop department's John Liu, adding that, "There was definitely a buzz about the two new releases, no doubt generated by all the recent media attention." Meanwhile at Amoeba Music San Francisco, according to the Haight Street store's hip-hop buyer Luis, the ratio of sales yesterday was even greater in Kayne's favor. It was four to one, indicating that maybe Fitty should perhaps consider changing his name to 25 Cent or Quarta' for short.
But in terms of the actual music on each new album it is all subjective and comes down to a matter of personal taste. Amoeba Music Berkeley hip-hop buyer Juan said that, despite whatever sales figures might be, Graduation is, in his opinion, quite a disappointing release. "I wasn't too impressed with it at all," said the Amoebite, who is also an emcee himself -- going by the name WonWay Posibul with the crew Secluded Journalists. Amoeba San Francisco's Luis prefers Kayne over 50 Cent. "On the new album he (Kayne) takes a much broader spectrum of influences...and he still has a lot of good things to say. But 50 Cent is your man if you wanna hear about guns and money," said Luis adding that underground Seattle producer Jake One, now a member of the G-Unit family and a contributer to Curtis, "brings a lot to the new 50 album."
Critics also seem divided. In a review yesterday the New York Post favored Fitty over Kayne. But perhaps it is Kayne's seemingly never-ending pompous persona that causes many, including even some of his own diehard fans, to be turned off by his arrogance (as an example, read this COMMENT posted to "Coming Out Today 9/11"). Note that since his little emotional outburst after being snubbed yet again at the Video Music Awards (VMA) event the other night, he flaked on his scheduled appearance on MTV's TRL yesterday. And last week he also canceled out on his scheduled Today national television show performance at the last minute.
As far as online sales for each artist: on Amazon.com Tuesday, Kayne West's CD was the top seller while 50 Cent ranked number six. Meanwhile in digital file sales on iTunes, West's album ranked at number two in top sales while Fitty came in at the number nine top sales slot, according to Tuesday's sales figures.