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.
I woke up in an odd mood and while I was grinding coffee this morning, for some unknown reason, I started thinking about the legendary folk musician
Woody Guthrie and that sign he often painted on his
“This Machine Kills Fascists”
And no, I don’t mean my Italian espresso maker …
In this frame of mind, I don’t even dare open the paper … not today.
Woody once wrote, "I took a bath this morning in six war speeches, and a sprinkle of peace.”
Yeah, I know that mood.
I’m thinking, what could throw me even deeper into this funk? Maybe the right song and I can revel in this shithole state of mind for a while; I do have the morning to myself!
So I went digging though a few boxes of 45’s for this minor keyed, slow funky version of “This Land Is Your Land” by Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings originally released in 2006 as a 7-inch single with a red, white, and blue label (and a flip side of What If We All Stopped Paying Taxes?). It’s a masterpiece, if not the modern definitive version of Woody Guthrie’s classic paean to the America he saw in his travels in the 1930’s. Guthrie originally wrote this song in 1940 in response to Irving Berlin's "God Bless America," which Guthrie considered unrealistic, self-satisfied and smug.
Sharon Jones’ version of This Land should be the one sung in grammar schools, especially since she includes the seldom sung verses about private property and government relief. She’s brought back the anger, the defiance and rebelliousness that had been lost; trashing the soft-pedaled, whitewashed, yankee-doodle dandy edition we’ve heard for decades.
If by chance you are not familiar with the practice of watermarking advance/promo CDs, it's something that record labels undertake in an effort to discourage digital bootlegging/file-sharing of their releases in advance of street dates. Check out this really interesting and well-written story about the controversy caused over a leaked watermarked CD -- namely, the new Beirut album The Flying Club Cup on New Jersey based label Ba Da Bing! Records (whose roster includes Dead C). Eloquently penned by music writer Erik Davis, who contributes to Blender and Arthur, among other publications, it perfectly explains the whole practice and the issues it raises. It also describes the hot water that the writer recently found himself in with Ben Goldberg of Ba Da Bing Records. Titled "My Data Crime: The Ticking Time Bomb of the Watermarked Advance CD" and posted a few days ago, Erick Davis' article can be read on the Techgnosis website.