The first-week sales contest between 50 Cent’s Curtis and Kanye West’s Graduation ended as I imagined it would: with everyone taking home bundles of cash. As many predicted, Kanye (pictured, left) did outsell Fiddy (right), moving 957,000 copies of his disc (the biggest first week since 50’s The Massacre sold 1.1 million CDs out of the box two and a half years ago), but Curtis Jackson should be plenty pleased with selling 691,000 copies of Curtis. According to Billboard, this is the first time since the release of Guns N’ Roses two Use Your Illusion albums — 16 Septembers ago — that two discs have debuted with more than 600,000 in sales. (In third place, Kenny Chesney’s sales of 387,000 for Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates, is the best first week for a country disc since the Dixie Chicks moved 526,000 units of Taking the Long Way a year and a half ago. See, everybody wins!)
Meanwhile, 50 doesn’t sound like he’s going to make good on his promise to retire if he came in second. In a statement, he told the Associated Press, “I am very excited to have participated in one of the biggest albumrelease weeks in the last two years. Collectively, we have soldhundreds of thousands of units in our debut week. This marks a greatmoment for hip-hop music, one that will go down in history.” Besides, 50 came out ahead of Kanye in one key measure: he earned almost twice what West did last year. The boss of the G-Unit empire took home $32 million last year, landing him in second place on Forbes’ list of hip-hop’s top earners; Kanye finished in 8th place with $17 million. Fiddy has celebrated this victory by remixing his “I Got Money” with guest verses by Forbes’ No. 1 and No. 3 top-earning rappers: Jay-Z and Diddy, respectively. (You can hear a clean version of it here and see the video here.)
Me, I’m just glad everybody’s happy, so that we won’t have to hear more about this faux feud anymore, and so that we can stop wringing our hands about the imminent death of hip-hop.