Whose new CD will sell more when they both drop on Sept. 11, 50 Cent or Kanye West? While those two rappers continue to busy themselves trading verbal jabs over that question, a third contender is now staking his claim to that week's hotly contested sales crown: country superstar Kenny Chesney.
''It's funny how with every record that comes out, we're aware of the urban [competition], and none of those acts acknowledge that I exist,'' Chesney tells EW via email. ''Until I have that No. 1 debut on the Top 200.''
Just Who I Am: Poets and Pirates, Chesney's 11th studio album, goes on sale the same Tuesday morning as 50 Cent's Curtis and Kanye West's Graduation. Chesney's last four studio efforts have opened atop Billboard's albums chart including his most recent effort, The Road and the Radio, which beat the original soundtrack to 50 Cent's film Get Rich or Die Tryin' when both debuted in November 2005.
50 Cent has said that he will retire from his recording career if West outsells him next month. West took a more diplomatic tack at last week's MTV Video Music Awards press conference, according to the New York Daily News, telling reporters, ''When my album drops and Fifty's album drops, you're going to get a lot of good music at the same time.''
For more on Chesney's chances in this showdown, check the new issue of EW, on newsstands this Friday.