There’s a battle that’s been brewing between Kanye West and 50 Cent. It’s an ego-driven tiff it seems, one that pits the positive musician on a mission (West) against the remorseless misogynist who has built a career glorifying guns and violence.
The two hip-hop heavyweights are both set to drop new, much-anticipated albums on September 11 . Kanye’s “Graduation” and “Curtis” from 50 Cent. Maybe their war of words over who will prevail in sales that day boils down to two rappers flapping their gums in the wind for a little extra PR. Maybe it’s a spat that stems back to 50 Cent’s disparaging remarks about West in 2005, where he claimed Kanye was only popular because of 50’s own success.
So who’ll rule in this run to the finish line on September 11? It’s time to weigh in on these two controversial artists and their rapper flap.
50 Cent: His legendary six-pack abs have inspired legions of men — and the women who love them — to go for this kind of bared down, ripped rapper glam.
Kanye West: This fashionista’s pretty boy face may not compete with 50 Cent’s rugged mug. But what West’s done with it is media magic. Remember Rolling Stone’s mega-controversial 2006 magazine cover featuring Kanye as Jesus Christ? Need we say more?
50 Cent: He’s unashamedly bashed other rappers throughout his career. The list, to date, includes, Ja Rule, The Game, Fat Joe and Diddy.
Kanye West: He’s slammed everyone from homophobes to President George W. Bush, the U.S. government, America’s bungling of the Katrina crisis and the media for continuing to portray African Americans in a disparaging light.
50 Cent: While he expressed support for George W. in 2005, in 2007 50 Cent said that President Bush had “less compassion than the average human being. By all means, I don’t aspire to be like George Bush.
Kanye West: “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.” That remark and others like it were heard by millions on September 2, 2005 when West let it rip during a televised benefit concert for Hurricane Katrina relief.
The ego-inspired hissy fits
50 Cent: When asked in a recent interview if he ever felt competitive towards artists like Diddy and Jay-Z, especially in light of their business ventures, 50 Cent says, “Nah. I don’t even like them.” When it was suggested he retract his words, the rapper reportedly refused, saying “I don’t give a f**k.”
Kanye West: In 2007 West announced that he would star in a situational half-comedy series loosely based on his life directed by Larry Charles. As West put it, “I wouldn’t do something as cliché as a reality show. At least give me the credit for being more creative than that.”
50 Cent: Before albums like “Get Rich or Die Tryin'” and “The Massacre” made him famous, this native of South Jamaica in Queens, N.Y. was dealing drugs by age 12. His father ran out on him, his mother was shot when he was eight-years-old and his grandparents raised him. His original career goal was to be a heavyweight boxer.
Kanye West: The Atlanta, Georgia native saw his parents divorce at age 11. He moved to Chicago, finished highschool, eventually attended The American Academy of Art and dropped out of Columbia College Chicago to launch his music career.
Even though both rapper moguls-turned-aspiring movie stars are right for the prize, we’ll give it to Kanye for now. A positive message, no matter how cloaked it is in stereotypical rapper trappings, is still preferable over 50 Cent’s usual fare of gun-toting thugs, objectified hos and remorseless violence.
Kanye vs 50cents on MTV Music Awards 2007, Palms, LV