Photo source: Bossip
“Down goes Liston, down goes Liston!”
” Down goes Tyson!”
“Down goes Fitty, Down goes Fitty”
OK, so the first two sentences were definitely said; Ali knocked out Liston, completing one of the great upsets in sports history; then Tyson was knocked out in arguably the greatest upset in sports history.
The last sentence? While it may not have been said, it still happened as Kanye West delivered one of the greatest upsets in Hip Hop history.
This week marks the 8 year anniversary of Kanye West’s “Graduation” topping 50 Cent’s “Curtis”.
Graduation: 957,000 copies sold in the first week.
Curtis:691,000 sold in its first week.
Yes, this was considered a great day for Hip Hop. And although both numbers are extremely impressive for first week sales, clearly, both artists’ careers went in different directions after these projects.
For 50 Cent, his aurora of invincibility was over. The once undefeatable rapper that was moving 1 million records in a week, was now defeated by a rapper that he claimed we would retire to if he ever lost to him. Since then, 50 Cent his failed to produce a platinum record. Maybe its the Vitamin Water money that puts him in the position of not needing to move records like he once did. Maybe he’s simply not in that stage of his career. Either way, 50’s career isn’t what its used to be, and its hard to deny that Kanye’s victory did not play a part in his decline.
For Mr. West, he virtually cemented his position as one of hip-hop’s most unstoppable forces. Delivering hay maker blows to 50 Cent in the form of mega hits such as “Stronger” and “The Good Life”, Kanye reminded us that he could not only deliver hits, but that he could also change the entire landscape of the genre. Since “Graduation”, Kanye West has pushed the boundaries of Hip Hop by gliding from sub-genre to sub-genre without losing the dedication to classic Hip Hop sampling that got him through the door. And this was and still is the biggest difference between West and 50: while 50 Cent was a dominant rapper of his era, West had the fluidity to adapt and even anticipate the incoming trends of popular music. That is why West’s reign is still a reality and 50 Cent’s reign is no more.
At the end of the day, this anniversary is more of a testament to Mr.West’s ability to take it to the next level than it is a reminder of a great moment for Hip Hop.
Kanye West became one of the hottest producers in the game, so why not rap?
Kanye became one of the hottest rappers in the game, so why not take down 50 Cent?
At this point, whether you like him or not, Kanye West is a cultural icon. Although he is still rough around the edges in terms of political correctness, his ability to try anything despite the risks is arguably the greatest reason for his success.
So, why not run for President?