A week after bold pronouncements of eventual retirement should his album Curtis end up trailing Kanye West’s latest album Graduation, rapper 50 Cent must be seriously reconsidering the implications of what he said. Both albums hit the market September 11 and the initial sales numbers are in. According to Nielsen Soundscan, a respected tabulating body that deals with artists’ worldwide record sales, Kanye West just barely missed the one million record mark by registering a robust total of 957,000 copies. Graduation is the second highest selling album for 2007 and beat 50 Cent’s Curtis by more than 260,000 copies.
Much has been said regarding the rivalry so it’s going to be interesting if 50 Cent really does make good on his threat to refrain from releasing original material in the future. The rapper did say that he will continue to collaborate and produce for other artists even if he loses the bet.
The two albums finished no. 1 and 2. in the charts while another new release from Kenny Chesney claims the third spot with the country album Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates. This is the best first-week performance by a country artist since the Dixie Chicks came out with Taking the Long Way in 2006. Chesney’s effort sold 387,000 in its first week.
Last week’s number one, High School Musical 2 drops to the fourth spot after losing 19% of it’s first week sales. Despite the strong showing of the top three, record sales are down from the same time last year by about 9%. This further accentuates the growing preference for digital formats and other non-compact-disc packaging.