Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Reflections On Kanye Vs. 50 Day: A.K.A. Only An Evil Genius Like Jimmy Iovine Can Bastardize 9/11
Its only kind of fitting that today its raining in New York City. I woke up around 11 a.m. after passing out on my couch in my apartment last night watching late night re-runs of VH1’s awesomely watchable train wreck reality series “The Pick-Up Artist” and eating day old pizza to discover that the Netflix envelope that I had left near an open window had been completely soaked through by the rain that had been inconspicuously pouring outside my beloved Brooklyn. I woke up, sat up and immediately turned on the television to SportsCenter to check the score of the Indians game and to also secretly make sure that there hadn’t been another terrorist attack in our country. New York City gets kind of edgy and quiet around this day as there seems to be an unconscious fear that the Boogie Man is coming back to get us on our way to work (or in my case on the way to my kitchen). It permeates the city and it makes for an otherwise eerie feeling. The rain only compounded on that.
However, unless you mysteriously wandered onto my blog while searching for Bill O’Reilly or you are one of my friends that like to hate on me for writing about hip hop (I see you, Kirstin! You can’t tell me nothing!), you know that today is the day that Kanye “I May Not Be Gay But I Sure Do Act Like A Whiny Pussy When I Don’t Get My Way” West and 50 “I Am Seriously Overcompensating For Lack Of Attention As A Child” Cent (and Kenny Chesney...) square off for the future of Hip Hop, life itself, and the fate of the known universe in hip hop sales supremacy. As a Patriotic American and a firm believer the best way to honor the dead is to shop (because that’s what Emperor George The Lesser told me to do and if you can’t trust a privileged coke head C student pretending to be from Texas who can you trust), I went and purchased my fight in the dog, Kanye’s CD at the Virgin Megastore in Union Square.
First things first, there were a hell of a lot more people buying Kanye’s album then they were buying 50’s album. By like almost a 3 to 1 margin...Seriously! I had been saying for months that 50 was going plastic wood grain but to actually see people buying two to three copies of Kanye West’s CD each was a frickin’ trip and sort of vindicating. At one point, there were at least 30 people in line waiting to purchase something and at least 15 to 20 of them all had copies of Graduation and maybe 5 or 6 of them had bought Curtis. When I first walked in, I saw this one dorky looking kid having a grand total of six copies of Graduation in his hand. I couldn’t believe it. I don’t know what this really means or if this is going to be a trend all across the country but from my perspective and powers of observation, Graduation is going to blow Curtis. You heard it first here! I mean I suppose I could have wandered into the Official Kanye West Fan Club’s Official Graduation Purchasing Spot into NYC (and now that I think of it. Kanye West is scheduled to do and in-store there today...) but if there is one part of the country that the “King” of New York should dominate in sales its NYC. Tell me I’m wrong!
My extreme schadenfreude in seeing 50 Cent, The Asshole Supreme Of Hip Hop, falling satisfyingly on his face aside, there are more important things to be thinking about on September 11th than whether two already obscenely rich guys get richer. The more I think about it, the more I think its kind of obscene that anybody would use such a sober and infamous date in American history to promote selling a product. September 11th really shouldn’t be used as a marketing ploy to sell records because its a day that thousands of people instantly lost their lives, millions of more had their lives ruined by the loss of their loved ones and caused a chain reaction of destructive endless violence in which even more Americans and untold amount of Iraqis and Afghanis lost their lives. Sadly, the leaders of this country has completely missed the point of why terrorists murder in the first place and instead tell us to shop. Whatever, I’m not above it. I did my part. I shopped today.
Despite what some people say, whoever wins this ultimately pointless battle between Kanye and 50, little will actually change in the hip hop industry. If Kanye wins, Little Brother is not gonna start to suddenly sell millions of records and Saigon is not gonna get release date anytime this decade. The best you can hope for is 50 Cent falling off the face of the earth but I even highly doubt that. And if 50 wins, well the industry is gonna stay in their current state of denial and self-destruction. Until, the industry fundamentally changes the way they start marketing and selling their music, nothing is gonna revive hip hop’s bloated rotting corpse. Oh well, we’ll always have Illmatic. Kenny Chesney is probably gonna win, anyway.