2007 was a huge year for hip-hop, and it could be said that the culture shifted after Kanye West’s Graduation, outsold 50 Cent’s highly anticipated follow up to The Massacre, entitled Curtis.
For a refresher, Graduation and Curtis were slated to drop on the same day on September 11, 2007. In a highly publicized PR and marketing campaign, 50 and Kanye were pitted against each other to see who would outsell the other. This was especially important because of Kanye’s victory over 50, showing a shift in rap music away from gangsta rap.
In 50’s new book, Hustle Harder Hustle Smarter, 50 talks about his battle with Kanye back in 2007, and connects his album showdown to a healthy competition he has had with Jay-Z.
“I salute JAY for a sophisticated strategy,” 50 states while talking about Hov’s transition into President of Def Jam. “There was nothing unethical or disloyal about it. A lot of people hesitate to make those moves. They’d rather stay connected with the same group of people, even if those people aren’t getting them any closer to success. Jay didn’t fall into that trap. Still hasn’t.”
In the chapter Curtis vs. Graduation, 50 states that he was actually the one who came up with the idea for the album showdown between him and Kanye. As for Jay-Z, 50 says that Jay had been “extremely uncomfortable” with his run in New York. “So he [Jay-Z] did everything under the sun to make sure he could beat me through Kanye.”
As for why 50 thinks Jay is disappointed in Ye, 50 said that “Jay took a lot of pride in Kanye’s victory… I think that’s one of the reasons he’s so disappointed in Kanye today.”