Battle of the Bling at Bodog Props: Kanye or Fiddy?
by Christopher G. Shepard - 09/04/2007
50 Cent says Kanye West sucks and he is betting his recording career on it; Fiddy has said he'll stop recording if West sells more albums. But album pre-sales show that Kanye West's album "Graduation" could debut stronger than Fiddy's "Curtis".
The year's two most anticipated rap albums will drop on the same day, Sept. 11. Sports investment powerhouse Bodog has hung two propositions on this event. But if you're looking to get some Esacalade "bling" these propositions have a $50 wager maximum limit so you won't be making that initial down payment with your winnings, even if you win both propositions.
You can bet on which artist will sell more albums in their first week. Both albums must be released on Sept. 11 and if the first week sales totals are not made public by Sept. 28, all wagers will be graded as No Action. If you want to bet the favorite, 50 Cent's album "Curtis" named after (who else?) himself, you'll lay -200 to win 100. Ye's "Graduation" is +150 on the money line.
The other proposition Bodog has made available is which album will debut higher on the Billboard 200 chart: Kanye West's "Graduation" or 50 Cent's "Curtis"? Both albums must be released on Sept. 11 for all wagers to have action. All wagers will be graded on results as posted on Billboard.com. 50 Cent's "Curtis" is a -230 "chalk" while Kanye West's "Graduation" is set at +160.
There is a fine line between these two propositions. Debut on Billboard's charts essentially shows the initial ranking of the album on Sept. 11, or the day that album debuted which can change from the first week to the second based on album sales. So it does not hold that if an album debut's at No. 1 it will end the week with the most albums sold. Although, often times if your album debuts at No.1 your album sales are likely to be No.1 as well.
A closer look at the "Battle of Bling" barometer shows that for once it appears that Kanye is the least egotistical artist in this pseudo rivalry. Ye has chosen to take the high road and not debate Mr. Cent on who is the better artist and who will sell more albums. Neither artist has budged from their scheduled release dates; 50 Cent had scheduled Curtis before Jay Z and Def Jam records moved back the scheduled release of Graduation to Sept. 11.
Comments from Joe Levy, the Executive Editor or Rolling Stone, suggest that perhaps upstart Kanye West has the edge on both album debut on Billboard as well as sales.
Levy said, ""At first I thought 50, because he wants it more, and he's making singles in order to get it, as opposed Kanye, whose stuff seems weird and wonderful, but who seems to be putting art first. But now I think Kanye. I think it's like Prince in the '80s -- Kanye's figuring out what the audience wants before the audience knows it wants it. 50's giving the audience what it's already said it wants."
Indeed it has been a long time since 50 Cent has had a smash hit while West is rolling. Ye's single, "Stronger" off "Graduation", is catchy and produced with interesting samples. "Stronger" is currently at No.2 on iTunes Top Songs Chart. The single features cross-genre appeal that 50 Cent is lacking, even with the help of White Soul Brother Justin Timberlake. Fiddy's duet with Timberlake, single "Ayo Technology", has been unable to crack the Top 10. Meanwhile on iTunes, West's album "Graduation", has risen to No. 3 without even being released yet. Curtis is holding at No. 9.
Evidence that 50 Cent's selling power might be diminishing, despite the fact that the mega-rapper has sold more than 20 million albums worldwide, is that Fiddy's recent soundtrack "Get Rich or Die Tryin'" -- featuring 50 himself, as well as several members of his G Unit posse -- moved 317,000 CDs in its first week out to take second place to country music's Kenny Chesney's, "The Road and the Radio". Not an impressive showing from the man whose studio album The Massacre moved 1.1 million CDs in five days.
A Glock 9mm to the head says I'm laying my hard earned $50 on the 'dog on both propositions bets as the preliminary data shows that Ye's Graduation will debut higher and sell more albums than 50 Cent's Curtis. We'll find out on Sept. 11 as the country commemorates another event that happened on that date.