Fif’s new book “Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter” offers a lot of revelations about the hip-hop industry and strategic wars between labels.
In a chapter titled “Curtis versus Graduation”, 50 recalls sales battle of 2007 between his “Curtis” album and Kanye’s “Graduation”. Previously Kanye stated that it was his idea to pit these albums against each other, in this book though Fif claims that he was a mastermind behind this plan and it makes sense because he was the one who benefited of it the most even if lost this war in pure numbers. 50 Cent wrote:
Today, selling 691,000 units your first week would be considered a massive success, but at the time the narrative was that Kanye had soundly defeated me. Of course he did beat me, but what the public couldn’t see was that I’d still earned a major victory.
Fif adds later that without this battle he would hardly move more than 400,000 units because Interscope was already starting to lose interest in him and would hardly put any significant effort in his promotion. Jay Z, claims Fif, was much more interested in this battle because he had wanted to beat Fifty for quite some time:
Jimmy Iovine might not have cared about beating Kanye, but Jay-Z, who was the head of Def Jam at the time, damn sure cared about beating me. Jay had been extremely uncomfortable with my run in NYC for years. So he did everything under the sun to make sure he could beat me through Kanye.
Hov saw this victory as one of his achievements and he is not pleased with the direction Kanye is going today, claims Fifty:
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.