I thought beefs went out with the XFL, but apparently in the rap world, they still linger. Today, two of its biggest stars, Kanye West and 50 Cent, are both releasing albums, much to each other’s chagrin. The occasion is being trumped up by the media, tearing our nation at the seams. Will we illegally download these releases or buy them at a store? And use actual money?
I take the stance that the better of the two albums is Kanye’s Graduation. He’s doing a lot more with his talents and pushing his art further. Sure, he’s a whiny bitch most of the time, but it’s what he does on the field that counts. He’s got Daft Punk samples, and frickin’ Chris Martin from Coldplay even tinkles the ivories on a track. There’s even a John Mayer-assisted B-side floating around. Meanwhile, 50 offers another tired collection of marble-mouthed FrankenPac posturing on Curtis. This guy stopped being interesting in 2003, when we got over the fact he had been shot 56 times. At least Kanye has a sense of humor about the whole thing, unlike Fiddy, who sincerely believes he’s changing the world one gunshot-sampling strip-club anthem at a time.
Eh, I’m downloading Kanye for my special “dance-alone” time, but I’m buying the new Black Lips, a kick-ass garage band from Hotlanta that sounds like riding rails on a Tussin ‘n’ whiskey bender. Fiddy I’ll save for a late-night Limewire binge. – Craig Hlavaty