Fifty vs. Kanye vs. Kenny

Entertainment Weekly has an interesting take on the brewing feud between hip-hop mega-stars 50 Cent and Kanye West:

Whose new CD will sell more when they both drop on Sept. 11, 50 Cent or Kanye West? While those two rappers continue to busy themselves trading verbal jabs over that question, a third contender is now staking his claim to that week’s hotly contested sales crown: country superstar Kenny Chesney.

”It’s funny how with every record that comes out, we’re aware of the urban [competition], and none of those acts acknowledge that I exist,” Chesney tells EW via email. ”Until I have that No. 1 debut on the Top 200.”

Just Who I Am: Poets and Pirates, Chesney’s 11th studio album, goes on sale the same Tuesday morning as 50 Cent’s Curtis and Kanye West’s Graduation. Chesney’s last four studio efforts have opened atop Billboard‘s albums chart — including his most recent effort, The Road and the Radio, which beat the original soundtrack to 50 Cent’s film Get Rich or Die Tryin’ when both debuted in November 2005.

Personally, I’d be surprised if Chesney wins the first-week showdown. His latest studio album, The Road and the Radio, opened with 469,000 copies.   Kanye West sold more than 860,000 of Graduation, his last album, in the first week.  50 Cent sold 1,140,000 of The Massacre, his last studio set, in only four days.

I would, however, wager that all three artists will sell less this time around, and that Chesney will easily have the top-selling album of the three after a few weeks.   Chesney remains a core country radio act and is far less dependent on a big opening week to drive up his sales tally.   One need only to look at Shania Twain’s Come On Over and more recently Carrie Underwood’s Some Hearts for proof that a #1 pop opening isn’t everything.

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16 Comments

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16 Responses to Fifty vs. Kanye vs. Kenny

  1. This is actually a tough call, and I don’t think Chesney’s being entirely unrealistic to think that he has a shot at the #1 debut. Fiddy’s already on the warpath over some pirated / leaked copies of the album that have supposedly hit the street market, upset that those could have a negative impact on his first-week sales.

    Further, as of this week, neither he nor Kanye West have had much success with the first singles from these projects– Fiddy’s “Amusement Park” and West’s “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” haven’t been nearly as big out-of-the-gate as “In Da Club” or “Golddigger” were. Chesney’s leadoff single, “Never Wanted Nothing More,” on the other hand, is spending its fourth straight week at #1 on the country radio chart. So Fiddy and Kanye West are actually relying more on this game of one-upsmanship than their singles to promote their new albums; Chesney already has his “base” mobilized through solid radio support, so throwing his hat into the ring with the two rappers is a shrewd bit of additional self-promotion.

    I’d expect all three to sell somewhere in the 500 – 600K range, with Chesney selling a bit above expectations and the two rappers selling a bit below. As for the final chart rankings, I wouldn’t place a bet on any of the three. But West’s album is the only one that I imagine I’ll own at any point.

  2. steve gNo Gravatar

    50 Cent: 1, Kanye West: 0
    Kanye: PWNED in the 2006 Forbes earnings list.
    http://coedmagazine.com/entertainment/Music/1912

  3. Flynnville Train Challenges Kenny Chesney

    For immediate release——–\
    –Nashville—-

    Flynnville Train Joins Kenny Chesney Who Joins 50 Cent/Kanye West Album Battle
    50 Cent’s new CD and Kanye West’s new CD will both be released on September 11. 50 Cent said he will retire from his recording career if West outsells him. West told reporters,”When my album and 50’s album drops, you’re going to get a lot of good music at the same time…”

    Kenny Chesney says, “It’s funny how with every record that comes out, we’re aware of the urban (competition), and none of those acts acknowledge that I exist. Until I have that No. 1 debut on the Top 200.”

    New and upcoming act Flynnville Train is now blasting Chesney for ignoring the fact that they also have their new, self titled debut album coming out that same day. Tommy from Flynnville Train says, “It’s funny how Kenny Chesney is aware of the urban competition but fails to acknowledge that we exist, until we have our debut in the lower half of the top 200. In fact, we would like to challenge Kenny. If you outsell our record on the first day we vow to open 5 shows for you. However, if we outsell you, then you would have to wash our bus.

    Come on Kenny, don’t be chicken”.

    All Aboard!!!!! The Train is Coming!!!

    [IMG]http://i113.photobucket.com/albums/n218/PMJEN/30bdb26c.jpg[/IMG]

  4. Jerseygirl0421No Gravatar

    Flynnville Train Challenges Kenny Chesney

    For immediate release——–\
    –Nashville—-

    Flynnville Train Joins Kenny Chesney Who Joins 50 Cent/Kanye West Album Battle
    50 Cent’s new CD and Kanye West’s new CD will both be released on September 11. 50 Cent said he will retire from his recording career if West outsells him. West told reporters,”When my album and 50’s album drops, you’re going to get a lot of good music at the same time…”

    Kenny Chesney says, “It’s funny how with every record that comes out, we’re aware of the urban (competition), and none of those acts acknowledge that I exist. Until I have that No. 1 debut on the Top 200.”

    New and upcoming act Flynnville Train is now blasting Chesney for ignoring the fact that they also have their new, self titled debut album coming out that same day. Tommy from Flynnville Train says, “It’s funny how Kenny Chesney is aware of the urban competition but fails to acknowledge that we exist, until we have our debut in the lower half of the top 200. In fact, we would like to challenge Kenny. If you outsell our record on the first day we vow to open 5 shows for you. However, if we outsell you, then you would have to wash our bus.

    Come on Kenny, don’t be chicken”.

    All Aboard!!!!! The Train is Coming!!!

    [IMG]http://i113.photobucket.com/albums/n218/PMJEN/30bdb26c.jpg[/IMG]

  5. Anonymous

    I think Kenny Chesney must recognize the possibilities of a losing battle when it comes to Flynnville Train. He hasn’t commented since and they released thier comments openly to Nashville ETC.

  6. Yea,

    Kenny has the background along with the backing but raw talent goes to Flynnville Train. All a person has to do is check out thier site or all the comments on CMT about them. Thier place in history is obveously recieving and hosting CMA awards. I’m not so sure Kenny can say that..

  7. Paul W DennisNo Gravatar

    Am not sure that I understand the nature of the battle. The two audiences are nearly mutually exclusive – if Kenny’s disc opens at #1 the stations that play 50 Cent or Kanye won’t be playing it regardless

  8. Good Golly McMolly people , SMILE :) It was all (Tommy’s statement) started w/ a sence of humor. Yes, You’d think Kenny would have a sence of humor too??? and say somethin’.
    I don’t give a hoot who out does who when it comes to the initial trio. why Kenny made the statement bout them who knows, just the beginning of publicity?- Maybe he’s gonna do a duo w/ one of ‘em or a trio!!!
    All I care about is FLYNNVILLE TRAIN , Got lifetime tickets for a looooonnng choo choo ride :)

  9. The “battle” is for opening-week numbers. 50 Cent is boasting that he’ll post bigger numbers than Kanye West, and Kenny Chesney’s name has been added in the mix b/c his album streets the same day and he also opens big. Chesney commented on it himself after prodding from EW.

  10. BeeNo Gravatar

    Who’s chesny(or is it Chesney?My bad!) any way i never heard of him(does he rap?)so there no doupt he wont compete with giants like fitty and west.So pls for your dignity and reputation’s sake dont interfere!chesney.

  11. MargieNo Gravatar

    Kenny, to me, is as bad as Kanye and Fiddy. They are all egomaniacs and want to be first no matter what it takes. I don’t care for all this politiking. GROW UP GUYS! Quality is so much better than Quantity in my book!

  12. Cowboy Blue

    While I do understand where Kenny is coming from, the bigger issue in between the rappers.

    While kenny rides under the rader, these two, Kanye and 50 Cent, are so confident that they will be the front runners on the charts, so confident that 50 cent has threatened retirement if he is outsold by Kanye…I wonder what he’ll say if Kenny shows them both up which i hope he does.

  13. MargieNo Gravatar

    Kenny came in third! Kanye first.

  14. KennyNo Gravatar

    COME ON KENNY CHESNEY YOU CAN BEAT 50 CENT AND KANYE WEST! 50 CENT AND KANYE WEST SUCK IN MY BOOKS. COUNTRY MUSIC RULES AND RAP SUCKS!

  15. JennyNo Gravatar

    BOOH 50 cent! BOOH Kanye West! LETS GO Kenny Chesney you can beat those two losers!

  16. CHART DATE: 09/17/2007
    LAST UPDATE: 09/18/2007 11:33:53
    NOW IN: FINAL

    LW TW artist / album label power index % change
    — 1 KANYE WEST ROC-A-FELLA/IDJMG 930,251 —
    GRADUATION
    — 2 50 CENT AFTERMATH/INTERSCOPE 659,682 —
    CURTIS
    — 3 KENNY CHESNEY BNA/SBMG NASHVILLE 400,202 —
    JUST WHO I AM: POETS & PIRATES

    So… Fiddy comes in right on target, but Kanye goes well above the initial forecast, while Chesney comes in maybe just a bit under. Still, that’s just shy of 2M units moved for just the top 3 albums of the week– some people at RIAA are pretty happy this week.