Kanye West Vs. 50 Cent


Published: September 27, 2007

By Andrew Gnerre, Asst. Arts and Culture Editor

Kanye West would be disgusted that we are only spending 100 words on his new album, “Graduation.” If he had his way, we would co-opt the space taken up by the 50 Cent review and talk more about those white, slitted glasses he wears and how his third album is really, really good. And maybe we should, because honestly, “Graduation” is his best effort to date. Finally, West has made a complete album. He has decided to drop those sophomoric skits (Get it? Sophomoric? With that whole school theme he does?) that littered the monstrous track lists of his previous two records and incorporate a cohesive sound throughout. This ominous, Euro-synth sound that persists throughout really strengthens the album because, as The Dude would say, “It really ties the room together.”  The result is an album that’s as subtle as a Kanye West album can be; one that is better suited for headphone listening than party speakers.


By Luke Teegarden, Arts and Culture Editor

By contrast to Kanye’s glorious contribution to contemporary hip-hop, 50 Cent’s equally-anticipated “counterpart” release, is best suited for background party filler. “Curtis” feels brutally redundant—yeah 50, we know you sold rocks, shot dudes and that snitching is still taboo. Curtis Jackson is stuck in a watered-down gangsta rap rut, and despite having heaps of production money at his fingertips, he can’t seem to escape that boring club-fuzz sound that’s long been a speck in reputable hip-hop’s rearview mirror. That being said, “Curtis” isn’t a complete waste of time. The always-professional Timbaland bails him out for one track with “Ayo Technology” and the emotive “Follow My Lead” contains the album’s creamiest line, “You could be my Beyonce, I’ll be your Jay.” Still, these standouts are obvious red herrings—I’ve always said that 50 Cent’s got no flow and “Curtis” is irrefutable evidence of that.