50 Cent vs. Kanye: East meets West

John Askew

It just so happens that on the sixth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, two of America’s most outspoken rappers are releasing their latest albums – and it’s going to be epic.

Over the last couple of months both Kanye and 50 Cent have been talking up their albums in hopes that this release will finally settle who is on top.

So, in spirit of their face-off, here’s a quick breakdown to the year’s most hyped-up albums. The winner is up to you.

50 Cent

Album: “Curtis”

The sound: It’s as if the old 50 Cent is finally back – the 50 Cent that sold more than 800,000 copies of his 2003 release “Get Rich or Die Trying” in the first week. He seems to have settled on the “where’s my money” lyrics and addictive beats that earned him millions before. Luckily for us, it still works.

My only criticism is 50 Cent’s lack of command over his own album. Granted, there are moments in which he teams up with artists like Eminem and Mary J. Blige, but their performances often outshine his own.

Basically, this album is a definitely a step up from “The Massacre,” but I don’t see any awards coming his way for “Curtis.”

History Lesson: “Get Rich or Die Tryin'” (2003) and “The Massacre” (2005).

Check out these tracks: “Peep Show” and “Come & Go”

Kanye West

Album: “Graduation”

The sound: Over the last two albums, Kanye has grown as a musician, and his latest release continues the trend.

Lyrically, West is becoming more creative. “Stronger,” in which he raps, “You think you really know, but you have no idea, I’m gonna stay the same my whole career,” would be one example.

It sounds smug, but, after listening to the album, it’s evident that West put a lot of time into “Graduation.”

His beats are catchy and smart and, in some cases, stripped down from his previous work on “Late Registration,” where there seemed to be more skits than actual music.

Ultimately, West’s hard work is evident on multiple levels. I can see this album not only doing well in the next couple of months, but also 10 years from now.

History lesson: “The College Dropout” (2004) and “Late Registration” (2005)

Check out these tracks: “Stronger” and “Flashing Lights”