On September 11th, 2007, while many Americans were memorializing the World Trade Center attack, hip-hop was watching for the results of 50 Cent’s bold wager – that he would end his solo music career if Kanye West’s “Graduation” album outsold his “Curtis” released that same day. In this never-before-seen footage captured exclusively by SOHH.com, 50 Cent explains how he sees the competition with Kanye West and bets the house on himself.
Just days before the release of his highly anticipated album, “Curtis,” 50 Cent sat down with former SOHH.com journalist Carl Chery for an interview that would shift the course of his career. The Get Rich or Die Trying artist, who had already solidified his bonafides with massive hits from his albums and mixtapes, talked at length about the pending matchup between “Curtis” and Kanye West’s “Graduation.” Both albums were set to be released on the same day, September 11th, 2007, and anticipation was high.
Throughout the interview, the Queens-bred rapper spoke with the confidence of Muhammad Ali in his prime, calling attention to his successful track record and those who wanted to see him fail. Kanye, as 50 boldly explained, benefited from an “underdog” advantage with fans betting for him to overcome “the favorite.” 50 cited his sales record and called the Roc-a-Fella junior “safe” when explaining why Kanye collected all the trophies and awards. And then he sat up in his chair, looked directly into SOHH’s camera, and declared, “If Kanye West sells more records than 50 Cent on September 11th, I’ll no longer write music.”
SOHH would be the first outlet to document the bet that would later be dubbed, “the showdown” in an iconic face-off cover story by Rolling Stone magazine. 50 Cent took his wager on the road, working the media circuit to build anticipation for the matchup. The press and fans loved the David vs Goliath style competition and the two artists fully embraced it, throwing friendly darts in TV interviews and appearing together on camera.
The rest is history. Watch below.