The Day Kanye Killed Gangster Rap

On this date (9/11) in 2007 two of the biggest artist in hip-hop both dropped their albums simultaneously. Kanye West dropped Graduation and 50 Cent dropped Curtis. After the announcement that Kanye will release his album on the same date, the media ran wild with it. Instead of appreciating two great pieces of work at the same time, the public made it a competition. “50 Cent vs. Kanye”, “Curtis vs Graduation”. There was a whole new standard on this day.

In terms of music, Graduation was composed of a new sound to hip-hop. Opposed to the traditional gangster beats, Kanye took the production to a whole new level. He started playing more with samples, using different auto tunes, and using different types of instruments to create a whole new sound. This album featured iconic songs like “Stronger”,  “Good Life”,  and “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” which sort of created its own sub-genre.

As for Curtis, 50 Cent really didn’t change much in terms of music style. He still gave you those hood classics as well as some of the slower rap songs he always puts out. The only song that had a new vibe to it was “Ayo Technology”.

So when it came down to it, not only was it Kanye vs 50, it was kind of like new school vs. old school. Who were people supposed to listen to? What would people like better?

Well after a week the sales numbers came in. Graduation was able to pull off 951,000 sales in its first week while Curtis amassed 691,000 album sales. Both were very impressive but the truth was out. Kanye West got bragging rights and changed the game forever.

Since then a lot of that “gangster rap” style has died out while production and process have became more popular. People like Lil Wayne and other have replicated that “pop rap” and ran off with it. While others similar to 50’s style have declined.

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