50 Cent Remains Cheerful In The Face Of Kenny Chesney-Crazed Hordes

50.jpgIn an interview with Newsday, 50 Cent not only proclaims Eminem “the biggest rapper on the planet” (Curtis, of course, is No. 2), he professes ignorance about the other threat to his run on the top spot come Sept. 11:

When asked what he thinks about country singer Kenny Chesney’s assertion in Entertainment Weekly that his album “Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates” (BNA), also due out Sept. 11, could sneak in and win the week, 50 Cent laughs.

“Who?” he quips. “He’s out of his mind.”

(A bit of first-week-sales math may be helpful. Though 50 Cent’s last album, “The Massacre,” sold 1.1 million in its first week and West’s “Late Registration” opened with 860,000 copies sold, hip-hop sales have been more severely hurt by piracy and Internet downloading than other genres, especially country, cutting first-week sales for some artists by up to half. Chesney’s last album, “The Road and the Radio,” opened with 469,000 sales in 2005, meaning major growth in his fan base, which has been packing stadiums to see him all summer long, could make this a horse race.)

At first, Fitty goes for a subtle put-down of Chesney.

“You know how it is in the country,” he says. “You don’t get a chance to see everything.”

OK, 50. Look, I was at the Kanye listening session/monologue on Tuesday, and I heard him talk about how both you and him were letting the press do your dirty work as far as promoting your album, and I know that all this “who?” posturing is merely you trying to assert your dominance amongst the herd. But seriously, do you think it’s in keeping with your “I get money” CEO persona to not know all the details about the artist who, let’s face it, is a bigger threat to you, chart-wise, than Kanye West? If you were really serious about all this “I’m a businessman” crap, you’d have your opposition research ready to go, complete with PowerPoint slides on why the yard-tall-margarita-swilling hordes will probably be too drunk to even show up at the record stores on Sept. 11.

Can Fitty sell himself? You bet [Newsday]