NEW YORK — Regardless of what 50 Cent thinks, Kanye West says he's not blinking: His album will be coming out the same day as the leader of the G-Unit.
"The date, Graduation, September 11, we ain't moving," West said Sunday night at the Beacon Theatre, where he was waiting to perform with Lil Wayne (see "Kanye West, Ja Rule, Juelz Santana Jump Onstage For Lil Wayne's First-Ever NYC Solo Show").
Kanye is embracing the friendly competition with the man he recently produced a track for (see "Kanye West And 50 Cent Set For Epic Battle: Both Releasing Albums On September 11"). The Grammy winner says two heavyweights coming out on the same day is monumental for the game.
"I'd rather come out on a day like that, up against 50 — where people are excited about going to the stores and it's an event and people talk about it — and be #2 on that day rather than come out and be #1 on a day nobody cares about," West said. "It's about things going down in history. It's not that much exciting stuff in hip-hop right now. I think people are going to make it more than what I'm making it myself. At the end of the day, I'm making music and I'm trying to sell."
Despite its tragic significance, September 11 is also the day that Jay-Z's The Blueprint was released six years ago. West's production on the album — via songs like "Izzo (H.O.V.A.)," "The Takeover" and "Never Change" — brought him his first widespread acclaim.
"The Blueprint came out six years ago?" Kanye asked his A&R rep and friend Plain Pat. "That's monumental. This album, Graduation, I been listening to it. I like it a lot. I really believe I can take home that Album of the Year award at the Grammys. I've won my awards, but they've always been a category: 'hip-hop,' 'rap.' I wanna win Song of the Year, Album of the Year. I wanna deliver this album."
With singles such as "Can't Tell Me Nothing" and "Stronger" out now, West is hot, but where does he rank on our list of the Hottest MCs in the Game? Does he even rank on the list at all? You'll be surprised at a few people who were left off and who made it. Stick with MTVNews.com all week as the rankings are revealed. We uncovered #10 on Monday (July 23), and the countdown and debate rage all the way to Sunday, when MTV2 airs "The Hottest MCs in the Game" at 2 p.m. ET, revealing which rapper occupies the #1 spot.