So by now, everyone knows Kanye West convincingly defeated 50 Cent in their head-to-head Nielsen SoundScan clash during the first week of album sales. (Yeah, yeah, it was a fantastic day for hip-hop, blah, blah, so many albums were sold — but there had to be a winner, people.)
West pushed 957,000 copies of his Graduation to land atop the charts. Meanwhile, Fif’s sales weren’t too shabby either, however, the 692,000 copies his Curtis sold were considerably fewer than ones sold by the Louis Vuitton Don (all numbers have been rounded off, so put away that calculator). Plus, of course, the sales landed him at #2.
So just how did Kanye do it?
Beyond the 265,000 difference in total units sold between the two projects, West’s dominance in the matchup proved to be a one-sided affair in terms of digital, regional and retail sales.
The 132,000 digital units that West’s album pushed beat the prior first-week record set by Maroon 5’s It Won’t Be Soon Before Long, which moved 102,000 copies through that medium earlier this year. Fif’s album sold just 57,000 copies digitally in its first week. A staggering difference, to say the least.
For instance, 14 percent of the multiplatinum producer’s first-week total accounted from digital sales over the Internet, compared to that number accounting for only 8 percent of 50’s total first-week sales.
Kanye even carried 50’s backyard.
The Chicago native sold a combined 204,000 copies of Graduation throughout the Northeast and mid-Atlantic regions, where you would think 50 would have had an edge. But Fif — representing Queens, New York — moved a combined 168,000 copies in the same two areas.
In New York specifically, Kanye sold 98,000 copies to Fif’s 80,000. (Kanye also outpaced 50 in Los Angeles and Chicago with 80,000/55,000 to 56,000/28,000 units sold, respectively.)
Nationally, the city slicker 50 Cent even had to take a bow to the preppy West in the ’hoods. Overall, ’Ye moved 237,900 copies in cities, according to SoundScan’s geographical breakdown, to Fif’s 157,000 copies.
And in the ’burbs, West took care of business as a whopping 578,000 fans scooped copies of his album. Fif, a favorite among the suburbanites, was the recipient of a strong presence there, but his 471,000 units in the land of soccer moms didn’t quite match up with West’s numbers.
The difference at chain outlets such as Best Buy also tipped in Kanye’s favor, 511,000 to 377,000.
If it’s any condolence to 50, however, he was on top in the place he just cancelled a tour: Europe.
According to Billboard.com, Curtis debuted atop the European Top 100 Albums chart this week, as well as notching the top slots in Switzerland and Ireland. He’s worldwide! West debuted at #3 on the Euro chart despite taking the top spot on the UK Charts. (Manu Chao landed at #2.)
What was that Jay-Z line again? “Men lie. Women lie. Numbers don’t.”