Ladies and gentlemen, at long last, your 2007 New Releases main event:


While they were quiet enough onstage when they appeared together at Sunday night's VMAs — Kanye, after the show, not so much — both rappers have said their piece about the widely anticipated matchup between 50's Curtis and Kanye's Graduation. Fiddy recently insisted to MTV News that "I will be #1 on September 11," while the confident 'Ye has said the face-off was his idea in the first place.

But while each MC is probably envisioning himself as the chart-topper, how's the betting line shaping up? Let's take a look:

50 Cent:

· Fif's 2003 debut, Get Rich or Die Tryin', has sold a hefty 7 million copies to date; the 2005 follow-up, The Massacre, has moved 5 mil.

· His initially leaked Curtis songs weren't so well-received, and first single "Ayo Technology" has only peaked at #18 on the Billboard Hot 100 — even though the track features another superstar, Justin Timberlake (and a rapping super-producer, Timbaland, to boot).

· 50 has hit a few obstacles lately: His pre-VMA poolside concert was cut short after it nearly became an underwater concert. In August, he trashed the G-Unit offices in New York after his Robin Thicke collaboration "Follow My Lead" was leaked. And, after promising to stop writing music if West beats him, he later got wet feet and reneged.

Kanye West:

· 'Ye's 2004 debut, The College Dropout, has sold 2.5 million copies; 2005's Late Registration has moved roughly the same number. Yeah, Fiddy definitely has 'Ye's "number" in terms of album sales.

· But on the other hand, West has done a much better job tearing up the charts lately. His first Graduation single, "Stronger," is sitting comfortably at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. "Barry Bonds," which was leaked in August, has also been getting strong reception.

· Apparently Graduation is both "whiter" and "blacker" — talk about expanding your demographic!


Well, no matter what happens, after all is said and done, it's good to know that the MCs are willing to put aside their differences for the good of hip-hop. And this week is certainly going to be good for hip-hop.

Song Title of the Week:

"Peter Lorre Overture" from World/Inferno Friendship Society's Addicted to Bad Ideas

Album Cover of the Week:

Tie between Modeselektor's Happy Birthday! and Gang Gang Dance's Rawwar

Other Notables:

The Black Lips' Good Bad Not Evil
Notorious for spewing fluids from multiple orifices, the Lips have been a part of way-underground garage-rock labels Bomp! and In the Red but are dishing up their new album on the red-hot Vice Records. The psych-garage freaks have come up with a perplexing new song, "Katrina," which was written the night the band learned that a hurricane of the same name had destroyed New Orleans. The jangly, cheery track only has a handful of lines, including: "O Katrina, why you gotta be mean?/ You saw a highway down in New Orleans/ I can't believe what I saw on the TV screen/ O Katrina, why you gotta be mean?" The subject matter on the rest of the album, while delivered with the band's patented "flower pop," is equally bleak: Songs deal with one bandmember finding his mother's body, juvenile-detention centers and a fatal car accident, which is captured in "How Do You Tell a Child That Someone Had Died."

The Good Life's Help Wanted Nights
While the Lips actually enlisted a local Atlanta bartender to help produce their fifth effort, this Nebraska crew also went the boozy route for their fourth one. Main man Tim Kasher based the songs — including first single "Heartbroke" and "You Don't Feel Like Home to Me" — around a small-town bar and had been intending to use them as the soundtrack to a screenplay he didn't finish until recently. The Saddle Creek album was produced by — who else? — label regular Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes, the Faint).

Pinback's Autumn of the Seraphs
And there's just no keeping Rob Crow down. The indie-rock guru — who put out a solo album, Living Well, earlier this year, despite his myriad other projects — has tossed together another installment in his best-known band's oeuvre. The San Diego band's fourth album, recorded in its home studios, features drumming by former Rocket From the Crypt and No Knife members and features "How We Breathe," "Subbing for Eden" and "Blue Harvest." The initial run will come with a bonus disc featuring three additional new studio recordings.

New Releases:

· 40 Cal. - Broken Safety 2 (Koch)
· 50 Cent - Curtis (G-Unit/Interscope)
Read: "50 Cent Explains Last Week's Blowup, Says 'I Will Be #1 On September 11' "
· Akron/Family - Love Is Simple (with DVD; Young God)
· Animal Collective - Strawberry Jam (Domino)
· Axe Riverboy - Tu Tu to Tango (Minty Fresh)
· B5 - Don't Talk, Just Listen (Bad Boy)
· Baby Elephant - Turn My Teeth Up (Godforsaken)
· The Birthday Massacre - Walking With Strangers (Metropolis)
· Bizzy Bone - Trials & Tribulations (Real Talk)
· Black Francis - Bluefinger (Cooking Vinyl)
· The Black Lips - Good Bad Not Evil (Vice)
· Eugene Blacknell - We Can't Take Life for Granted (Luv N Haight)
· Kenny Chesney - Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates (RCA)
· Vic Chestnutt - North Star Deserter (digipak; Constellation)
· Cloak/Dagger - We Are (Jade Tree)
· C.O.C.O. - Play Drums + Bass (K)
· Alberta Cross - The Thief & the Heartbreaker (Geffen)
· The Deadly Syndrome - The Ortolan (Dim Mak)
· Ani DiFranco - Canon (Righteous Babe)
· Dirty Projectors - Rise Above (Dead Oceans)
· Downchild - Live at the Palais Royale (Linus/Koch)
· Enuff Z'nuff - Tonight, Sold Out (Crash)
· Eulogies - Eulogies (Dangerbird)
· Figurines - Where the Deer Wore Blue (Control Group)
· Film School - Hideout (Beggars Banquet)
· Gang Gang Dance - Rawwar (EP; Social Registry)
· Giacomo Gates - Luminosity (with DVD; DoubleDave)
· The Go! Team - Proof of Youth (Sub Pop)
· The Good Life - Help Wanted Nights (Saddle Creek)
· Grand National - A Drink & A Quick Decision (digipak with bonus tracks not featured on digital release; Recall)
· Grayskul - Bloody Radio (Rhymesayers)
· Ha Ha Tonka - Buckle in the Bible Belt (Bloodshot)
· Hatesphere - Serpent Smiles and Killer Eyes (EP; Steamhammer)
· Joe Henry - Civilians (Anti-)
· Hot Hot Heat - Happiness Ltd. (with DVD; Reprise)
· Jenny Hoyston - Isle Of (Southern)
· Icarus Witch - Songs for the Lost (Cleopatra)
· Jupiter Rising - Electropop (Chime)
· Kane, Welch, Kaplin - Kane, Welch, Kaplin (Compass)
· Kenna - Make Sure They See My Face (Interscope)
· Sander Kleinenberg - This Is Sander Kleinenberg (Ultra)
· Le Loup - The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations' Millennium General Assembly (Hardly Art)
· Devin Lima & the Cadbury Diesel - Mozart Popart (111)
· Scott Matthews - Passing Stranger (Republic)
· Modeselektor - Happy Birthday! (BPitch Control)
· Oakley Hall - I'll Follow You (Merge)
· Orange - Escape From L.A. (Hellcat)
· Adrian Orange and Her Band - Adrian Orange and Her Band (K)
· Para One - Epiphanie (Naive/Ryko)
· Picastro - Whore Luck (Polyvinyl)
· Pinback - Autumn of the Seraphs (Touch and Go)
· Pitch Black - Revenge (Travio)
· Emma Pollock - Watch the Fireworks (4AD)
· Qui - Love's Miracle (Ipecac)
· Raging Speedhorn - Before the Sea Was Built (SPV)
· Rainman - Bigga Than Life (Chime)
· Red Stick Ramblers - Made in the Shade (Sugar Hill)
· Johnathan Rice - Further North (Reprise)
· Shakra - Infected (Locomotive)
· Shout Out Louds - Our Ill Wills (Merge)
· Simian Mobile Disco - Attack Decay Sustain Release (Interscope)
· Taken by Trees - Open Field (Eleven Music)
· Chris Volz - Redemption (Rock Ridge)
· X-Press 2 - Makeshift Feelgood (Tommy Boy)
· Kanye West - Graduation (Roc-A-Fella)
Read: "Kanye West And Lil Wayne Counting On 'Barry Bonds' For A Hit Single"
· Wiley - Playtime Is Over (Big Dada)
· Ann Wilson - Hope & Glory (Zoë/Rounder)
· Wooden Shjips - Wooden Shjips (Holy Mountain)
· World/Inferno Friendship Society - Addicted to Bad Ideas (Chunksaah)
· Michael Yonkers Band - Grimwood (De Stijl)
· Zoroaster - Dog Magic (Southern Lord)
· Various artists - Choices EP II (Ubiquity)
· Various artists - Grey's Anatomy - Original Soundtrack 3 (Hollywood)
· Various artists - Rockabye Baby! Lullaby Renditions of the Rolling Stones (Baby Rock)
· Various artists - Sowing the Seeds: The 10th Anniversary (two CDs; Appleseed)
· Various artists -- "Dedication" soundtrack (Commotion/Koch)

Notable Reissues and Archival Material:

· Joan Baez - Carry It On (Vanguard)
· Elvis Costello - My Aim Is True - Deluxe Edition (two CDs; Hip-O/UMe)
· Ani DiFranco - Canon (Righteous Babe)
· Genesis - Turn It on Again: The Hits - The Tour Edition (two CDs; Rhino/Atlantic)
· June Panic - Songs From Purgatory: The Complete Recordings of June Panic - 1991-1996 (Secretly Canadian)
· Mono - Gone: A Collection of EPs 2000-2007 (Temporary Residence)
· The Alan Parsons Project - Tales of Mystery and Imagination - Deluxe Edition (two CDs; Island)
· Sonny Rollins - The Sound of Sonny (Riverside)
· Billy Joe Shaver - Storyteller: Live at the Bluebird 1992 (Sugar Hill)
· Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys - Seven Miles Out of Town (Varèse Sarabande)
· Trisha Yearwood - Greatest Hits (MCA Nashville)
· Young Marble Giants - Colossal Youth and the Collected Works of Young Marble Giants (three CDs; Domino)
· Various artists - Cinematic: Classic Film Music Remixed (Six Degrees)
· Various artists - The Commitments - Deluxe Edition (two CDs; Geffen)
· Various artists -- Four Decades of Folk Rock (four-CD box set; Time Life)
· Various artists - I'm Beginning to See the Light: Dance Hits From the Second World War (Legacy)
· Various artists - Monster Ballads Xmas (Razor & Tie)
· Various artists - The Pop Parade: Hits of the '40s, '50s & '60s (three CDs; Shout! Factory)
· Various artists - Sentimental Journey: Hits From the Second World War (Legacy)
· Various artists - When Rhythm Was King (Heartbeat)
· Various artists - "The War: A Ken Burns Film" soundtrack (four-CD box set also includes I'm Beginning to See the Light; Sentimental Journey and Songs Without Words: Classical Music From the War; Legacy)

Music DVDs:

· Mindless Self Indulgence - "Our Pain Your Gain" (Metropolis)
· Lionel Richie - "Live in Paris" (deluxe edition comes with CD; Island)
· Sublime - "The Ultimate Bundle for the Ultimate Sublime Fan" (two CDs and one CD; MVD Visual)
· U2 -- "PopMart Live from Mexico City" (limited edition comes with bonus DVD; Island)

Digital Releases:

· A.I. - Sex & Robots (A.I.)
· Marie Digby - Start Here (exclusive iTunes EP; Hollywood)
· Karmina - The Kiss (CBS)
· Louis XIV - The Distances From Everyone to You (EP; Atlantic)
· Meisterfakt - Down on My Ass (Kitty-Cuts)
· Mew - Live Session (exclusive iTunes EP; Columbia)

Coming Attractions:

September 18:
· Chamillionaire - Ultimate Victory (Motown)
Read: "Chamillionaire Ditches Bad Attitude; Hooks Up With Snoop, Busta For LP"
· Mya - Liberation (Motown)
Read: "Mya Gives Up Grudges And Ego, Picks Up Relationship Wisdom On Liberation"
· KT Tunstall - Drastic Fantastic (Virgin)

September 25:
· Foo Fighters - Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace (RCA)
Read: "Dave Grohl May Be Fond Of String Quartets, But Foo Fighters Haven't Gone Soft"
· PJ Harvey - White Chalk (Island)
· Hell Rell - For the Hell of It (Koch)

October 2:
· Dashboard Confessional - The Shade of Poison Trees (digipak; Vagrant)
· J. Holiday - Back of My Lac (Capitol)
· Soulja Boy - Souljaboytellem.com (Interscope)