Kanye vs. 50? Try MTV vs. Kanye. (And he's not winning that one.)

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With Kanye's Graduation selling 437k copies on its first day, Mr. West's on track to sell 575k to 700k units this week. That means he'll probably beat out Linkin Park's 623k from last May. Kanye's would be competitor 50 Cent may be polishing his golf shoes as we speak- his early retirement likely starts next week if he were to stick to his word. (He might too, since it's not the first time he's promised to slip behind the scenes). With 310k sold in Curtis' first day, he's on track to trail Kanye at a week's total of 550k units.

It's starting to seem that Kanye's real battle this week isn't really about album sales.

In the end, whether purposefully executed or not, the real media fix isn't 50 vs. Kanye, it's MTV vs. Kanye. What would a VMA show be without a Kanye outburst, after all?

In one corner we've got Kanye, blustering through tirades:

But wait, hold up, he's not pissed at not winning. He's pissed because he was manipulated, and Britney was exploited. It's the MTV media giant. “Give a black man a chance!” “Talked into” not playing the main stage, it was an “unprepared” and “exploited” Britney Spears who opened the VMA Award with a performance so strenuous she needed to break from lip-synching a few times. Had Kanye taken the main stage by storm, the subsequent media swirl of fascination might have stayed a bit more focused on the Billboard battle at hand.

Kanye's got a much subtler, more cunning foe in the corner. (MTV was the cause and creator of the Kanye vs. 50 pre-fab hip hop beef, after all). It's with those fawning tactics that MTV met Mr. West's blows:

MTV has a long and collaborative relationship with Kanye and we hope and look forward to continuing that meaningful relationship.


Maybe this is ignoring the real story. Wasn't there something that's pushed more units, so to speak, than anything else in the past two days? Oh yeah.