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Kanye Beats 50 Cent in Early Returns

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It seemed like a ridiculous challenge, and now it appears that all 50 Cent did by declaring that he would give up his solo career if his new record was outsold by Kanye West's new record was help Kanye's record. Both discs dropped on Tuesday and 50 looks like he might be the one having to drop out - if the former crack dealer is good with his promise.

Billboard is reporting that first-day sales show that Kanye has a pretty big lead on Fiddy and might even be the fastest-selling record of the year, in part, one would think, because of the hype of this battle.

West's "Graduation" sold an estimated 437,000 copies during its first day of release Tuesday, ahead of 310,000 for 50 Cent's "Curtis" and 107,000 for country star Kenny Chesney's "Just Who I Am: Poets and Pirates," according to a new "Building Chart" devised by tracking firm Nielsen SoundScan. The Building Chart gives an early look at how the race is shaping up for SoundScan's final charts, which post projected national sales each Wednesday morning, extrapolated from a panel of merchants representing more than 90% of the U.S. music market.

Some pundits project West will surpass 750,000 copies for the week, breaking the 2007 record of 623,000 copies held by rock band Linkin Park's "Minutes to Midnight." But West did better with his last album, 2005's "Late Registration," which debuted with 860,000 copies. 50 Cent also will fall far short of the 1.1 million start for his last album, 2005's "The Massacre."

We at LAist have love for both artists, but Kanye hit it out of the park on this album and we're glad the public are agreeing at the cash register.