When a celebrity starts a feud with another famous person, it’s usually a sneaky way to promote an upcoming project, but in hip-hop this practice is a lot more open. 50 Cent’s beef with Rick Ross (calling him out for being a former corrections officer, dropping baby mama porn, etc.) was implicitly meant to promote his forthcoming Before I Self Destruct, but that album was pushed back indefinitely and all Fif was left to hawk was his second video game Blood on the Sand.
The plan worked… kind of. SOHH’s Cyrus Langhorne reports that Rick Ross’ album Deeper Than Rap debuted at number one (an honorable feat, even by 50 Cent’s standards), but sales for both rappers’ back catalog were where the numbers really surged. Sales of Ross’ first two albums are up 62 percent and 50 Cent’s previous three efforts are up a whopping 74 percent.
The same can’t be said for Blood on the Sand, 50 Cent’s PS3/Xbox 360 follow-up to 2005’s million-selling Bulletproof. To date, Fif has only unloaded 56,000 copies of his new game. It’s a relative flop, especially because you can’t really blame piracy for that one.
The reasons for the flop are debated, but I think it’s a beef-fuelled promotion gone slightly awry. As Langhorne rightly points out, “The real winner may be Universal Music Group, which owns Island Def Jam and Interscope, the labels the rappers are signed to.”