Ever since their epic albums-chart showdown in 2007, Kanye West and 50 Cent have been linked to each other as rivals, for better or worse.
Oftentimes, though, it’s been for the worse, at least when it comes to West being the target of 50’s barbs. The G-Unit star has repeatedly taunted West, from remarks about the rapper’s sexuality to mocking his emo-laden hit “Love Lockdown” during his own performances.
West, though, has rarely retaliated.
In one instance, on the remix to his “Can’t Tell Me Nothing,” the Chicago MC jabbed at 50 when he rapped, “And after all of the drama, Kay slayed him,” referencing his opening-week sales of Graduation that trounced 50’s Curtis sales numbers that same week.
But, in an interview posted Thursday (January 22) on Bossip.com, a popular blog that West often name-checks, the rapper revealed that 50’s swipes “affect” him.
“Just as a real human being, I can’t say that it doesn’t affect me,” he explained. “I was such a fan of 50. As much as people think that I look at myself, I think that me and Lil Wayne are very similar: Even though we believe in ourselves, we’re very much fans of other rappers, too. Like how Game is, we really like other rappers. 50 is one of those rappers that I said was the end-all-be-all of what rap what supposed to be. Like, a true iconic rapper. ”
West has credited the rivalry for bringing out the best in the pair. Their songs “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” and “I Get Money” were two of 2007’s biggest rap anthems. But as a fan of 50, West said the G-Unit leader’s negative words are akin to being “spit on” by him.
“He was my favorite rapper since Mase when he dropped, and when I used to be around him, he was one of the few people that I was, like, really a fan of. I was nervous in the studio working on beats and hoping that I could do a good beat for him,” West said, referring to music he produced for 50 that remains unreleased. “This is even when I had College Dropout and ‘Jesus Walks.’ Jay-Z and 50 are two types of guys you really want to make some good music for.
“So, for me as a fan of him, I felt like if he said something negative and tried to make it like I’m negative, it’s almost like if a little kid walks up to you at the airport and is like, ‘Man, I love you so much,’ and then you spit on him, it’s like, [jokingly] ‘I don’t know if I love you as much as I used you,’ as you wipe the spit off your face. But you still play their music.”