With Kanye West’s “Graduation” (Def Jam) having trumped 50 Cent’s “Curtis” (G-Unit/Interscope) in debut week sales, Def Jam honchos Antonio “L.A.” Reid and Jay-Z are celebrating. But they acknowledge West’s numbers (957,000) were bolstered by the competition, and that another sales war is not in their plans.

JAY-Z: We all know that the battle was a one-off. That’s not a template on how to do business. We know that we have challenges ahead of us [in regards to the industry’s downturn] but we also know that the consumption of music is at an all-time high as well.

L.A. REID: I am really optimistic about the state of the industry. When you look at these numbers, if I add in [West’s] catalog sales, he’s sold 1 million records in one week. That seemed to be a thing of the past and everyone had written it off, saying that people no longer bought albums in these numbers.

50 CENT: I am very excited to have participated in one of the biggest album release weeks in the last two years. Collectively, we have sold hundreds of thousands of units in our debut week. This marks a great moment for hip-hop music, one that will go down in history.


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