After weeks of public rivalry between 50 Cent and Kanye West about whose Sept. 11 album release would outsell who, West's "Graduation" (Def Jam) has pulled into a six-figure lead over 50's "Curtis" (G-Unit/Interscope), based on projections from representatives at the four major labels. That data indicates "Graduation" leads with 781,000 units, followed by "Curtis" with 603,000. The most current data available, Friday edition of Nielsen SoundScan's Building Charts, can be found here.

50 Cent had claimed he would retire from making solo albums if West won the sales battle, but in an interview with Billboard, he maintains the race is still early and there is no concrete winner just yet.

"[The sales] can't be considered [any one way] anyway because it's just a few days out," he says. "I guess [the music industry] would consider me to be a hip-hop favorite because of my sales history, and people like to root for the underdog."

50 Cent also changed his tune yesterday (Sept. 13) about his threat to stop rapping. On New York's Hot 97 radio station, 50 said if West outsells him he would instead go round for round, matching G-Unit releases with Def Jam's.

"The [fans that aren't supporting me now] are the same people that supported me in the past," says 50 Cent. "The impression I gave them was so strong that they have different standards for me. When my music comes out, if it was someone else's record, it would be a hit because it spun 3,500 times. But they're looking for the hottest music out at the time from 50 Cent, so if it's not that, then they show me resistance until I deliver. I've only been in the music business for four years and I'm already receiving some backlash. That's amazing, isn't it?"

50 Cent admits he is miffed with his treatment by BET's "106 & Park" and organizers of the MTV Video Music Awards. On the former, he was upstaged by Jay-Z during an intended showdown with West, and on the latter, he says he received considerably less screen time than Kanye.

At BET on Tuesday, 50 says he could have countered the Jay-Z moment had he been informed ahead of time. "Every time I do a show, the plans change," he offers. "Now, either I'm going to know exactly what I'm doing on the show or I'm not going to go. Usually if you have a TV show and you do two songs, it's not optional for you to do two records, and another one off your album. If I knew I could've brought a special guest, I would've brought Eminem ... but that [show] is not what I needed."

"As far as the VMAs were concerned, Kanye received the upper hand. I ain't going to front," he continues. "He had four looks -- his song "Stronger," his new record "Good Life," he had a performance with Soulja Boy, "Crank Dat," and then he came out with me. So I feel like Def Jam is doing a better job of promoting the CD than Interscope. Interscope is just relying on my base and the actual music. I was on the VMAs for one minute and 20 seconds. I should've just stayed home."

Additional reporting by Ed Christman.

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