And so it came to pass that the two most anticipated hip-hop albums of the fall will be released 24 hours apart, if their respective voluminous Twitter accounts are to be believed, and given the airtight rapper/Twitter double helix these days, why wouldn’t you believe them. From an increasingly hypothetical shopper’s perspective this is awfully convenient; from Nicki’s standpoint, definitely not.
Of course, the last time Kanye engaged in head-to-head release-date warfare, this happened:
The fact that it made the cover of Rolling Stone indicates that The Great Kanye/50 Face-Off Of 2007 was a rousing success, even for the decidedly not victorious 50. (Didn’t he promise to retire?) But that was at least semi-arguably a fair fight, whereas Kanye/Nicki is not. Not to put her down, of course — Kanye/Anyone is not a fair fight right now, West’s high(er)-art invasion of Saturday Night Live this past weekend fortifying once again his utter pop-cultural dominance. Everybody else just get out of this guy’s way already.
It will be interesting to see if anyone blinks here — Minaj has been touting Nov. 23 for months now, with Kanye settling on the 22nd (a Monday, not that it matters to him) more or less just now. That they’ve collaborated recently (shared a Yankee Stadium stage, even) makes this double dip look a little odd: These release-date decisions are very carefully and cautiously made, right? Because this is not a good idea. This is an “Avatar vs. whatever movie opened the same week as Avatar” bloodbath Minaj can easily avoid when any other week in 2010 gives her at least a fighting shot at the #1 record in the country, Arcade Fire/Vampire Weekend style, a headline/boast no artist in 2010 can afford to forfeit entirely. Our ongoing trepidation re: Pink Friday notwithstanding, Minaj is an utterly fascinating figure who deserves as high a pedestal as she can concoct for herself — she deserves far better than to be stuck with the “featuring” tag on her own release week, too.