Fail Occurred: September 2007

September 11, 2007 pitted Kanye West and 50 Cent against one another in what turned out to be the most hyped sales battle in hip-hop history. That it was even possible for Kanye to beat 50 seemed unbelievable; a shift in the winds had moved fans away from bloody gutters-and-Lugers fantasies and toward Big Brother lovefests. The Battle of Billboard showed 50 to be vulnerable in a way that he never was before; news broke of him handling record-label frustrations by throwing a plasma TV through a window and into the street below. 50 Cent, who had threatened to quit rapping if he lost, lost. (While some would argue this point, 50 is still rapping.)