In 2007, Kanye and 50 Cent shared headlines leading up to the simultaneus release of both of their third solo albums, West's Graduation and Fiddy's Curtis. In an effort to spark a rivalry (and spur sales) 50 thre down a gauntlet. "If Kanye West sells more records than 50 Cent on September 11," he proclaimed. "I'll no longer write music. I'll write music and work with my other artists, but I won't put out any more solo albums." (50 would lose the sales-off, 957,000 to 691,000, but welch on his bet, releasing his fourth solo album Before I Self Destruct in November 2009.)
West, on the other hand, kept things classy. "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," he said in a January 2009 interview with Bossip. "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 fan of. I was nervous in the studio working on beats and hoping that I could do a good beat for him. ... 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, 'I don't know if I love you as much as I used to,' as you wipe the spit off your face, but you still play their music."
In a recent New York Times interview, Kanye also brought up J-Kwon and his track "Tipsy," saying, "People would think that's like a lower-quality, less intellectual form of hip-hop, but that's always my No. 1."
However, years ago, on the song "Bonnie & Clyde Freestyle" he rhymed, "My favorite rapper is Makaveli, Nas and Jay-Z/Eminem, Mase, Biggie Smalls and me." And who can forget Yeezy also saying that he's his own favorite rapper during a video interview a few years back?