Hands down, Kanye West won the first week album sales battle against 50 Cent last month. Kanye's 951,000 Graduation copies sold gave him the 260,000 album advantage over 50's Curtis.
But the San Francisco-based Hip Hop Chess Federation posed an interesting question about the friendly rivals to its website users. Their poll asked, "In a battle of strategy and skill who would win?"
Sixty-five percent put their bets on 50 Cent, who recently scored one of hip-hop's biggest business successes ever when his investment in the Vitamin Water drink netted him a $400 million return.
The Hip Hop Chess Federation hopes that 50 Cent will one day put his strategy and skill to a different test, a hip hop chess tournament. Fellow emcees and Wu-Tang members RZA and GZA will be doing that Saturday, October 13, at the HHCF's 1st Annual Chess Kings Invitational competition at the San Francisco Design Center.
In an event hosted by Dilated Peoples' member Rakaa, 8 rappers and martial artists will face-off. The likes of RZA, GZA, DJ Disk, and Casual from Hieroglyphics will play against MMA fighter Ralek Gracie and UFC fighters Jeff "The Snowman" Monson and John Fitch.
A separate event will pit world renown DJ QBert in a 1 minute "bullet" match against Emma Bentley, the United Kingdom's 10 year old Jr. World Champion. Plus, $10,000 in scholarships will be awarded to winners from rounds between students from two local high schools and two youth organizations.
The event opens with the panel "Life Strategies: The Blueprint For Victory" that will include RZA, Monson, Chessmaster Josh Waitkin, among others, discussing how music, chess and martial arts can positively impact ones life.
Adisa Banjoko, who co-founded the HHFC along with Leo "Blast" Libiran, says the nonprofit created this platform as a means to help uplift kids. "To have such a fantastic blend of rappers, martial artists and chessmasters donating their time to underserved communities will have a profound impact on American youth," Banjoko says. "Chess has never looked cooler than right now."
See the video below of Casual, holding the championship belt, and Banjoko discussing the competition.