Axl Rose’s Reaction To Kanye West Outselling Guns N’ Roses’ ‘Chinese Democracy’

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Hip hop and rap’s long-time running icon Kanye West and one of the most successful bands on the rock scene, Guns N’ Roses, had an unexpected competition in 2008 when they both released albums at the same time. The fans and musicians from both genres of music awaited excitedly for the new albums to be dropped and to see if Ye would be able to beat Guns N’ Roses.

Kanye released ‘808s & Heartbreak’ in 2008, simultaneously with Guns N’ Roses’ album ‘Chinese Democracy.’ GN’R had worked on the album for 14 years, releasing their previous one, ‘The Spaghetti Incident,’ in 1993. Rock and hip hop fans were excited to see how this rivalry would result. Although many people predicted that GN’R would outsell Kanye, they were surprised to see that Kanye peaked, leaving the rock band behind.

What Did Axl Rose Have To Say About Ye’s Win?

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Despite the media attention and naming the event as a competition, Guns N’ Roses singer Axl Rose wished Kanye the best and had no hard feelings towards him. He also admitted that he loves the song ‘Gold Digger’ from his 2005 album ‘Late Registration’ and is a ‘big fan’ of his energetic stage performances.

He also stated that with GN’R, he had already reached high amounts of success throughout their careers. Hence, it wasn’t entirely bad to be humbled after releasing ‘Chinese Democracy.’ While ‘808s & Heartbreak’ sold 450,000 copies in its first week and debuted at number one on Billboard 200, ‘Chinese Democracy’ peaked at number three and didn’t meet the expected sales in the U.S.

Here is what Axl said about their loss:

“I met Kanye at the Versace awards. He was very gracious. I love ‘Gold Digger’ and told him so. I’m a big fan of his stage performance as he seems to go for it physically, which I relate more to. Before our release, I sent him a message that any nonsense from the media had nothing to do with us and wished him the best. I’m humbled we’ve done as well as we have considering.”

In 2008, Guns N’ Roses didn’t have their iconic lineup with Slash and Duff McKagan. Instead, Axl recorded this album with Dizzy Reed, Robin Finck, Paul Tobias, Tommy Stinson, Josh Freese, and Chris Pitman. This lineuıp change and the delay that wore off their fans’ patience may be the primary reasons the album didn’t meet the expectations upon its release.