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Beef sells. Just ask Universal Music Group, the label home of two feuding rappers who have spent the past five months recording dis records, videos and cartoons against each other all the way to the bank.

Ever since the drama between Rick Ross [click here to read] and 50 Cent [click here to read] began escalating in January, the sales of Ross’ two previous albums have increased by 62%, while sales of 50 Cent’s three catalog titles grew by 74%, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

And the more that bloggers wrote about the battle, according to the online chatter tracker Nielsen BuzzMetrics, the more the two artists reaped the benefits. Ross’ new album “Deeper Than Rap” looks as though it will debut atop the Billboard 200 this week with sales of about 150,000 copies.

But some critics question if the beef was a publicity stunt by Ross to draw attention to “Deeper Than Rap.”

People made plenty of assumptions [about the beef] but my name was mentioned before I ever did anything,” Ross told Billboard. “And where I grew up, if I have a homeboy that gets shot at every time he goes down a certain street and if I’m riding in the car with him one particular day and we go down this same street and they happen to shoot at the both of us, I’m involved now. When someone mentions my name because they’re attacking someone that I’m close with, it’s my problem now.”

Remember Grimace? Rick Ross looks kinda familiar, right? Check out our Hip-Hop Muppets gallery below:

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