Did 50 Self Destruct?
Actor, author, product endorser, video game hero and executive producer 50 Cent definitely is the ultimate entrepreneur. From starting off as a drug dealer then becoming a rapper in the late '90's, he rose to fame with his classic 2003 LP Get Rich or Die Tryin'. Today Fif is one of the richest hip-hop entertainers, bringing in an estimated net worth of $440 million last year.
09:00PM ET November 12, 2009
Contributor: Eddie "Spotlight" Yancey, III
A Rocky Williform Company
This newfound "White-Collar 50" is great on the business side of things, but it's not going over so well with his fans that fell in love with the hardcore and brash lyrics that seemed to have diminished since his earlier albums. 50 is out to prove to his doubters that he still has that hood style with his newest joint, Before I Self Destruct, but does the album live up to it's edgy title?
You would figure that Before I Self Destruct, which was exclusively released on iTunes for digital download on November 9, 2009, would be well crafted since it was delayed numerous times and in the making for close to three years. The LP doesn't slack on production, as Polow Da Don, Scott Storch, and colleague Dr. Dre are some of the acclaimed producers who lay their credits down on the CD.
Before I Self Destruct jumps right into that psychotic side Fiddy wanted to portray with the intro track, "The Invitation," inviting his haters to "come get some," but only to be left in a bloody pile until the police arrive. Fans, of course, are familiar with the seductive, gold-digger anthem with Ne-Yo "Baby By Me." With “Then Days Went By," 50 nicely rides and sings across the well produced Lab Ox track where the chorus is on some everyday hood chronicles type stuff, as 50 states "I seen niggas getting rich, then days went by, then days went by, then days went by."
Special guest Eminem came with it, like always, on "Psycho" and Fif's first verse was pretty fluid as well. "Think About Me" is definitely a good look, as it shows the more eloquent rap style of Mr. Curtis. "Crime Wave" and "Stretch" are already getting major props by fans as they see a glimpse of the old 50 in the songs. "Get It Hot" is a cool, up-beat future single. In a semi ode to hip-hop classic "Rapper's Delight," fiddy cleverly incorporates his clip-pop concept with "Gangsta's Delight." The boastful, Dre produced "Ok, You're Right" booms nicely with its thunderous, yet simplistic, bass pounds. The lighthearted "Could've Been You" with R. Kelly discusses the frustrations of a chick that could have been living the good life. Two of the album's best tracks may be on the iTunes deluxe edition with "Flight 187" and "Man's World."
There are some lackluster joints on the album. The Dre produced "Death to My Enemies" is a track that could easily be skipped. He takes shots at his baby moms, The Game, and Young Buck on the minimal effective "So Disrespectful." "Hold Me Down" is an underachieving attempt at a love song with his strap (Pac, Nas and C-Bo have covered this territory already). "I Got Swag" basically discusses 50's riches and encounters with women.
At the end of the day, Before I Self Destruct is a solid album from 50. He's up to his usual antics, discussing women, drugs, and violence to go along with a lot of arrogance and cockiness that made him the beloved figure he is today. Fif described his two personas perfectly in "Strong Enough" when he said, "I'm pretty like a Harlem nigga / I'm a shooter like a Brooklyn nigga." When 50 Cent actually has a minute and sets aside some legit time to put together an album, the results are pretty credible. The physical CD will be in retail stores on Monday, November 16, 2009.