Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson. Rapper? Movie Star? That dude from that song about bottles full of bub? These days, fiddy is a lot of things. For starters, he’s a man who can’t back up his promises. By my count, Graduation destroyed Curtis in its opening week, a feat which Mr. Jackson claimed would signal the end of his career. For some reason however, be it 50′s blaming of the record label or just a plain lack of knowledge about the word retirement (a common theme in the rap world, check out Dan’s post on retirement), 50 decided to release the rancid piece of garbage he called Before I Self-Destruct. Aside from the fact that it featured “gems” such as “Baby by Me”, it was really just sad to see the degree to which his ability to rap had declined since his debut and most acclaimed album, Get Rich or Die Tryin.
While for most rappers in this situation, the reasoning is usually just the pure fact that club bangers sell way more records than gritty tales featuring clever rhymes and vivid imagery (see: Fabolous, Cam’ron, anyone who has ever associated themselves with young money), the story for Curtis seems to be a tad different. After watching 50′s appearance on “The View” (yes, the one with Whoopi Goldberg) in which Curtis comes out looking like Wayne Brady and proceeds to talk about how he’s distanced himself from the drug game, I realized he’s just a dude who want’s to clean up his image and become a movie star. The facts line up; its pretty evident that ever since “Get Rich or Die Trying”, the semi-autobiographical drug filled thriller starring the big man himself, Curtis has been going Will Smith on us. While that’s great for Curtis and all, where is the dude who said he was gonna “sell dope for a four-finger ring, one of them gold ropes” and invented the “g-g-g-g-g-g g-unit”?
Well funnily enough, it seems like there might be just a tiny bit of Curtis thats not drinking the kool-aid. The other day a track surfaced, possibly from the Power of the Dollar days, called Talk Is Cheap, and it really served as a firm reminder of where 50 used to be as a rapper. This song is classic, Get Rich or Die Tryin-level material. At the same time, can’t really blame a guy for wanting to get away from the drug life and make something better for himself. I mean hey, even Big Willie Style had to get his ass out of West Philly when shit got rough.
Anyways, it really looks like 50′s rap career is slowing to a halt, and while due to his recent music I can’t say I’m all too sad, he’s still a one of the better rappers of my generation, for better or worse. And hey, looks like shit worked out for Will Smith, so who can blame 50. Now all he has to do is make an iconic uber-90′s hilarious sitcom where he moves in with Alonso Ribeiro.