May 28, 2014

Where To Start With… 50 Cent
by James

by James Forryan

hmv London; 28/05/2014


"Like the legend of the Phoenix, I've just eaten a whole packet of chocolate HobNobs..." Editor,

Where To Start With… 50 Cent

It’s been a relatively quiet few years for Curtis James Jackson III – better known to most as 50 Cent, or simply ‘Fiddy’ – but after the five years that have passed since his 6th studio album, Before I Self-Destruct, he’s gearing up to release not one but two LP’s this year. The first of these is coming next week in the form of Animal Ambition, with a second, Street King Immortal, due for release some time later this year.

For Animal Ambition, 50 Cent has taken the unusual approach of putting one single every week for ten weeks in a row – in fact, of the eleven tracks on the album only the title track is previously unreleased. So, for those who haven’t been keeping up, next week’s album release is the ideal way to catch up in case you missed out on any of the singles. It also represents his first LP for Caroline / Capitol records, where the rapper headed after ending his 12-year relationship with Interscope, taking his own imprint, G-Unit Records, along with him.

To celebrate the release of Animal Kingdom we went digging through the rapper’s back catalogue to pick out five of our favourite tracks from the career of one of New York’s most infamous artists…

Get Rich Or Die Tryin'

I Can't

(taken from Get Rich or Die Tryin')

With Dr. Dre at the controls, 50 Cent’s first album was a blend of the rapper’s hardcore East Coast lyrical style and Dre’s typically West Coast production, and ‘If I Can’t’ is one the best examples of this. Dre and Eminem’s protégé comes out of the blocks with a swagger, with the rapper boasting “If I can’t do it, Homey / It can’t be done” and it’s still one of 50 Cent’s defining moments.

Before I Self-Destruct

So Disrespectful

(taken from Before I Self-Destruct)

Taken from his most recent studio LP, Before I Self-Destruct, ‘So Disrespectful’ sees the rapper reigniting his on-and-off feud with fellow rapper Game: “C’mon Game, you’ll never be my equal/ You only shoot dogs, my n****s shoot people / See me? I’m what you’re never gonna be / I’m in that tax bracket you’re never gonna see”. For anyone who misses the rap beef of the good old days, this track is not to be missed.


My Gun Go Off

(taken from Curtis)

Taken from album no.4, Curtis, this one’s a bit of an under-appreciated gem. With its chugging guitar riff underpinning the rapper’s tales of the thug life, the track is the opening salvo proper following a sample taken from the film Shooters which features dialogue from the main characters J and Gilly discussing their firearm options. You wouldn’t expect to hear Welsh voices at the beginning of a New York rapper’s album, but it works…

The Massacre (Ecopac Reissue Explicit)

Candy Shop

(taken from The Massacre)

Taken from 2005’s The Massacre, ‘Candy Shop’ is one of 50 Cent’s most famous tracks, but it’s still worth including on this list. The lyrics are, to put it bluntly, filthy, which is one of the main reasons we like it. Featuring vocals from R&B singer Olivia, it’s a classic and one of the rapper’s best.

Get Rich Or Die Tryin'

In Da Club

(taken from Get Rich or Die Tryin')

How could we have an introduction to 50 Cent without including this? ‘In Da Club’ was the rapper’s breakthrough single in 2003 and he hasn’t stopped selling records since. More than that though it had a generation singing ‘Go shawty, it’s your birthday’… do we really need to say anything else?