50 Cent has never been completely up front with fans about the deeper meaning behind his album titles. But he might just top Get Rich or Die Tryin' and The Massacre with the name of his third major-label release: Before I Self Destruct.
50 revealed the title to MTV News recently and justified it — cryptically, of course — by simply saying, "Because it could potentially happen."
The music, however, is likely to be lighter than his previous efforts, as the rapper has said he's been inspired lately by old R&B and Motown artists like Smokey Robinson. And we also know he's working with at least one R&B producer: Beyoncé hitmaker Rich Harrison (see "50 Cent Enlists The R&B Flair Of Beyonce Hitmaker Rich Harrison").
"I show more vulnerability on this record than on others," 50 said. "I'm in a space where I can experiment a little bit. I mean, I felt a lot of pressure between each one of my projects. And they don't say, 'Do you think 50 can make a good record?' They say, 'Do you think he can do it again?' And that means [if I will] have the same success as I've had on each one of those projects. They don't care whether the state of the music business is changing; they'll say I've failed if I don't do what I did on the first two projects."
And, as 50 noted, that's no easy task.
"So 11 million records on my first album and 9.5 on my second album," he continued. "And when I'm getting ready to go into this project, considering that Apple is selling millions of iPods and Microsoft is coming out with competing products and Sony — everybody has something that encourages people to download material instead of purchasing the actual CD. The general public will still take advantage of it and say that I'm becoming less of an artist."
50 didn't elaborate whether Before I Self Destruct will try to live up to those expectations or shun them aside, but said to expect the album in the spring.
In the meantime, the rapper is furthering his acting career with several upcoming projects. The first of those, "Home of the Brave," with Samuel L. Jackson and Jessica Biel, opens next month.
"My character was actually a lot smaller [originally]," 50 said. "Irwin [Winkler, the director] kept expanding the character based on my performance. He wanted to see more from me in the film, so he just kept on adding scenes for me."