BAYONNE, New Jersey — When's the last time you heard about 50 Cent resolving a beef amicably — not only reconciling with the person he had problems with, but making a song with them? "Neveruary 32nd," you say? Well, there's a first time for everything.
Queens, New York, hitmaker recently mended fences with Lil' Kim, with whom he's seemingly had a love/hate relationship over the years, and last week leaked their newest collaboration, "Wanna Lick." The song is the first record from the upcoming G-Unit album Shoot to Kill, which drops December 18.
"I'm not good at resolving things," 50 said on Sunday afternoon on the set of the video for his collaboration with Akon, "I'll Still Kill." (Note: The title will be changed to "I Still Will" for television purposes.) "Once I get into an altercation with someone or we have a misunderstanding, I'd rather leave them over there rather than have them around when they still have those feelings."
A few years ago, 50 created "Magic Stick" for Kim's La Bella Mafia LP, which was a smash on the street level. But a video for the song was never filmed, harsh feelings ensued and the two slung disses back and forth on various records and interviews.
50 says that's all water under the bridge.
"I reached out to her, called her, to see where her head was at," Fif said. "In Kim's case, it wasn't me and Kim [who had the real beef]. It was Kim and the man she was with at the time. Later, we was able to actually get together and collaborated. We was able to make something special again with 'Wanna Lick.' It's good. From a female perspective, she can provide an aggressive standpoint and be aggressive for the women while I can be myself and be aggressive from a man's perspective."
(However, 50 clearly has not buried the hatchet with Nas, for whom he had some strong words.)
"I'll Still Kill" is one of the most aggressive records from 50's recent Curtis album, and the G-Unit bossman barks at anyone having issues with the content.
"The concept of the song was saying, 'I don't want to [kill], but I will if I have to,' " he said. "That would be justifiable, wouldn't it?"
"It's pretty hectic, but I have a great relationship with both guys," said clip director Jesse Terrero, who helmed 50's Reebok ad campaign with with baseball slugger Manny Ramirez in addition to many G-Unit videos, including "Wanksta" and "Candy Shop." "This is big — it's like 'Bourne Supremacy' meets 'Unleashed.' I threw out an idea and  enjoyed it."
In the video, 50 has to handle himself in a world of trained killers.
"It's not an environment for pretty women," Akon said while kicking around a soccer ball. "This is on some assassination-type [action]."
Akon also explained that he was just there to perform; the plot is all 50 Cent. 50 had high praise for his collaborator's contributions to the song.
"This collaboration, it's perfect," he said. "[Akon's] tones, vocally what he did on the chorus and the last portion of the record, it's great."
As for the G-Unit album, 50 divulged that it is almost done and that Swizz Beatz and Timbaland have already contributed. The last song they are waiting on is a track with Eminem.
"We gotta work with Em, that's it," he said. "Then we can be done with it. Production-wise, I captured what I needed. But I didn't want to not have Em's stamp on it. We probably won't get his vocals until he's heard the full body of work and he's excited about it. Before my work [goes to the public], it has to pass the Eminem test, the Dr. Dre test — it's a few tests before we push them to the street. That's why they can expect a higher quality of 50 Cent music than the usual artist."
50 said his next solo LP, Before I Self Destruct, will more than likely be ready for the spring.
"On my next album, you should expect to not see features [guest appearances] like you saw on Curtis," he smiled. "Before I Self Destruct, it's totally different. That record has a whole 'nother concept. I feel like this sets up the next batch of records. It's got what I really wanna do on it. Plus, it's my fourth album — it fulfills my record obligation to Interscope Records. I'll be a free agent."