50 Cent is coming! But which 50 can we expect?
"It's a catch-22," the rapper said over the weekend in Las Vegas, referring to the criticism he received for Curtis, an album that he calls "softer" than Get Rich or Die Tryin' and The Massacre. "They'll say, 'Oh, it's too aggressive.' ... Soon as you do something that's a little more lighthearted, and you can play the whole record and feel like you don't have to cover your kid's ears, I get penalized for it. So get ready to cover your kid's ears. Now I'm really interested in seeing how the public responds."
Fif is promising a decidedly harsher edge on Before I Self Destruct, and he's been working with Eminem, Dr. Dre and Scott Storch. Storch produced the album's first look, "Get Up," but the G-Unit Chairman of the Board says we'll hear another song before the album's December 9 due date — a definite thunder clap.
" 'Get Up,' is just the appetizer," he said on Saturday, in a separate interview at the BET Hip-Hop Awards. "I got so much more, so many different records to feel out and see what direction I wanna go in next. I've been writing this record for a year. I started Before I Self Destruct before I started Curtis. Conceptually, this one has been very well-groomed."
Unlike Curtis, which had cameos from Justin Timberlake, Mary J. Blige and Robin Thicke, it doesn't seem like 50 is too interested in having collaborators stop by the studio this time around. Eminem is the only name he shared. (The Queens native described the record "Norman Bates Motel" as "the return of Slim Shady.")
"So far, I've kinda kept to myself and wrote what I felt was exciting from my perspective," Fif said. "It's always fun working with Em for me. He's in a space where he has the luxury of just being able to sit down. The rest of us ... me, I do the actual footwork. Dre hasn't had an album out in seven years. Em — two years. Me — seven, eight months. They send me out to test the waters, and everyone else will jump in the tub. I stay a little more active. Em is by far the biggest rap artist, period. I'm the largest hip-hop touring artist. I travel more places than he travels to be in front of a live audience."
50 traveled to Detroit to stay with Em twice while recording. One time was over the span of a weekend, and Em encouraged his signee to carry out his idea of shooting a movie to accompany the album.
"He's like, 'Go, just do it. If you wanna go, just do it, and we'll figure everything out after the fact,' " 50 recalled. "There were a few technical questions, considering this is my fourth and final actual studio album. My fifth album requirement [to Shady/Aftermath] is a greatest-hits requirement."
The film "Before I Self Destruct" will be packaged with the album on December 9.