Street King: 50 Cent
Holding It Down For: Hardcore Hip-Hop
Street Album: War Angel LP
Real Spit: Original hard beats, two new verses on each record and 50 Cent talking at the end of a lot of the songs. Admit it: Sometimes hearing Fif speak at the end of records is just as entertaining as hearing him rap.
"That's when I don't have to be in song format," 50 said last week from his new G-Unit Manhattan office. Yeah, he and his crew packed up from their old 34th Street digs and have a better spot. "I can say exactly what I mean, and people are entertained by that too. That's also a sign that you're a star."
50 is using his star power to help accomplish his mission. We've been telling you for a week now what the Southside Queens native wants: a resurgence in hardcore hip-hop. That soft stuff is saturating the music right now, he said. Last week, he dropped his first of three mixtapes this summer, War Angel LP. There's definitely some joints on there. "Redrum (Murder)" is pretty mean.
Sincerely Southside Part 2 is dropping next week, and a full G-Unit mixtape is coming in August. They're all his "writing assignments" to keep him from overworking his September release, Before I Self Destruct. That project is in a very healthy space and just about ready to go, he said.
"The guy that's trying to get a record deal right now, he should be writing with very strong passion," 50 said. "Right now, he's in competition with 50 Cent, and I'm writing like I need a record deal. It's tough for him."
"I can write at that pace and achieve what I want," 50 continued. "You won't say there's a lack of quality in [War Angel]. That's why I called it an LP instead of a mixtape. They need to hear that."
Joints To Check For
» "I Line N---as." "That joint was creating a description of actually doing your homework and finding your enemies or the person's whereabouts you got issues with," Fif explained. "You seen a small example of that on 'A Psychic Told Me.' It's not as intense as the actual issues on the actual song. [The song] shows you gotta be resourceful and it's dangerous to isolate yourself because you close yourself off from information. When you in those types of situations, you gotta abide by the codes of the actual streets. Where I grew up, it's kinda mandatory if you got issues with these kinda people, you get to them before they get to you."
» "Cream 2009." "That was my spin-off of [Wu-Tang Clan's] 'Cash Rules Everything Around Me [C.R.E.A.M.],' " the G-Unit General explained. "It's a little more aggressive than the original one. But the whole concept of this record was a little more aggressive. As a full body of work, this is probably one of the hardest CDs. 'Cause I always had something commercial. On 50 Cent is the Future, I had the Raphael Saadiq 'You Should Be Here.' I had the 'Luv U Better' [beat] from LL Cool J's album. It was more of 'She's after my cheddar' from my perspective. It was a record that was working commercially at the time. At this point, I wanted to do something that was commercial-free, a whole CD. My closest thing to a commercial hit record [on this CD] would be 'I'll Do Anything.' The lyrics [from the original] was a huge commercial hit record, but I flipped it."
» "OK, Alright." "If I ask you to name a hip-hop record that didn't have an R&B chorus that made it into the top 10 within the last two years, it's difficult," 50 said. "It's been two years since my last album came out. So I'll make 'OK, Alright' work it until they're actually ready for a hip-hop record. You see how much harder that record feels to the other records that's playing before and after it [on the radio]. They're all R&B records. 'OK' is working. That's what's missing."
For other artists featured in Mixtape Monday, check out Mixtape Mondays Headlines.