NEW YORK — 50 Cent is working as if he were broke and partying like a billionaire. And while, for the record, he didn't dis Paris Hilton at her own birthday party, as far as some of his peers go, the G-Unit general isn't being as generous.
"There's no way they gonna survive me," 50 said Monday (February 4) at his G-Unit offices.
50 is back in New York after taking care of a full palette of activities outside the city: He was at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah a couple of weeks ago and at Super Bowl festivities — he was betting on his hometown team, who wound up becoming the champs — over the weekend in Arizona. On Monday, he and G-Unit released their mixtape Return of the Body Snatchers Vol. 1 via Fif's new networking Web site, ThisIs50.com. (There's no way you could have missed him wearing his "ThisIs50" T-shirts.) The Web site acts as part blog and part social-networking outlet, where you'll find all things 50 and G-Unit, as well as news and music concerning other artists.
"You should always expect me to be better than the guys you consider to be average artists," 50 — who is on the next cover of Vibe with Robert De Niro promoting his next film, "Righteous Kill" — said about his Web site, comparing it to others. "I don't think there's nothing average about me as far as the opportunities or how far I would go. You see when I do G-Unit sneakers, I don't wear anything but G-Unit sneakers. When I do G-Unit clothes, I don't wear anything but G-Unit clothes. [With] VitaminWater, I don't commit to anything that's not a part of my lifestyle. I practice what I preach. That's not just my style. Trust me, I've had opportunities to do business ventures that I have turned down. I'm averaging 10,000 a people a week [on my Web site]."
50 is especially excited about the prospect of people across the globe getting his mixtapes as soon as his U.S. fans do, via ThisIs50.com.
"I gotta be able to come up with something contextually that's bigger and better as far as distributing the mixtape for marketing and promotional purposes," he said. "ThisIs50 was the perfect outlet for that. The traditional way of releasing a mixtape has been great. Whoo Kid is the biggest mixtape DJ in existence. But to reinvent it and to get [the fans' mouths] wet by [having] them downloading it, is Web news. People receive it. In Germany, Kosovo, based on our last tour, they became members of the social network, so they had the opportunity or option to download it immediately. It makes it a lot more effective. It gives me the world instead of just America."
While Body Snatchers is a prelude of what's to come on such future releases as 50's solo LP Before I Self Destruct and the G-Unit family album Lock and Load, it also has a throwback feel to the very first G-Unit mixtapes, because it only features the first three Unit members: Lloyd Banks, Tony Yayo and 50.
"The G-Unit album is gonna be a lot better than that," 50 said of the older mixtapes. The General wasn't interested in speaking about the rumored friction between him and Young Buck, who has been focusing on building up his Cashville Records the past few months. "I already know what I'm doing. I'm back, I got my finger on the pulse. You see how they responded to just a mixtape."
"He's getting back to hunger mode," 50's show DJ, Whoo Kid, added. "He told everybody in the crew, 'We're gonna act like we ain't got no deal.' We're getting more creative with the original beats. The covers [of the mixtapes] are getting more creative. We're changing the whole aspect. It's marketing. Some people hate 50's success so bad, they don't wanna give him his props. I guess he's assuming now he has to bust his ass in 2008 to get it cracking. A lot of these rappers better get their dis raps ready. On the next mixtape, he's going in. I'm telling you right now, I'm moving to Hawaii."
"Some people do this because they actually make money off it," 50 said about making music. "I did this when I didn't have any money. It makes me feel better. I love what I do."
Over the weekend, rumors broke that during one of 50's Super Bowl weekend performances, he had shouted out Paris Hilton — who's certainly no stranger to 50, and who was at the show as part of her birthday celebration — and then promptly told her to "get the f--- off the stage" when she jumped up under the spotlight with the Unit. As rumor had it, the incident caused Hilton to burst into tears, and a photo of the heiress crying at a 50 Cent show on PageSix.com seemed to support the claim. 50 and Whoo Kid scoffed at the idea, though, saying the only part of the story that was factual was that they did give Paris a birthday shout-out onstage.
"It's no way we would kick Paris Hilton off the stage on her birthday," Whoo Kid said. "We ain't that heartless. I know 50 hates Ja Rule and Fat Joe, but he ain't that heartless to throw Paris Hilton ... off the stage. ... Somebody called me and asked me if Paris got kicked off. I was like, 'Huh?' She was dancing the whole time. She was having a good time. We hung with her afterwards. ... We kick her off her own stage and she's hanging with us? I guess people wanna hear, '50 threw Paris Hilton off the stage.' "
On Monday, footage of 50 kicking somebody — it's not clear who — offstage during one of his shows surfaced. The footage also shows a woman who appears to be Hilton in the front row of the concert partying at the time somebody is supposed to have gotten rudely dismissed.
Whoo Kid explained that the footage was actually taken during the Sundance Film Festival, not Super Bowl weekend, and that 50 did boot someone from the stage: a security guard.
"Paris was there too," Whoo Kid explained. "She was at the front of the stage also. But nah, we kicked a security n---a off. That's some security guy that kept jumping on the stage, picking sh-- up off the stage, pushing people back while we're performing. This di--head, we didn't even know him. Either he's security or works for the club, he keeps getting on the stage. ... But the video looks so generic, you can't tell. He got on the stage three, four times while we were performing. 50 got so pissed off, he said, 'Get the f--- off my stage.' Then I played 'Wanksta.' The guys was acting like a di---head."
"They are infatuated with me so much," 50 said about some of the false rumors and misreporting concerning him. "Whether I'm there or not or did it or not, they make it me to make it news.
"I'm in Croatia sniffing cocaine, did you hear?" he added sarcastically about a recent international headline. "I deal with this so often it doesn't make sense in me responding. Just like they go, 'Hip-Hop Scandals: Steroids.' The sh-- lasts for two days. Why? They put 50 Cent, who's the hottest [artist] in rap. They picked Mary J. Blige, who's the hottest [artist] in R&B. Tyler Perry, who's hot as hell in Hollywood right now. Timbaland, one of the hottest producers, and Wyclef, who's international, worldwide. Everybody they picked is somebody who has an international draw. You've seen all kinds of negative press on me that wasn't effective, that came and went because people know 'that ain't him.' "
As for the rumors that don't deal with the personal side of things, there's talk of 50 doing a U.S. tour sometime in the spring, but next on his itinerary is a run of Canada and Australia. There are no release dates on his or the G-Unit's next official projects, but expect constant mixtape material.
"Look at it right now: If you owned a publication, who would you put on the cover?" 50 asked. "Everybody's album is pushed back, [the people] need new music, they need new energy. We're giving it to them."