Monthly Archives: August 2016
1. 50 Cent-Get Rich Or Die Tryin
In hip-hop's grand retrospect, we take 50 Cent more seriously than we take, say, Nelly. As if Nelly was just a hitboy wonder of 2000, whereas 50 Cent was a #realrap icon, a credible promise of lyricism and violence, both at once. Yet in 2003, the appeal of "In Da Club" was no less immediate, and no more complex or high-brow than "Country Grammar," or than most of Ja Rule's contemporary hits, for that matter. Yet neither Nelly nor Ja nor even DMX ever made an album quite like Get Rich Or Die Tryin'.
What set 50 Cent's debut apart, then, wasn't just the singles, or all the beef and preemptive drama. With the Wu in decline
2.The Game-The Documentary
If 50 Cent's debut was a project propelled by a villain's charisma and the gulliest of origin stories, we must admit that Game, in contrast, was just riding the beats. With a soundscape dominated by Dr. Dre, Just Blaze, and Kanye West, The Documentary is a millennial blend of soul meta-samples, synth strings, tenor-sung hooks. This one tape alone hosts many of 2005's most memorable beats; the minimal, addictive synth cadence of "How We Do," the soul hypnosis of "Hate It Or Love It," and the godly stomps of "Higher."
The Documentary was everything a rap album could've been in 2005: a beatmaker dream team, one of the last great D'Angelo choruses, as well as Nate Dogg's last hurrah. (Plus, a Detox teaser). And while Dre receives all due props from Game, "No More Fun and Games" and "Church for Thugs" tally among the best work of Just Blaze's career.