Tag Archives: Jay-Z
The Queens rapper still pushing repetitive nihilism and G-Unit production styles instead of branching out and taking chances with his music.
50 Cent is a noted disciple of self-help guru Robert Greene’s Machiavellian handbook, The 48 Laws of Power. Not only has the muscle-bound hip-hop colossus modeled his career after the cutthroat guide, he’s working with Greene on a street-flavored addendum called The 50th Law. So far, the four dozen over-the-top credos have worked swimmingly for 50: He’s sold more than 20 million albums worldwide since 2003 while pulling in auxiliary profits with Vitamin Water and other less amusing side hustles.
It’s rare that a victory lap amounts to much more than gratuitous showboating or preening for your adoring crowd. Yet in 2003, with a planned retirement in his sights, Jay Z went hard in the paint instead of gentle into that good night. The Black Album, which was at the time hailed as his final album, effectively obliterated any and all doubts following his indulgent yet successful The Blueprint 2: The Gift & The Curse. Boasting some of the biggest hip-hop producers of its time —The Neptunes, Timbaland, and Kanye West — the record largely eschewed special guests and put the spotlight firmly on the Brooklyn emcee at what could be considered his creative zenith. With ubiquitous singles like “Dirt Off Your Shoulder” and “99 Problems,” it went triple-platinum in less than two years.
The Sonny Digital-produced song received its gold certification on October 21 after reaching 500,000 certified units.
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
*You Can find exclusive Wallpaper from 'Before I Self Destruct' on g-unitcity official facebook page:www.facebook.com/50thlaw/ , created by g-unitcity team!
By 2009, 50 Cent's moment had passed. He had already suffered an embarrassing loss in 2007 to Kanye West when Graduation handily outsold 50's Curtis. But that only told half the story. Kanye didn't just make a better album (50 admitted as much in a recent GQ profile) but made 50's sound feel old and outdated—like a superstar athlete who ruined his knees and just didn't have the same lift anymore. By '09, all the seeds of Kanye's influence began to blossom as rappers like J. Cole and Drake began their ascent, creating a new paradigm in rap that left gangsta rap in the dust. Yet, even hobbled, 50 was still kicking that "aggressive content" as a reminder that street rap would always have a place in hip-hop.
Diss tracks have long been the standard bearer of great rap beefs, regardless of what today’s meme-ified social media culture may say, and there’s no one who’s more prolific at beefing with other rappers than 50 Cent. The G-Unit chief has been involved in some of the most high-profile feuds in hip-hop history, most notably with his Queens rival Ja Rule and former G-Unit soldier The Game.