50 Cent - Before I self destruct

SKU starcd 7422
By all appearances, 50 Cent is on top of the world. He blesses every venture with his enviable Midas touch. He has accrued wealth and fame beyond imagination, yet he somehow remains true to his nature and his core audience. Recently, he released for free his War Angel LP, a 12-song grime fest that could’ve easily been packaged as a studio release. “I serviced the streets because there’s nothing like that out there,” 50 asserts. “It’s crazy even coming out of my mouth: what I initially fell in love with about hip-hop will only survive based on my representation of the music. It gives me an important stance within the art form because there is no successful artist with that type of energy on the music.”

Strong words. But 50 Cent isn’t in the habit of hyperbole. Now on the verge of his fourth album, Before I Self-Destruct, 50 surveys reshaped rap topography from the one he toppled and topped with Get Rich or Die Tryin.’ Wading through the detritus of faddish, unfulfilling MCs and ducking potshots from peers and media outlets alike, 50 Cent withdrew into himself, his camp, and emerged with another magnum opus. The radio-friendly first single “Baby By Me” featuring Ne-Yo is already burning up charts, and the recently-shot video features Kelly Rowland as his love interest. From there the album darkens noticeably. “Psycho,” featuring Eminem, is a breathtaking onslaught of quick-cadenced chaos. Over Dr. Dre’s ominous organ groans and church-like reverb, the MCs do their best not to breathe and to outdo each other. Outstanding. “Hold Me Down,” produced by J Keys, smacks of a playful, P.I.M.P. sequel, with a rolling bassline and steel drum thwacks. But dig deeper to reveal 50’s clandestine tribute to the tenets of street life.

And then, there is “Gangsta’s Delight.” From the hands of an utterly revitalized Havoc, “Gangsta’s Delight” is a menacing remake of the Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight.” Similarities stop there. Between 50’s tongue-twisting wordplay and Havoc’s thunderclap percussion, “Gangsta’s Delight” legitimately shoves gangsta rap into uncharted territory. This writer nearly wore out the CD player’s ‘repeat’ button, as well as his welcome at G-Unit Records, in listening to the song so many times. “Gangsta’s Delight” simply cannot be matched or muted. Before I Self-Destruct will be available in stores on November 16th.

To boot, 50 wrote, directed and produced an accompanying feature film, likewise entitled Before I Self-Destruct, in which he also stars. The film will come packaged with the album. Or if fans prefer, they can purchase the album bundled with a documentary about the life and death of Jam Master Jay—quite a gesture. How is it that the most successful gangsta rapper of all time remains the hungriest and still the most benevolent to his fans? His own words tell the story most aptly. What follows is the autobiography of 50 Cent.

1. The Invitation
2. Then Days Went By
3. Death To My Enemies
4. So Disrespectful
5. Psycho
6. Hold Me Down
7. Crime Wave
8. Stretch
9. Strong Enough
10. Get It Hot
11. Gangsta’s Delight
12. I Got Swag
13. Baby By Me
14. Do You Think About Me
15. OK, You're Right
16. Could've Been You
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