After much anticipation, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson is finally set to release his fourth record, (and the last contractual album under the Interscope umbrella) in Before I Self Destruct.
Rethinking his decision to drop it the same day as Jay-Z’s The Blue Print 3 album back on 9/11 of this year, the G-Unit head honcho loads up the project with production by Dr. Dre (of course), DJ Premier, Nottz, Timbaland, and DJ Khalil amongst others.
As for MC guest spots, “Fiddy” keeps them down to the bare minimum, remaining in-house with cohorts such as Eminem and Lloyd Banks’ voices being the only ones heard, other than his.
With that said, 50 Cent gets right down to business leading the record off with the DJ Premier-produced ‘The Invitation.’
Going away from his signature sound, and patented scratch-in hooks, the one-half of the now defunct Gang Starr laces Jimmy Iovine’s star employee with a beat reminiscent of a horror movie, while 50 Cent drops lines like:
“When you see me in the street, mothaf*cka don’t talk to me/unless you’re gonna talk about using the hawk for me.”
From there, Rich Harrison (producer of Amerie’s ‘1 Thing’ and Beyoncé’s ‘Crazy In Love’) shows his Hip-Hop, side by providing the backdrop for ‘Then Days Went By.’
The momentum then begins to pick up with ‘Death To My Enemies’ (prod. by Dr. Dre). Behind an unorthodox guitar string arrangement, 50 Cent lets you know exactly where you are with lines like:
“This ain’t the Carter, n*gga this is Sparta/it’s harder/I die, I’ll be a martyr/respect me like your father.”
The obligatory industry diss track comes in the form of ‘So Disrespectful,’ where he continues to talk about Young Buck and Game; but adds Jay-Z onto the list as well.
Eminem then makes his presence felt on ‘Psycho,’ where he has his way with the English language, by bending syllables forward and backwards.
As always, 50 Cent spreads the wealth, and songs like ‘Get It Hot,’ ‘Hold Me Down,’ ‘Could’ve Been You’ (feat. R. Kelly), and the insightful ‘Do You Think About Me’ are all focused on women, in a positive way, or negative one.
Afterward, the man with his very own flavor of Vitamin Water finishes his destruction with contributions like, ‘I Got Swag,’ ‘Gangsta’s Delight,’ and the hustler’s mentality of ‘Stretch.’
When it’s all said and done, 50 Cent won’t go down in history as the top lyricist of all time, but he will go down in history as an architect when it comes to cockiness, song structure, themes, and hooks.
His ability to combine all of the aforementioned is once again on display when you listen to Before I Self Destruct, and it’s that formula that’s made him a staple on the Forbes List, along with having an actual reason to read the Robb Report.
With his contract now fulfilled with Interscope Records, it will be interesting to see what his next move will be. And one thing is for certain; regardless of what it is, you can guarantee that everyone will be watching.