He’s stepped onto the movie scene. He’s a household name on national radio. And there’s a good chance that you’ve partied to one of his hit songs in the club this summer. Summer is officially over and this month Curtis Jackson, better known as 50 Cent, is determined to make his latest project, Curtis, another chart-topping hit album.
50 Cent, however, was unable to complete his third solo album alone. The collaborations start off with the influence of Dr. Dre, who produced several of his tracks including “Fire” and “Come & Go.” Dre & Eminem both add their two cents in “Come & Go,” a cocky yet stereotypical song, typical of a “gangster” rap track. On it he brags and boasts about his personal riches, women, fancy cars, mansions, and all the perks that accompany an extravagant lifestyle. He raps, “They can’t do it how I do it/ I’m number one, I knew it/ I do my thing and gangstas bop to it/ I’m like James Brown now/ man I got soul.”
Other guest artists include Tony Yayo, Timbaland, and Akon, who takes over the hook on the song “I’ll Still Kill.”
To appeal to the ladies, 50 incorporated the smooth vocals of Justin Timberlake to keep things sexy on his popular hit “Ayo Technology.”
Timbaland’s rhythmic brilliance makes the “Ayo Technology” track hot. With its techno-inspired beat and deep hip-hop bass, it is no wonder it debuted at No. 20 on the Billboard Hot 100. “Follow the Lead”, sung by Robin Thicke, is a smooth song the fellas can listen to while walking in the park with their favorite lady.
With the highly anticipated releases of Graduation and Curtis strategically scheduled to hit stores on the same date, listeners are expecting an inventive sound and exploding appeal. 50 Cent expects a blow-out sale.
“[Kanye] should be terrified. My album will sell and his will be on the shelf,” 50 Cent proclaimed in the current issue of this month’s Rolling Stone.
The first two singles to drop off the album Curtis were not immediate hits with fans. This mixed success is not surprising; the track “Amusement Park,” for example, might leave listeners baffled with its carnival music beat and lyrical references to 50 Cent’s body being an amusement ride.
“I Get Money” was much better, featuring an enticing hook sampled off of Audio Too’s “Top Billin” old-school track. The lyrics even deserve praise: “They call me the cake man/the strawberry shake man/ I spread it all/ make your whole clique break dance.”
But according to Billboard’s Hot 100, neither song earned a spot on the list.
The album has a balance of two worlds, combining both mainstream rap with catchy ballads. The album is especially enjoyable to the fan base that appreciates his early influences, such as Jam Master Jay.
What will come of the rest of 50 Cent’s solo career? If Kanye West outsells him, will he stop selling solo albums like he said, or is this all a promotional tactic? We will have to wait and see.