FEATURE:50 Cent:Evolution 2.0


[Editor’s Note: These are the out takes to the edited interview that appears in the January/February 2009 issue of XXL.]

You and I spoke in 2007 when you and Timbaland landed the cover of SCRATCH Magazine and you were talking about Before I Self Destruct, you said you had a dozen songs finished way back then.

When we did the SCRATCH interview, before that [is when] I started working on this album. But when you say a dozen songs it was about 12 two-verse records.

So they were works in progress; blueprints so to speak?

Right. Then what I did was, a lot of the material, I changed production. Conceptually I wrote the same song in a different way. It was the same concept of songs in a different way. I couldn’t put the two songs on one album because they are conveying the same message, so I had to pick which ones I wanted to present to the public.

But you’re not giving us 2007 material right?

No its not, but the concept of what’s being conveyed in the actual music is well thought about. When you buy music from Eminem and Dr. Dre the least amount of time you hearing was something that was worked on for months; 5-6 months at a minimum. They can spend that long. They don’t spend that long actually on each song. Em could make material a year ago and be putting it out right now and generate interest because he’s been gone two years. If you listen to Hip-hop right now, there isn’t a lot of interesting things goin’ on. I look at it and I don’t even see—like I could still see things from a fan’s perspective, or at least I’d like to think I could still see it from that perspective, but there is no music out that makes me feel like “Damn I wish I made that record.” “I Get Money,” was one of those records that every rapper wish they had.
I make those records that I think Hip-hop artist would generally wish that they would’ve made that or say, “If I had that [beat], I would’ve gotten busy on that.” It may not actually be what I’m sayin’, it may be the production.

So there isn’t another record since Curtis that you’ve heard and wished you had that?

Nah, I can pass. There was good music that came out, but not stuff that made me feel like “I wish I had that.”

Not even “A Milli”?

Nah. I mean it’s a good song. That “A Milli” song is a good record; but it didn’t feel like that to me. There wasn’t enough melody in the production of that record to make me feel like that, because the record was repetitive goin’, “A milli, a milli, a milli.” It wasn’t melodic enough for me to feel that way about it. I actually didn’t understand that record at first. I didn’t understand why people where excited about it. When an artist has momentum then the public will give anything that he presents to them a shot and the system will support it 100 percent. And if people are conditioned at the moment to feel like what he’s giving is good, they’ll go for it.

Have you ever put any thought into ghost writing hit records for other artists?

I won’t give my material away anymore.

It’s not exactly giving it away, I’m sure your services don’t come cheap.

Yeah, but even if I make a profit off of it, I won’t do it anymore. If it ain’t something that I’m passionate about and wanna be on it, I’ll leave it playin’ in my house. I’ve created people’s entire careers based on me doin’ that and they give me their ass to kiss.

You mean The Game?

That, Buck’s project. And Game’s not really a big problem, he’s not a person I have a big passion for, because I don’t even know him. I learned him after the fall out. I’ve only worked with Game six days, because I wrote everything that he used [on his album] before he got there. He was in the studio for a year with Dre before I got there. They had time to establish some type of relationship.

Kinda like you and Jam Master Jay?

People ask who was the most influential person in my career and I say Jam Master Jay was for being around in my infant stages. Of course he had his own personal gain in mind, I was an artist, I was an investment at that point. Without putting actual money into me, his time was the biggest investment. He was around me while I was developing my song structure. I could rhyme. The artist that you look at in Fight Klub they are some dope rappers. I look at them like their punch lines are crazy. Tell them to write a song and they can’t write a song to save their fuckin’ life.

Like Canibus?

Canibus was a talented writer; LL’s consistency destroyed him. Canibus is somewhere writing a really good verse right now.

Yeah a verse!

He’s always delivered those songs. If you look at Game, Game is a talented rapper; he’s not a good songwriter. If you throw him on a track like “One Blood” that got the chorus built-in, he’ll deliver. He just delivered with Lil Wayne on “My life.” But tell him to write that song himself, he’s gonna write “Strip Club,” when he used to be a stripper and it’s not gonna connect to the public.

The G-Unit roster was flooded at one point. Now it seems you’ve scaled back drastically. Why?

It’s just like every other company that you seen. You remember No Limit? You remember how many people were a part of No Limit? Remember Cash Money? Remember how many artists were there? Remember Bad Boy? Remember Death Row? It’s happened before; it’s not something that’s new. You get people that develop their own direction in life; they wanna go to different spaces and be in a different position.

So are you ever going to look to add new artists to G-Unit?

Yeah, I mean when you can identify with someone else’s talent and have earned enough credibility for another company to grant you a subsidiary position of course I’m gonna—ya know find the right thing. It’s interesting even [XXL’s 10 Freshman cover] is a reflection of the climate.

We’d like to think so. Is it true that you’re looking to sign Cory Gunz?

Well you know I’ve met with his father a while ago. But I haven’t actually considered signing Cory. Yayo decided to work with him and Ransom on “Shoot A Nigga’s Face Off.” I think he’s a talented writer. I’m not sure they’ll buy the real aggressive stuff from him if there is no Tony Yayo or Ransom; but he can write that as well if not better than a lot of artists. Think about this, you got a lot talented writers out there. You have people that won’t ever get a shot that got it right now. The problem with hip-hop music is they’ve seen it simplified to the point where everyone thinks that they can do it, so when people look at you they just don’t enjoy themselves. They’re watching from a critic’s perspective.

Because they feel like they deserve that spot.

Right. And there it goes. So you got the general public telling you how you should do it when you should actually be the expert. I sold over 36 million records, so who the fucking expert? Me I’m the expert. -Rob Markman

  • Ali

    every fuckin time lol….he always uses his sales to show his success….36 mill yeah, but only about 15 (Get Rich) was quality hip-hop!

    • G-UNOT KILLA

      I was the official “press play” button pusher during my time as an ECG-UNIT Crip Soulder! During the young Bucc Convo 50 told me to do it. I pressed Play! I pressed play in over 100 50 cent conversations! I remember pressing play and Gayme confessed to 50 then he stripped @ a Ru Paul baby shower! I miss kiccing it w/ 50 he was cool folks! I was his #1 security guy here in L.A. I remember smaccing the shit outta “Lisa Turtle” from Save By The Bell because she wanted to sleep w/ me before 50! We almost went to war over that pussy! If any of you fuccs got a prob w/ me look for the 5′7″ 145lb nigga w/ the Purple Bandana around his neck w/ the Adrian Peterson Vikings Home Jersey on repping my Purple team! I had the entire Terror Squad under pressure in the Bronx 1 time. That Burough is so fuccing soft I said “Fucc Fat Hoe Fucc the Bronx” Nobody did nothin. I then said “Fucc Larry Davis” people said are you a Crip I never seen a crip before! I got home sicc because they don’t have a Fat Burger in NY what bitches!

  • G-UNOT KILLA

    I was the official “press play” button pusher during my time as an ECG-UNIT Crip Soulder! During the young Bucc Convo 50 told me to do it. I pressed Play! I pressed play in over 100 50 cent conversations! I remember pressing play and Gayme confessed to 50 then he stripped @ a Ru Paul baby shower! I miss kiccing it w/ 50 he was cool folks! I was his #1 security guy here in L.A. I remember smaccing the shit outta “Lisa Turtle” from Save By The Bell because she wanted to sleep w/ me before 50! We almost went to war over that pussy! If any of you fuccs got a prob w/ me look for the 5’7″ 145lb nigga w/ the Purple Bandana around his neck w/ the Adrian Peterson Vikings Home Jersey on repping my Purple team! I had the entire Terror Squad under pressure in the Bronx 1 time. That Burough is so fuccing soft I said “Fucc Fat Hoe Fucc the Bronx” Nobody did nothin. I then said “Fucc Larry Davis” people said are you a Crip I never seen a crip before! I got home sicc because they don’t have a Fat Burger in NY what bitches!

  • http://www.yahoo.com GrizzTron

    disagree Ali. the massacre was such an under rated album. still had that raw street feel to it. that album is fkn sick, but get rich is obviously 1 of the greatest hip hop albums of all time. but. your first album is supposed to be the best. thats when you are the hungriest. fif dont even care now. hes filthy fkn rich.

    • http://www.diamondsport.ning.com FrankWhite

      Massacre was the best album 50 has dropped thus far……. IMO.
      How many units did it sell in its 1st week???

  • http://alksjdf.com MARCY

    1st?

    Shit, everyone is a critic, but i am an expert at what i like

  • Ne Where Gang

    50 wayyyyyyyyyyyy over rated
    1 hot album = GRODT

  • Deez Nutz

    You should see 50′s girl on http://www.dalockerroom.com

  • Enlightened

    @ Grizztron

    I always feel The Massacre could have been near classic but he put too many songs on it. It has like 21-22 songs and to me 6 or 7 are just damn near horrible. I felt like if it was trimmed to the best 13-14 it’s right up there with the first one – almost.

  • Scorpion

    Everyone is critic and thats true because everyone always want to say some dumb-ass shit when someone especially if its someone or something I like. That just get me adrenaline runnin high. But I can’t stress it to much because someone always got something to say and sometimes you can’t control. Its just not worth working yourself up about it.

  • Afi K. James

    Face it, this rapper is done, nobody believes in him nor his shitty crew, over 7 out of 10 american music fans hate this crew with good reason, because they are shit to me, yet you fucked up little stans support this crap.

    g-unit are nothing but a boy band impersonating as a rap crew

    and fuck 5-0′s untalentless ass, this is the same punk responsible for fucking over many people’s careers, including recording phone conversation of young buck and lying to the american music fans about his shot 9 times, this is evil and despicable.

    • Rob The Music Ed

      “over 7 out of 10 american music fans hate this crew with good reason”

      HAHAHAH is this from a scientific poll?

      • Dub Sac

        Co-sign. Like USA Today is asking people about G-Unit…

  • http://www.justice.gov.za GO-Getta’

    Back in the GRODT era ya were the man.. hommie what the hell happened 2 ya?

  • A

    The problem with hip-hop music is they’ve seen it simplified to the point where everyone thinks that they can do it, so when people look at you they just don’t enjoy themselves. They’re watching from a critic’s perspective.

    That’s the most intelligent statement I’ve ever heard from 50. Then he fucks it up with: I sold over 36 million records, so who the fucking expert? Me I’m the expert.

    The problem with 50 being an expert is that most experts can repeat their successes. 50 can’t! So I guess that makes him an opportunist.

  • Big Paul

    50 is an talented artist and one hell of a businessman,but he needs to calm that aggressive shit down! I hope Peter Gunz doesnt let his seed sign to G-Unit it would halt his greatness what I mean is he wont be able to record with some of the game’s greats(Nas,Game,etc.) cause 50 has a problem with them! Can you imagine if 50 crushed beef with Nas or Game the legendary music that could be made? Unfortunately that will never happen cause his ego does the thinking & the talking!!

  • Nate

    50 always comes with the right commentary and the music. He’s always ahead of his critics. But he’s right about most of the untalented writers, artists being critics, as well as the fans. He’s right about canibus who is a clear example. I’ll listen to canibus’s catalogue for examples of great writing although some of the production is only decent.. but LL makes some hits without the consistent top notch lyrics. He’s on and off. It was LL’s name that won the battle, not his rhymes. But all fans want is hype- and style over substance. That’s why Lil Jack off with a overexaggerated slur is on top now and second place is a “soul” singer who is better at producing and rapping then singing… but his new album is in the “rap” section anyway

    ==========================================
    Is G-Unot 400+ pounds or 145? The idea bitch is that after you create one of these little fake characters in your mind then you have to be consistent. All we get is stale stories from you every post… I tune in to find out who smacked you and made you run for your life today…

  • Nate

    Big Paul- 50 doesn’t “NEED” to do what your bitch ass thinks he should listen to.. he came from the streets, wrote about it, learned under the best, made hundreds of millions being himself and being a smart boss.

    -When the fanbase grows to millions and you offer r&B influenced singles in addition to the street ish, you get disses for that.
    -When you come back with extra street influenced music like the excellent 2nd album (G-Unit) then he gets flac for that too. You can’t put him in a box. True greats, like snoop and 50 prove that they can do what they do, do what you do, and more and do it better.
    They can capitalize of trends with singles but not rely solely on those trends hanging on them.
    See 50 doesn’t NEED Nas, nor Game. You don’t NEED to have other artists all on your record. A few will do, but that doesn’t make you.

  • dark vanilla

    So Game doesn’t write hooks very well and 50 doesn’t rap very well anymore. I have an idea, why don’t they do a song together. Seriously I’m just sick of the beef and I want these two to record again so they can make good music. Probably never gonna happen after what Game did to G-Unit, but its wishful thinking.

  • thaFace

    Yo someone needs to give G-Unot Killa a fucking blog on here…that dude cracks me up every fucking time

  • Kandonga

    I dont understand all these people talking about “50 cent is FINISHED”, I would appreciate it if you could name more than 2 rappers that sold more than him last year. He is still a top selling artist(He still outsells most musicians). Now everyone has teh rightto their opinion and you dont have to like 50, but if he is finished then what is Nas, Game, Jeezy, etc

    • Afi K. James

      I dont understand all these people talking about “50 cent is FINISHED”, I would appreciate it if you could name more than 2 rappers that sold more than him last year. He is still a top selling artist(He still outsells most musicians). Now everyone has teh rightto their opinion and you dont have to like 50, but if he is finished then what is Nas, Game, Jeezy, etc

      Because 5-0 is nothing but a fad, all image and zero substance, he is nothing but garbage to the hip-hop community, he was garbage then and he’s garbage now.

      People want a new direction with this genre.

  • KAYDA N REEM

    YADADI MUSIC GROUP – Check Out KAYDA LUCHIANO or YADADI MUSIC GROUP LLC on MY SPACE or GOOGLE NOW!!!! HOTTEST SHIT OUT RIGHT NOW!!!

    V.P.
    BIG REEM

  • DADE COUNTY 305

    ALL U BITCH ASS NIGGAS TALKIN SHIT ABOUT 50. THE NIGGA KEEP IT GANGSTA!!! 36MIL SOLD, NIGGA THATS WHAT ALL YOUR FAV MC’S WANT! NIGGAS NEED TO QUIT THE FUCKIN HATIN!!! A NIGGA LIKE JAY & 50 DO THIS SHIT FOR FUN NOW. ITS THEIR LIL HOBBY. JUST LIKE ALL THE PRO TEAMS OWNERS. THATS THEIR HOBBY NOT THEIR REAL MONEY MAKER. U NIGGAS THIS JERRY JONES MAKE HIS LIVING OFF THE COWBOYS??? FUCK NO!!! OIL AND OTHER BIZ U DUMB FUCKS!!!