50 Cent: Higher Learning [Excerpt From the Dec./Jan. 2012 Issue]

You’ve been working with Dr. Dre on Detox. Has he worked with you yet on your material?

Dre helped me a lot on this record. I went to Los Angeles, was working out there
for a little bit. I was working on the Detox records, right. I keep saying to Dre, I’m like, “Yo, you don’t have to invent nothing. All they want is a strong version of what you gave last time.” They need a new version of that. It’s like Sade. She goes away for six years, and then she comes back with a new disc. You go, I love this shit! It reminds you of the fuckin’ shit that she gave you before she left. There’s certain artists that have that luxury. You could go away and still be interesting enough to come for people to want to hear that effort. Dre is like that. As I’m busy telling him that, I go, “Wait, maybe I’m bugging for some of the shit that I’ve been doing.” You know what I mean?

So how do you balance that out, though? Giving people what they want, and allowing yourself to develop?

You mean “be creative.” ’Cause when it comes time… This is an even more interesting question: How do you write what reflects what you fell in love with within hip-hop culture while trying to send the right message to the audience?

Well, that’s a big question for you.

Well, for me, the music is an artistic choice. I’ll say, from the very beginning, that I can care less about a critic or how someone judges me for the actual music. You see, people understand within hip-hop culture that I’m passionate about actually trying to do something different. I want to make a change in a different way. This is about me personally feeling like I wanna mean more after I’m dead, when I’m gone.

You mean, from just being an artist?

Than just being an actual artist. I want to affect people’s lives in a positive way. When you look at entertainment for entertainment purposes, they may provide all the images we create through the music or in film, and I’ll explain it to you in a different way. All right, see, sexuality is necessary for entertainment purposes, so there’s a sex scene in films. Death is necessary in films, so you see people get killed a lot. In action films, being in life-threatening situations is entertaining, because death is our fate. If you look at the details that actually create scenarios that we identify with emotionally at different points, where you can feel emotion in actual films, we do the same thing through the music we create. Now, this actual project that I’m creating captures portions of my life from the past, portions of the new outlook that I have, after experiencing these different things. When you get a chance to step out of the bubble—that bubble would be my hood—and you see everything that goes on there doesn’t stop going on without you.

That’s a good feeling.

It feels amazing, because when I identified with that, I see that it’s the same shit. There’s always a new guy on the corner. Regardless what the police swept last week, there’s a new one to replace him. When your music doesn’t come out, there’s always 10 records on the Top 10 countdown. So I feel like I’m not necessary. Do you understand? I’m not necessary to my hood, as far as hustling or being down there, because there’s a replacement for me. I’m not necessary to music, because there’s always 10 in the Top 10 countdown. It’s not necessary for me to be there. Some people may miss me at different points, but I’m not necessary. So I feel like, when I involve myself in something, like the Street King project… It is very necessary that I’m involved there, ’cause nobody’s doing anything about it. And having the ability to partner with the World Food Programme is the presentation that I offer. They don’t take everybody who comes. You feel what I’m saying? But to them, my story’s a story of redemption.

And this all comes back to your music how?

’Cause you don’t get a second chance at a first impression. All of the real talented artists, the artists I respect, it’s the first CD. They’ll tell you Nas’s Illmatic, they’ll tell you Jay-Z’s Reasonable Doubt, they’ll tell you 50 Cent’s Get Rich or Die Tryin’. You see what I’m saying? The giants play in New York, still, nah mean?

There’s also Lil Wayne.

He’s turning into 50 Cent. He’s going through that process of being successful, ’til people go, “You know what? Get the fuck outta here. We don’t want you here no more.” Because you’re successful.


Recommended for You

Around the Web

Best of XXL

  • Pingback: 50 Cent On Current State Of Hip-Hop: “The Whole Culture, I Think, Is A Little…Confused.” | YouHeardThatNew

  • Officer Ricky

    Real nigga shit if you weren’t around in 2002 you don’t know what 50 has done

    back in 95 while i was doing strip searches on inmates he was out on the block

  • Ninja Boi

    lol at dude above but Fif A Kool dude he just need 2 find himself again n make awesome music

  • gunit4life

    fif just needs to go in the booth for couple weeks,drink some henny ,put pic of weezy on a wall,and make songs to prove why he is still the king of rap.Fif sometimes overthinks things a little.also have gritty beats but they can still be gd production even tho they sound gritty as in what up gangsta pt 2.a full song going at weezy as a first single off new album would do the trick totally body the lil weasel.like he did ja.the songs nowadays are all emo type lets all party and get along songs.perfect time to go against the grain.

  • frankj

    fif just needs to go in the booth for couple weeks,drink some henny ,put pic of weezy on a wall,and make songs to prove why he is still the king of rap.Fif sometimes overthinks things a little.also have gritty beats but they can still be gd production even tho they sound gritty as in what up gangsta pt 2.a full song going at weezy as a first single off new album would do the trick tottaly body the lil weasel.like he did ja.the songs nowadays are all emotype lets all party and get along songs.perfect time to go against the grain.

    • Blaxamilliaon

      I agree. This soft rap era needs to end.

  • white panther

    Just give up already. 5o you’re turning into Ja Rule.

    • $yk

      ^ smh

      * makes circle by temple *

  • CaponeMOB

    i look up to that nigga 50,i just finished reading his book from peices to weight. the problem he’s having is like what he said his audience hasn’t grown with him cuz trust me,if you were in your 20′s or teens back in 2003, your taste in music is MUCH diffrent then the lil dumb teenagers or niggaz that are in their early 20′s right now. matter of fact,most niggaz i know have just complelty stopped listening to hip hop,regerdless of who’s hot or what ever,cuz we came up in a time were you actually had to have some skill to be hot,
    even if you werent a lyrical rapper,you still had some sort of skill,like having a great voice with a great flow,and great song making abilities to go with the great beats. now in days niggaz dont have any of those qualities, is not an opinion is a fact.i grew in a time were the south was about to take over shit,but alot of people really dint complain like now in days,back then you only had 1 or 2 niggaz talkin shit about the south but most dint care,IN FACT niggaz even fucked with down south music that normaly only listen to NY music.
    but now in days niggaz complain about southern music every chance they have,especially east coast niggaz, and is not cuz the east is not relavant no more,but is because down south music now in days is completly garbage.and they just dont understand how shitty records and shitty rappers get 1# hits on the radio. ima give you an example,i grew up with three 6 mafia, project pat,c-murder,the hot boys,master p,outkast,

    and for the east coast,nas,biggie,shyne,dmx,jay-z,wu tang,50 cent,mobb deep, jadakiss, lil kim…ect

    how in the fuck me growing up to those artist,is goin to make me go out and listen to wocka fllocka? rick ross? gucci mane?
    nicky minaj? drake? are you serious? thats like me watching the scarface movie on blu-ray disc on a fukin 80 inch plasma tv
    ,and then a year later i go watch scarface on a fukin black and white TV on VHS TAPE….SMH

    EVEN the producers dont need to be hot no more either,that nigga lex luger gotta be the most garbage producer 2 EVER become that hot and popular,every thing now in days is just higly overrated. the nigga lex luger is a mixtape producer AT BEST. how in the fuck did he became as hot as the neptunes or timbaland? i just dont get the rap game and these dumb kids now in days.

    back then we had juvenile with a song produced by mannie fresh,we had project pat with three 6 mafia production,we had jay-z with a timbaland beat,or jay-z with a neptunes beat.or snoop dogg with a DR DRE beat.

    who we have now? a rick ross song produced by lex luger?
    and that shit becomes the hottest shit? wocka flocka and lex luger? really? and niggaz say oh now in days all you need is a hot beat and a hook and you pretty much got a hit and im like where are the hot beat at? now in days niggaz dont even make hot beats no more. and thats 50 cents problem
    he needs to start getting hotter beats on his albums,cuz if the song aint good enough to hold some one’s attentiion,then you pretty much lost them,but if atleast you got a hot beat,then they might come back and listen. and the rap audience now in days got shit taste for music,so what sounds good to 50 it aint goin to sound good to them,you gotta study the game like drug dealers study them corners,or like bank robbers study them banks,like musicians learn to use an instrument.
    thats what i did and now niggaz are hittin me up for beats like never before they want that hard trap shit,but i put my own twist on my beats i just give them enough of the shit they want and the rest i put my own flavor on it. thats what 50 gotta do. REAL TALK

    • jrash87

      true shit ,you know were you stand with hiphop and i respect that. but remember the times bro when it was just hard beats with rhymes that made you go “holy shit thats sick i wanna hear that again” and you try for the next 4 days to recite the whole song? that in hiphop except a few, has gone. its now replaced with synths, singing and shit. wtt, take away the beats, and do you quoteable lines, not really. love your comment dude,1 intellegent fuck and i respect that.

    • mindyoccupant

      wow!!! 5 paragraphs worth ashit…seems like you must be close to 30 or so and still talking like you in your teens..niggaz this and that…
      and…non one is gonna read a damn page worth of you praising 50 cent when he dissed ja rule for singing and rapping when he started to do the same thing..candy shop was crap and he just sucked after that..people dont like 2 faced rappers who makes a career of dissing and beefing with people.

      • CaponeMOB

        @ mindyoccupant and what the fuck you care about how i speak for? even if im 35 lil nigga just cuz i turned 35 im supposed to not be hood no more? you dont know where i came up or with what type off niggaz i came up with. kanye, young jeezy and rap vets is still makin relavant music is all in their 30′s and they still say nigga. and once again if you even read my LONG comment right you would see that i wasnt praising 50 cent you dumb NIGGA. i do look up to the nigga 50 for the way he muscled his way into the game and how he actually does come from the streets selling crack and shit
        i was just saying what he needed to do to get back on game.
        dont even comment next time you dumb nigga,talkin shit about i still talk like im in my teens but you CANT EVEN READ like if you WERE in YO teens,you read like a fuckin pre-schooler. dumb bitch.

    • mindyoccupant

      quit blaming beats and producers quit finding excuses for 50 cent man…u dont listen to his lyrics he trash..all the producers that was around in early 2000 is still here so your argument is trash… lyrics trash..

      • CaponeMOB

        @ mimindyoccupant all you bitches talking shit about my long comment talking about nobody is goin to read this or that are fuckin stupid.its funny cuz it seems to me that your dumb asses read it, on top of that to mindyoccupant . i know all the producers from the early 2000′s are still here,but nobody is fuckin with them cuz they all up in lex lugers dick,you dumb cunt.
        and i never said 50′s lyrics were GREAT. but if yo dumb ass would of read the comment right,or read it period,you would of seen that i said even back then you dint need hot lyrics to make a hot album,get rich or die tryin wasnt lyrical at all,but it turn out to be a classic,even bitch ass rick ross admitted
        that shit. so how is my argument trash? plus i like 50 cents hustle not his lyrics,if you pay attention to the way he came up,you would learn a thing or 2 and apply it to your daily life idiot.

  • Pingback: 50 Cent on the State of Hip Hop Music and His Next Album – BET | FlowAttic

  • jrash87

    and i dont care what anyone says. before i self destruct is a sick cd. mad beats, slick lines. yall dumb cunts slept on cuz ya shit

  • RTL

    say what you say but that nigga 50 Cent is smart as hell!!
    I don´t care what you homos say – 50 is still the shit!!

  • Pingback: 50 Cent: Higher Learning [Excerpt From the Dec./Jan. 2012 Issue] | Aftermath Entertainment

  • http://facebook.com bigtrol69

    too bad his bitch ass a snitch and aint ever gonna be hard again cause no one thinks he is. go tell on more people

    • FUFU

      why don´t you put a dick inside your mouth?
      I´m sure, a bitch like you will enjoy it!

  • antix

    50 career ended when he tried to beef with game.. he became a victim and he been trying to climb out since get rich was his only good album…. his career in rap is over… period

    • jrash87

      thats bullshit and you know it bro. if his rap career is over why do people still listen to his music,or comment at his articals?

    • FUFU

      you should put a dick inside your mouth too!
      just ask that bitch – bigtrol69 – he´s a dick lover just like you.

      • jrash87

        aww dont cry whats the matter? asked dad 4 dessert got bent over made a creamp pie? faggot you couldnt get laid by a transvestied.yeah ill be puttin a cock in me, at least ill get laid tonight, bitch you shitting me? ill fuck your babies worse than paranormal activity.internet crinimal,ya comments do bare minimal, slave aboriginal, next time you holla cunt, make it original. BIATCH.

        • Arashg

          Antix you must be really stupid, whats your argument, that fiftys over? well i got news for you, game sold like 90 thousand copies with his latest CD.. doesnt exactly say WOW this guy is hot..

          And I like the game he’s one of my favourites.
          But please focus on whats matter 2 hiphop, what fifty says is true.

          We need people like both game and fifty.

          And fifty if you read this, stop thinking so much, just make a CD with hot beats and please go after that Lil smurf and Crapman and Gayrke and since busta joined them, fuck up that old ugly ass-only-thinks-about-himself-and-not-hiphop looking motherfucker

  • oba

    50cent…..the best rapper alive.love it or hate it but dats the fact.he is a very wise man dat do things in his own way……..50CENT DA KING….

  • mindyoccupant


  • King

    this dude 50 is actually cool n smart….no hate for him from now…wish he was cool with Game….could have been the best rap duo in the hip-hop history

  • Pingback: ThisGoesIn – INTERVIEW: 50 Cent Talks About The Current State Of Hip Hop; “I Think It’s A Little Confused”