When 50 Cent reaches out at the last minute, you take the call. You change plans. You have a talented, dedicated staff that you entrust to do whatever it takes to get the job done. They always have. Whether it’s spending their Fourth of July weekend writing or editing, or staying at the office ’til three in the morning picking photos, designing covers and finalizing pages. Yup, my word is bond: My team is so strong. It’s XXL’s nine-year anniversary, and, although none of us were here from day one, we claim this thing of ours. Hip-hop on a higher level.
Truth be told, we’ve been numero uno for a minute now. It’s not hard to figure out when we were coronated. It was March 2003. Em, Dre and a future rap superstar named 50 Cent. Ring a bell? That issue signaled the official changing of the guard. And we haven’t looked back since. We’ve just gotten better and added better people to our staff. Updated our formulas and obliterated any and all competition. Our only rivals: the men and women we see in the mirror. We got fat while everybody starved. That’s why companies are being sold while we stay in total control.
Our favorite cover subject, Curtis “Interscope” Jackson, knows a thing or two about control—using his power and influence to corporate-thug cats, like Puffy did in his prime. Careerwise, 50 has deferred the D-Block dreams of the Lox, and he promises to do the same with his former protégé The Game. In this exclusive interview, Fif claims that the West Coast savior will be moved over to Interscope subsidiary label Geffen, and that Tat-Man’s next album will have no involvement from himself or Dr. Dre. He says it’s official, like a referee with a whistle. Of course, Jayceon Taylor is still claiming that this is all foolery, and that he and Andre Young will continue to make beautiful music together. Only time will tell what the end result will be and reveal who’s the liar, liar with his pants on fire.
Still, it’s not The Game who’s really got 50 hot under the collar. It’s his old arch nemesis, legendary Queens, N.Y., gangster Supreme. Finally back from one of his many European adventures, 50 read a recent Vibe article on ’Preme and blew his stack. Sick of being attacked as a snitch, he speaks as candidly as he ever has about his rise from the streets of Southside Jamaica, Queens. Fasten your seat belts as Fif discusses why he made a movie out of a character named Majestic, why he’s not feeling Ethan Brown’s book, why M-O-B-B didn’t sell, why Puff won’t let Ma$e go and why we should give a fuck about his new Phoenix MC Hot Rod. Squeamish kids, y’all get the fuck out this article.
That’s right, it’s another newsstand winner. I’ve actually been in a little slump lately, so I gotta come correct. Deliver that crack, ’cause—you guessed it—my wife’s back. Boss Lady has reclaimed her throne, and I’m gonna be prone to a future headache or two trying to balance the personal and professional. I know: Cry me a river, build a bridge and drive over it. Yeah, I hear you monkeys out there growling and moaning. Fake Jay and Beyoncé this, Mr. and Mrs. Smith that. Jealousy and envy are dumb one’s tools. But my wife says nothing; she keeps her cool. She’s a class act, but I ain’t afraid to act an ass. Disrespect her or me at your own peril. My mind spray, and I’m here to stay.
Keep this crystal clear: No conflict of interest here. We both got too much integrity to disparage our names and violate our companies and the teams who believe in and work so hard for us. Our agendas will collide from time to time. But what’s hers is hers, and what’s mine is mine. Occassionally, it’s gonna be clash of the titans at 315. And TV dinners for the kid. I owe it to myself and my squad to keep it a hundred. I welcome some real competition. We’ve gone too long without it. We still got work to do. And I’ll never let you down.
Y’all already know what I’m about,
Elliott “I’m a Muthafuckin’ Genius” Wilson