Tuesday, February 3, 2009
50 Cent. Just the mention of the name polarizes hip hop fans. Some would argue he is one of the best. Others would say he can't even rap. I'm torn....as usual.
Like many, I liked 50 and the G-Unit a lot initially, but that has greatly waned. Personally, I feel like 50's debut was so good he couldn't live up to it. Each subsequent album was him trying to find the magic again. I, unlike a lot of others, didn't think his other CDs were bad at all. Just not Get Rich. But I think if most hip hoppers are honest, the problems with 50 have little to do with his music and everything to do with him.
50 constantly seems to be at war with someone and a lot of people got tired of it. It really never bothered me. That's just part of his thing.
It doesn't hurt that he does it pretty well.
50 has battled more crews than I can think of including battles with several better lyricists. Yet, for the most part, he has either prevailed or held his own in every encounter. Some will say that statement gives him too much credit, but I don't think he gets enough for a couple of reasons.
1. He really did destroy Ja Rule. That doesn't seem like a big deal now, but think about how big Rule was at the time. Murder Inc was rolling at full strength during that time and Ja was all over the radio. Given his popularity, he should have been able to easily handle 50. We all know how that turned out.
2. He withstood an attack from Jay-Z. I must admit, I was never clear on who started this one. One thing is sure, Jay was again in the position of power and 50 held his own. There are only a couple of other rappers who can say that.
I highlight those two because they came before 50 blew up. Since then he has had conflicts with damn near every rapper you can think of, but still he manages to take on all comers. His crew isn't as popular as it was, but I honestly think that's more a result of changing times and tastes than a rapper truly besting him. Again pretty remarkable given how much beef he has been in.
As a result, I was pretty stunned that Rick Ross decided to start something with him. Has he never heard the saying "let sleeping dogs lie?". Ross had just gotten over his own controversy. Why start this?
See, 50 is like the Joker of hip hop in my eyes. Always up to something and way smarter than he is given credit for. Most important, there is truly no limit to where he will take a conflict.
Rick Ross wasn't happy with 50 replying to his diss and gave him "48 hours" to come up with something better. So 50 went out, interviewed Ross' "baby mama," took her shopping, dissed his mother, made a cartoon of him, and put it all on YouTube.
Over the top? Yes.
Out of bounds? Yes.
Just plain wrong? Yes.
Classic 50? Absolutely.
I honestly don't know if a lyrical response is even close to being enough to come back from all that. Going and getting the mother of his child is just plain disrespectful. I just have no clue what Ross can do to respond that doesn't involve violence.
The villain strikes again.