Sunday, January 17, 2010

Before I Self Destruct- 50 Cent

50 cent's album Before I Self Destruct (BISD), released November 9, 2009 is 50's fourth studio album. The album is the first studio album since Curtis in 2007. 50's pissed, and he wants people to know it. The drama that encompasses the feud between 50 and the Game that has been percolating since 2005 was not forgotten or forgiven in BISD.The album so far has only sold 349,000 copies making it 50's most unsuccessful album to date. The score and the breakdown below.

Overall: 19/40

Sound- 6. In the song Death to My Enemies 50 says "This isn't Tha Carter, this is Sparta". Yeah, it's not. I loved Lil Wayne's Carter trilogy and BISD does not compare to any of the three albums. Furthermore, Sparta? What does that even mean? The romanticized image of Sparta as a warring nation chock full of badass men who just love fighting is probably the imagery that 50 is hoping this line will illicit but it just doesn't come across well.
The first song The Invitation starts off with a standard 1, 2 count (which I've never understood, is the listener supposed to think the artist did this in one take?) and the bass starts off and for a couple measures is off beat (listen carefully, it changes just a little while into the song).
Death to my Enemies starts off with a gun clocking (surprise surprise) and then what sounds like an acoustic bass lays down a groove that really stands out, but at points seems out of place.
This feels like a multi-themed album. The first couple songs are just about guns and killing 50's enemies. 50's attempt at trying to appear fearsome. In Stretch, 50 begins revealing the secrets of building wealth through selling drugs. Stretch your product...GOLDEN IDEAS. Followed by a quick return to the big bad 50 presence. The album ends with generic club/radio fodder, I'll be surprised if I don't here Gangsta's Delight while out on the town. Baby By Me is already getting a lot of radio play, and is one of the better songs on the album solely because Ne-Yo puts in all the leg work.

Musical Ingenuity- 4. Unoriginal. There are some good beats, that a better artist probably could have used to make something worthwhile. But the whole album just screams generic gangsta rap. You'll hear a good bit of this on the radio, but it probably won't jump out at you because it sounds uninspired and unoriginal.

Lyrics - 4 Oh man. With a lot of hip-hop albums, you can expect to have decent sound, musical ingenuity is going to be probably be low, but lyrics are usually a redeeming quality. BISD does not do itself any favors with the lyrical content. From the beginning of the album the common theme is guns and murder. When I first listened to this album I couldn't help but think about the Dr. Dre's 1992 album The Chronic specifically the line "rollin' round talking bout guns like I ain't got none. What'cha think I sold them all". 50 makes a point of you knowing that he is strapped, but seriously? Nobody cares. I was hard pressed to find a song on this album that didn't mention guns. I am pretty sure that Could've been You, the bonus track, is the only song that doesn't mention guns at all. On Could've been you despite the lack of gun talk, there are still lyrical gems such as "'Cause I've been smellin' my shit too, now how you like that?". I don't like it 50, I don't like it at all. In fact I feel a tad bit violated and nauseous at that mental image.
Then there is the feud. 50 wants to pick a fight, he hasn't put out in an album in 2 years and he wants people to know that "[He'll] come back, bigger stronger and angry". In So Disrespectful, which will probably be the most discussed song on the album, 50 takes jabs at Jay-Z, The Game, Young Buck and B.G. (Baby Gangsta) I know 50 wants to come across as hard but c'mon man. Jay has sold more albums than you can shake a stick at. The Blueprint 3 (which only has two months on BISD) has sold 2,900,000 compared to BISD's 349,000.
Psycho is just a disturbing song. Eminem dominates the song, but still singing about chopping off heads is not my style. All I wrote after listening to Psycho was, Really? If you want to look up the lyrics they're right here
The lyrics on this album are why rap is enjoying the reputation that it does right now. After looking at other reviews, and perusing forums to gather opinions of the album it is shocking how many people think that they connect with this album. But this album is really just awful, there are few if any redeeming qualities and I believe that most people who truly enjoy hip-hop are going to agree with me. To quote Common's Chi-City "I wonder if these whack niggaz realize they whack, they the reason that my people say they tired of rap"

Approachability -5 Sadly, this album is going to sell just cause its 50 cent. Certain songs are going to end up getting a ton of radio play. It can easily rack up sales because there are certain groups of people who love shitty music. This isn't hip hop, its garbage. But sadly its commercial hip hop and so it will sell. You can listen to it, cause you'll hear it a ton on the radio; but I hope that you don't like it.

Favorite Track: Baby By Me (Feat. Ne-Yo)

Just cause its so ridiculous: So Disrespectful
Overall 19/40. Not a good album. Please don't buy it so as not to promote this garbage. For my less scrupulous readers, its not even worth the space on your hard drive to download.

Next Review: Foxtrot Yankee Hotel

Keep Rocking.

1 comment:

  1. I listened to this album. I'd say 19/40 is about 18 points too generous. Otherwise, I agree completely with what you said.

    - Dave