Author Topic: 2 very different 50 reviews  (Read 162 times)


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2 very different 50 reviews
« on: February 16, 2003, 12:30:22 PM »
chronic mag

50 Cent is the hottest rapper on the streets right now. As in the case of his predecessors, Jay-Z, Nas, and Eminem, Interscope Records moved the release date up by a week to fight off anxious bootleggers. Despite a four day first week sales cycle, most are predicting the album will top the Billboard 200 album charts with 500,000 to 600,000 units. Accompanied with the hottest artists/ producers on his side Dr. Dre and Eminem who completed two platinum plus albums and starred in a loosely autobiographical movie in the same year, this guy has nothing but luck on his side. So did Get Rich or Die Tryin’ live up to all the hype?

Well, to answer that question in one word, Yes. Part of the appeal of 50 Cent is that he is an underdog - a starving mixtape artist that really earned his spot on the block. Even the title, Get Rich or Die Tryin’, strikes a cord as this is the personal anthem of millions in the hip-hop community. The album starts out strong with “What Up Gangsta.” The beat is phat on this track and sets the tone for the whole album. “Patiently Waiting” featuring Eminem follows and proves why he goes platinum in two weeks as he borders on overshadowing the star of this show. Other stand out tracks include “In Da Club” produced by Dre, “U Not Like Me,” “Life’s on the Line,” “If I Can’t,” “Heat,” and “Back Down” which continues the saga of his beef with Ja Rule: “Jay put you on, X made you hot, now you’re running around like you’re some big shot.”

Overall, this CD is hot. Even the DVD is entertaining. While I wouldn’t recommend it for children, it draws you in further to somehow root for this underdog. 50 Cent with the help of Eminem and Dr. Dre did his damn thing. Em and Dre blessed what could have been an average album into a hot CD with their impeccable production skills. While his flow appears lazy at times and his lyrics are not that innovative, 50 is a package and what hip-hop needs now. After being bombarded with with Gucci, Prada, Burberry, Channel, and any other high priced label, 50 Cent is almost a refreshing change. Call me a sucker, but I’m rooting for the underdog this time around. I think Eminem summed 50 up in this verse: “Take some BIG and some Pac and you mix ‘em in a pot, sprinkle a little Big L on top what the fuck do you got? You got the realest and illest, killest tied up in a knot. The juggernaut of this rap shit like it or not.” Bottom line, go get this album.

urban magazine

Will 50 Cent Get Rich or Die Trying? - The Odds Are 50-50
Feb 11 '03 (Updated Feb 12 '03)

Author's Product Rating

A couple of bangers.

Mostly more unimaginative thug rap.

The Bottom Line
On “Patiently Waiting” 50 says, “I ain't even got to try to shine.” Believe him – he ain’t trying.

Full Review
The unbelievable hype surrounding Get Rich Or Die Trying is irrefutable evidence that those nine bullets that slammed into the body of New York rapper 50 Cent back in 1999 were a blessing in disguise. Though he sparked an interest in himself with his early jam “How to Rob,” his mostly middling subsequent tracks and releases only brought him a moderate degree of recognition in the industry.

All that changed with the shooting incident. Suddenly, 50s mixtapes and freestyles were the hottest things in the streets, riding high on the ghetto credibility that only multiple GSWs can bring. Signing with media darling Eminem’s Shady Records only added fuel to the fire, giving 50 an affiliation with one of the industry’s most prolific producers, Dr. Dre, and Marshall Mathers’ immense, wildly fanatical pre-installed fan base. So rabidly frenzied were they in fact, that their inability to wait for the album release date forced Interscope to push up the release date and add a DVD filled with interviews, videos, and some additional footage to counteract the rampant bootlegging. So with all this past history and present hype, will 50 Cent get rich or die trying? The odds are 50-50; you’d better hedge your bets.

Track Listing
01. Intro
02. What Up Gangsta
03. Patiently Waiting feat. Eminem
04. Many Men (Wish Death)
05. In Da Club
06. High All The Time
07. Heat
08. If I Can’t
09. Blood Hound feat. Young Buc
10. Back Down
11. P.I.M.P.
12. Like My Style feat. Tony Yayo
13. Poor Lil Rich
14. 21 Questions feat Nate Dogg
15. Don’t Push Me feat Eminem & Lloyd Banks
16. Gotta Make It To Heaven
17. Wanksta
18. U Not Like Me (bonus)
19. Life’s On The Line (bonus)

By now you’ve heard the primary singles off Get Rich or Die Tryin’, the completely abysmal “In Da Club” and “Wanksta.” The former is the typical, “how we get down in the club” track with 50 mumbling through some trite party verses dealing with wine, women, and brutish thug posturing. The only saving here is the catchy Dre beat brimming with heavy bass and simple synthesizer chords. Amazingly, “Wanksta” is even more disappointing thanks to an annoyingly shrill and juvenile keyboard loop. For his rhymes, 50 berates the numerous fake gangstas in the rap industry.

One of the album’s highlights is a battle track directed at one of 50 Cent’s favorite adversaries, Ja Rule. Fans eagerly awaiting the decline of Ja will foam at the mouth hearing Fiddy dismantle the thug crooner on the sharpest track on the LP , “Back Down.” He’s totally on point here, ripping Ja with an intensity and wit that he’s regrettably used only sparingly since “How to Rob.” 50 kills him with lines like “I'm back in the game shorty, to rule and conquer/ you sing for hoes and sound like the Cookie Monster.”

But 50 Cent is most at home on the mic when he dropping street lyrics, so naturally the album is riddled with 50’s semiautomatic thug rhymes. His ode to gun violence, “Heat, ” boasts venomous rhymes like “keep thinkin’ I'm candy till ya f*ckin’ skull get popped/ and ya brain jump out the top like Jack-in-the-box.” The malevolent mood is augmented perfectly by Dre’s hostile progressing organ chords and a beat that replaces snare hits with gun cocks and shots. “Many Men (Wish Death)” has a slower, more dramatic feel with the artist alternating his usual fierce words with a less than believable attempt at lyrical soul searching. 50, Eminem, and a ‘Pac-flow biting Lloyd Banks of 50’s G-Unit trade verses over one of Em’s synth driven compositions on the adversarial “Don’t Push Me.” And not surprisingly having little to do with spirituality, “Gotta Make It to Heaven” is another harsh track allowing the rapper to describe the hellish environment that made him the troubleman he is today.

50 Cent does take a break from the wax massacres long enough to include the obligatory weed and women gangsta prerequisite, satisfied with “High All The Time” and the Caribbean-flavored “P.I.M.P.” There also is an attempt, however transparent, to show the softer side of 50 with the rap ballad "Questions.” This soul-funk fusion guitar driven single allows the octave-challenged DPG crooner Nate Dogg to flex his “range” on yet another rap chorus. Lyrically 50 asks his supposed soulmate if she would still love him if he wasn’t rich and famous, though hopefully any woman would give pause at answering that given the sheer amount of gratuitous “b*tch/pimp/I don’t love them h*es” references indiscriminately strewn throughout the LP. It’s an okay song, just not entirely believable after a dozen tracks of unadulterated misogyny.

You would think that someone who had survived such a nearly successful attempt on his life would shy away from anything gun related, but not 50 Cent. Track after track of Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ is a steady stream of the rapper’s unimaginatively rapped glorification of violence and shadowy lifestyles. This lack of originality and dedication to such an over-explored theme makes for an extremely predictable and repetitive album. Not even the most skilled of emcees could pull off making an LP dealing predominantly with one subject, and 50 Cent – though occasionally showing glimmers of talent – has miles to go before he can rightfully claim the ‘#3 in New York’ title he professes to hold. Skilled production from Dre, Em, and other beatmakers do give the rapper a solid musical foundation for the album, but the fickle nature of the mainstream rap crowd guarantees that 50 is going to need much more than a few hot beats next time around.

Still, despite the deficiencies, you can expect Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ to move units at a phenomenal clip. 50 Cent has no problem with spitting the morality-devoid gangsta rap that has enraptured suburban and urban youth alike since the heyday of NWA, so believe him when he says, he “ain’t going nowhere.”


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  • Guest
Re:2 very different 50 reviews
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2003, 12:39:54 PM »
A couple of bangers.

Mostly more unimaginative thug rap.

The Bottom Line
On “Patiently Waiting” 50 says, “I ain't even got to try to shine.” Believe him – he ain’t trying.

I think with these few words, he summed up the album to the tee