As a marketing exercise it's genius...
Adam Webb 2003-05-28
With the success of 2003's 'Get Rich Or Die Trying' being largely down to its protagonist getting shot nine times, you can see how promotion for the follow-up might have left Curtis '50 Cent' Jackson in a quandary.
So, possibly in an act of self-preservation, he's decided to make words his weapon and employed that standard rap machine hype tactic: The Beef. Unfortunately, 50 being 50, this has gotten out of hand. The man's beefs are so excessive they read longer than the average rap album's credits roll.
In the space of one track ("Piggy Bank") he's already snubbed ,Kelis, Nas, Fat Joe, Shyne and Jadakiss, while a well-documented (and well-timed) spat with The Game suggests even his friends arent safe. So it wasa surprise to precisely no one that The Massacres release (rushed, predictably, as 'the street can't wait') was marked by yet another shooting.
Given the resulting column inches, it's tempting to judge the whole exercise as the sequel to some kind of big budget no-brainer action movie - one starring Vin Diesel. From the cartoonish cover onwards, which buffs 50 up to superhero proportions, it's pretty obviously that the brand ('White Americas worst nightmare®') and not the content thats being sold to us.
But, in case we forget, there is a CD in here, too, and unfortunately this is something even 50 can't hide from.
Interestingly, this time around, Dre has taken a back seat and left production duties to a string of mercenaries. Perhaps he was embarrassed. Certainly, there's nothing as thrillingly awesome as "In Da Club", although "Candy Shop" makes a decent stab of impersonating it.
All told, The Massacre is pretty predictable stuff. Lyrically unimaginative, 50 raps like a machine. Musically, it's competent at best. Picture 78 minutes of G-funk, big repetitive loops and big dramatic strings all stitched together with the recurrent sound of gunfire.
As a marketing exercise it's genius -50 knows what his audience wants and he delivers it in spades. He's on his way to becoming raps own Mike Tyson. But much more of this and his career is liable to end up the same way.