Exclusive interview with 50 Cent about His Career, Hip-Hop, His Upcoming Album "Black Magic", and Upcoming Movie "Things Fall Apart"
This Friday rapper turned one-man global conglomerate 50 Cent comes to town to kick off his first U.S. tour in three years. The Invitation Tour is only slated for 20 cities. Lucky for us, Cleveland was chosen as not just one of the cities to graciously accept The Invitaion, but we’re No. 1 on the guest list to set the party off right at the CSU Wolstein Center. In the midst of filming his latest project, “Things Fall Apart,” working on his upcoming album, “Black Magic,” and prepping to tour all over the world, 50 Cent sat down with CP2 for an exclusive interview about his career, how he feels about hip-hop and even shares a few words about our very own LeBron James.
Tell us about this upcoming movie that has had our interview schedule so crazy…
“Things Fall Apart?” Oh, it’s myself Mario Van Peebles, Ray Liotta, Lynn Whitfield and it’s a project that I wrote, produced and financed myself. It’s about a Heisman hopeful who could possibly be going to the league and everyone is assuming he’s gonna make it and then he’s hit with an illness. I had a friend of mine who actually experienced cancer and it’s what motivated me to write this screenplay. You don’t have to make everything personal, but that project was. That’s why I committed to playing a role where I lost 54 pounds.
Wow! Fifty-four pounds?
I had to discipline myself enough until I achieved it but... I got it.
I’m sure you don’t plan on being a hip-hop artist forever, so is film your ultimate career goal?
You have artists that defy the laws of that like LL Cool J and Jay-Z and even further than that Dr. Dre. Some artists have some age on them and still are relevant to hip-hop culture. For me it changes. I’m actually passionate about the actual music when it’s done right. But, sometimes I feel like something is right that the public didn’t respond to, just me creatively. Because of that, I’ll perform the record until they actually enjoy it [laughs]. But the reality is they won’t embrace every idea you come up with, not all of your life. I have artists I have a lot of respect for who aren’t the same as when they started and they’re great artists. Look at Stevie Wonder… I think the business itself is conditioned to say ‘out with the old in with the new.’ I’ll continue to make music because I love it, but I developed an interest in other areas because a lot of times to escape music, for enjoyment I might go and watch film or television and there’s an interest there because I’ve been utilizing that for entertainment for so long. And just having the financial freedom, from music, to be able to finance things when I feel like it as oppose to waiting for Hollywood. There’s not a whole lot of actual situations where a studio will break for four months to allow the talent to make the transition they allowed Tom Hanks to make in “Philadelphia.” You gotta be Tom Hanks for that to happen.
Or 50 Cent now
[Laughs] For sure.
Even dating back to your days as a “mixtape” rapper, and after the million dollar record deal, you’ve had a lot of beef throughout your career. But your music now doesn’t reflect that so much. Was that by design? Did you feel it was starting to hurt your career more so than help it?
It was absolutely conscious. I just believe it starts to overshadow what’s really driving the situation. When “Candy Shop” is a top five record on its way to be a No. 1 record, “Piggy Bank” is out and hip-hop culture is entertained with that beef at that point. While “In the Club” is on the charts, “Backdown” is an issue. A lot of the time, those [beef] records don’t sale albums. It just creates a whole lot of hoopla. And I’ve competed with artists because I felt like it was a part of hip-hop culture. It was a way for me to participate, to continue to keep growing the actual art form in different ways because it allowed them to share the exposure that my music commanded for me and they would share it based on just taking a shot. But recently you may have heard something from Shyne and it was no response from me. And I just looked at it like… For one, the music was so bad that he was creating that there was no competition there. It was almost like what would I be responding to that for, it just doesn’t make any sense. So, you can say whatever you want if your music is that bad. Things have been so strained where it starts to feel like… It’s interesting because if you put kids in front of a film and someone’s getting killed and it doesn’t look real they’re gonna say “This sucks. Turn the channel.” They want it to feel like the real thing and it’s the same for hip-hop culture. They want it to feel like you’re gonna kill each other. Because hip hop is a youthful-driven art form, a lot of the consumers of the material have a lower attention span and it’s who’s hot right now. They can care less about what you’ve done in the past and I’m probably one of the first people who’ve made them aware of that. Having a successful track record is having good memories. You have to stay in a relevant station on point throughout your entire career.
How do you feel about current music played on the radio?
If you look at the radio everybody is on everybody else’s song. They’re just working on everybody else’s record. That’s easy to do. All you gotta do is make yourself available. That’s not really interesting to me. When I bought albums, I bought it for the actual artist. When I see an artist have 14-15 features on his actual record, it’s a great compilation to me. It’s not really about [the artist] it’s about the other artists who are on there and created a cool factor and… I don’t know. Maybe I’m buggin’. I just don’t like having a whole bunch of artists on my material. I did that one time on the “Curtis” album and that was my “artists” album, but I intentionally worked with artists I felt were extremely different from me so I would find a new ground. “Ayo Technology” doesn’t sound like any other record you heard me do before dating back to my mixtape days.
Speaking of collaborations I want to know what made you kick off your tour in Cleveland and how did you chose your tour mates?
It was availability. And there’ll be different points where I pick up other artists to come. But, I haven’t toured in the U.S. in three years so, I wanted to chose somewhere that wasn’t like home plate. That’s like starting your tour in New York City.
I could be mistaken, but I don’t think you’ve been here since you and Jay-Z were here together…
The Rock the Mic Tour. Yeah, it’s been that long. So, I want to go back to those markets. This tour was designed for me to come back and massage my new ideas on the public.
Because of the technology there’s no real mystique to your actual performance anymore. After the first show, that’s gonna be on Youtube. So, I have to keep changing the set so that it’s not the same show every night. Some of the same staging and production value but, I have to keep changing it. That means more rehearsals in the process but, you offer more than one show. I got so much material, I could actually perform for three hours straight, so it’s easier for me to make the decision to change music than a newer artist that doesn’t have that kind of catalog where they can keep switching songs to play music that people are going to enjoy.
What’s the status of G-Unit?
G-Unit Records is still a part of Interscope Records but the group… Lloyd Banks and Tony [Yayo] are now free agents. Tony’s record “Pass the Patron” came out Thursday. Banks is off on a solo tip right now. I consciously stayed away from his record to make it his success. “Beamer, Benz or Bentley” I actually went to his house and arranged the song. But, it’s better for me to stand in the background so he can be established on his own, ‘cause I overshadowed them a lot. They’ve always been talented artists, but you had to look at me standing there and I’m sucking the air out the room where they seem like my sidekicks instead of being able to hold there own as individual artists.
What happened to Mase?
He never signed to G-Unit Records. I sat and had conversations with Puffy, but he was asking unreasonable numbers for Mase. And I think it was because Mase beat him out of some money. I think Mase got some money from him and then decided not to actually work, so, he didn’t want to do it. So, it was that and at times it started to feel like he didn’t want to do the deal ‘cause he didn’t want to lose it to me at that point, you see what I’m sayin’? I don’t know Puffy’s own personal feelings but, that’s just the way it felt from my perspective.
I was on www.thisis50.com and I don’t know how much involvement you have in your site but I noticed the “Please Stay LeBron” video on there and wanted to know your thoughts on the whole situation. Do you want him to come to New York?
I hope he do come to New York. Shit, it aint worth watchin’ the Knicks at all. Don’t worry, [Cleveland] can come to New York and watch him. For LeBron himself, you know what that does for him going to New York City? As far as a media platform, he’s going to turn into King Kong out there. If they get the right support around him, it’ll be a great move. But, I’m sure they’ll make the right decisions for him pertaining to that. That’s why they’re even entertaining the idea. Think about it… Why would you go to New York? Aint nobody there. It would create so much of a buzz. I know I would be going to see him. They will be watching every move that he makes but when you do well and they’re watching, it’s great. There’s definitely some pros and some cons.
So who do you have in the playoffs?
Orlando. I want to see Orlando win it.
What can we expect from the show?
A lot of energy. They’ll be bobbing their heads, not as much as me, but they will.
Replies to This Posting
There is nothing to display yet, check back soon.