Friday, February 18, 2005

Beats: Get Rich Buff or Die Tryin'

Poor 50 Cent. All this hateration on the cover art for his new joint, The Massacre.

Operative phrase: cover art. Curtis has guns and abs, but he's not the SBNY muscle boy or super-hero depicted on the cover. The airbrushing and pen and ink is artistic license, just like freestyling as an MC. But no complaints here; everyone knows how much I appreciate over-da-top.

Give the man a break, he's trying to do the best he can. You’ve seen him toiling away to develop original artistic concepts, syncopated rhythms with catchy hooks, and clever Grammy-award winning lyrics. Isn’t it obvious that Curtis Jackson’s trying to redefine music (as we un-talented hacks haters non-artistes know it) with his artistic vision—and everyone wants to obsess over his tiny waist, 8-pack, muscular striations and Dolce and Gabbana spaghetti strap tank tops. Or is that just me?

Undoubtedly, some of you are saying no, that’s not right. “50 really is a visionary. I respect his … umm … his talent.” Yawn. Right.

Curtis Jackson is fabulous, but his fierceness and overwhelming popularity have little to do with his pedestrian skillz as an MC. After all, this is the man who shot to fame with lyrics like: “We be clubbin’” and "I’m into having sex, I ain’t into making love." Sorry, but that’s hardly the product of some Kenny Gamble or Leon Huff genius. For all you 20-something mouse potatoes, I won’t even explain who they were. Go to the link.

This is show business, and 50’s made it his business to deliver an impressive show. Don’t you love his performances? They are just like Thursday nights at Escuelita or Sunday nights at the Lion’s Den in ATL—you just want to stand in the front row and stuff dollars in his tighty whities. Admittedly, he probably wouldn't want singles, but you get the point.

That’s the approach Jackson and Interscope have developed in selling his straight-outta-Rikers image to the public. When buying the new 50 joint, you’re tipping the go-go boy. (And it's obvious where yours truly stands on that.) Straight boyz are uncomfortable with Curtis Jackson’s homoerotic appeal.

Am I allowed to say "no homo"? Cuz I don't feel comfortable
posting this album cover without clarifying that...well, whatever. Dudes on LiveJournal hate it, while the women there are fawning over 50. In that respect I guess it's good marketing, since teenage girls drive all pop hits. However, if guys feel like he's pandering to the females too much, his credibility could get Ja-Ruled.

That was Wednesday’s Hip-Hop Blogs, which Rocka alerted me to.

First, the fellaz on LJ should be upset: because they're still on LJ. But anyway, why do they care? Because the girls will ooh and ahh and never met 50 anyway? Because CJ likes to eat his Wheaties? Take his shirt off? Both? It's such a non-issue, and a clear-cut case of jealousy. Sure, he's not all that fierce as an MC. And yes, some of his work, especially from Get Buff Rich or Die Tryin', is bubblegum. But dawgs: Ja-Rule was never too legit to quit. If he were that good, he's still be at it now.

Was it just my imagination, or were acts like Trick Daddy, Yin Yang Twins, and Terror Squad—the oversized white tee boys—marketed as a consolation prize? Ja Rule, 50 and LL strip down, while the real MFers cover-up? Yawn. Let him do his thing, and step out the way, I'm watching and waving dollarz from the front row.

Memo to 50: Love the spaghetti straps. Mine are from Barneys . Where do you get yours?

The Massacre will be released March 8, 2005.
50 Cent Official Website
Hip-Hop Blogs
New York Times: 50 Throws Party, No Neighbors Allowed