Artist: 50 Cent & Whoo KidTitle: 2050: Before the Massacre (Mixtape)Rating: 3 1/2 StarsReviewed by: Shawn Lawrence James
Before the platinum certifications, clothing lines, sneaker endorsements and just about any other venture Curtis Jackson’s added to his ever growing G-Unit empire, 50 initially spawned his popularity from the tested and true application of getting yourself heard; The Mixtape. He revolutionized the genre of promotion by seizing Top-40 tunes (i.e, Jonell’s “Round & Round”, Rapheal Saddiq’s “You Should Be Here”) and transforming them into grime-infected anthems filled with scripts of misogyny violence, and anti Ja Rule semantics. We loved it. While most can agree that its been awhile since 50 has released a full length mixtape, he returns to his origins on G-Unit Radio Part 10 – 2050: Before the Massacre (Shadyville/G-Unit). With DJ Whoo Kid in tow, 50 satiates the appetites of those awaiting his Valentines Day Massacre LP by blessing the streets with a temporary dosage of what is yet to come. .
Spanning in at about 16 tracks and 3 skits, the disc opens with the Dr. Dre produced and Olivia assisted “Candy Shop”. He shamelessly revamps his “Magic Stick” formula into a seduction-drenched cut that most will want to digest without hesitation. He then tints the tempo with “Gotta Get Mine”. The track is stamped with 50’s signature sarcasm and charisma, spitting memorable lines like: “This rap s### just came to me son, it like I be having visions/after being shot the f### up, I make better decisions”. While the aforementioned cut poses as an instant standout, we all know that a 50 Cent CD wouldn’t be complete without its fair share of shots towards the Murder Inc. posse. On “I’m An Animal”, he punches an Alchemist produced, piano driven instrumental with jabs towards Ja Rule, Irv Gotti and Kenneth “Supreme” McGriffith. “Ai ‘Preme if you write me a written apology I’ll squash the beef with you…Nahhh n####, I ain’t squashing s###!,” he says on tracks tail end. Most can attest to the fact that 50 isn’t the most lyrical cat in the game and on “Put A Hole in Yo Back” it blatantly showcases that claim with 50 at times falling behind the beat’s (“Rock Co.Kane Flow” instrumental) stop & go pace.
In all, Before The Massacre is where his former mixtape series 50 Cent Is The Future left off. The rare references to his established wealth marks a plus for those seeking him in his rawest form and those catchy hooks always makes whatever havoc he document on record an easy listening. But until the Valentines Day Massacre makes it way unto the public, 50 treats listeners with enough concrete-oriented gems and homicidal nostalgia to hold tight.