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After the tremendous success and the fame and fortune which followed the first album, 50 cent's career seems to be on a downward spiral. However never one to be easily deterred 50 Cent promised a return to the grittier raw essence of his beginnings. This album has been hyped for a long time and despite it being less than impressed with his recent efforts, I decided to take a listen to this album regardless.
Certainly the album starts out well with Death To My Enemies being the first highlight. Dark Strings providing the perfect atmosphere to the track. 50 Cent sounds very focused on this beat, the rhymes aren't just slick, they are intricate and quite impressive overall.
Over an open piano beat So Disrespectful is a track which has 50 Cent poking fun at both Game and Young Buck. The rhymes are quite simple but he sounds very confident and there is a humour to the song.
The best song on the album is Psycho, over a deep dark beats Eminem and 50 Cent go back and forth showcasing what it means to be psychotic. Eminem's flow is again is outstanding but 50 Cent also does not sound out of place with the beat either.
Unfortunately this is where the album seems to go off course. The production is quite boring and dull and does nothing to enhance the songs. 50 Cent continues displaying strong rhymes. A good example of this is Stretch, the beat is alright, the rhymes of well written but the song is also let down by the hook.
Likewise on the hard beats of Crimewave, although the lyrics are nothing to write home about, it is the hook which sounds extremely out of place and certainly not in the least bit catchy. In fact this theme is apparent throughout the album which is very ironic since it was his hooks which had made him so successful but he seems to have lost the art.
Nonononono. I don't believe what I'm listening to. I can't believe that after the massive success of Get Rich Or Die Tryin', and his G-Unit album Beg For Mercy, that he's taken an alternative route and has completely left behind his 'gangsta' style. The Massacre was a huge let down, there were more R'n'B songs than pure hip-hop, and he followed that up by the even worse Curtis, which ripped off one of LL Cool Js album covers as well.
This album has little to no positives. The beats are weak and forgettable, the producers are mostly unknown and the guest stars apart from Eminem are weak. The album cover itself I could do a better Photoshop job with, it's SHAMEFUL. It looks more like a mixtape than a retail album. Regardless, the 50 Cent juggernaut rolls on, and his fans still stick by his side like useless Barnicles. I wouldn't pay £1 for this, let alone £8.98. We should leave this album for dead, it's just not worth discussing anymore. I'm also sad to say, that this is more than likely the end of 50 Cents career. It seems GRODT was a one off fluke, which is a shame.
Released late in 2009, "Before I Self Destruct" came as the fourth solo album from the Queens, New York rapper 50 Cent. Using concepts that he had worked with for a number of years (forcing him to release another album ("Curtis") before he was completely ready for it to come out as he intended) this album finds 50 linking up with common acts in Dr. Dre and Eminem to come up with another album that finds him mixing Gangsta Rap with more mainstream-directed work.
1."The Invitation" (Intro)
2."Then The Days Went By"
As the album opens up here we see that here 50 comes in on a little something that I have to say didn't really sound like the typical direction in his music, but it has to be called a nice and slow way to introduce the thing as it ease you into this album and gives you the chance to feel where things are going here as he gives a brief run-down of all the significant street tales that he has to tell people here.
3."Death To My Enemies"
We aren't given long to stay on that side of things as we see that here 50 comes out with a track that has him backed up by some raw beats from Dr. Dre, who comes out with a little something to show (on the lead-up to his "Dextox" album, he's down to experiment with some of the deeper and darker end of his music with some cold production that leads things in nicely for 50 as he shows how he deals with issues in his life.
This is a fun track from 50 and one that has him showing just how little he cares for many of the big names in the Hip Hop world as he wastes no time whateover making it clear that here all he wants to do is diss everyone he has time for at this moment in time and so shots are sent in the direction of Jay-Z, (The) Game, Lil' Wayne and Rick Ross just because he can. It goes hard, and although I can't say I agree with all the beef he initiates, he does a good job of making raps from it here.
This one features the trio once named as the 'Three-Headed Monster' as we see that in this one we have no one other than 50 Cent, Eminem and Dr. Dre coming together to bring this raw material. This is the only one on the thing that has Dre on the beats alone and I have to say that its nice to see and in this case he comes out with something which reflects the direction of music as the two rappers attempt to show why they shouldn't be messed with.
6."Hold Me Down"
With this one we get a change in direction in the music here as he gets off all the intimidating material as he acts as a 'villain' in the Rap world and comes out with a tune that has him attempting to at least try to distance himself from the Gangsta Rap for a little while as he attempts to find a girl who can deal with all that he comes up to face in his life. It is another banger and keeps the quality material rolling.
Here we get some grungy material from 50 and a little more that twists things away from the sort of direction that we were on the last one. It reflects the fact that he's attempting to amend the proportion of these kind of tunes on the last couple of albums (especially on "The Massacre") and I felt that it made for some nice results here as he comes with one that has him describing his relentless grind.
With the beats by this one given by Rick Rock, we see that here we have a tune that has him coming out with one where he shows that there's a bit more to him and what he's capable of lyrically as he takes on a variety of different roles in this one and shows how well he can create an atmosphere with his music and I felt that although it wasn't quite as successful it could have been, it led to another strong one for him.
The hardcore end of the music comes through with this one and I felt that when you consider that he has done a lot to pull back the same sort of hype that came with his major-label debut in 2003 ("Get Rick Or Die Tryin'") it seems as though he's doing a good job at making more exciting material, but isn't quite capable of taking it that far here (not that I felt too much where that album is concerned).
10."Get It Hot"
On this, a relatively short one that last just under three minutes, we find that we have a joint from 50 where he comes to makes for a fresh one that seems to be geared towards the clubs. When you consider that they're aren't really any big singles that were of this sort, it seems that the sort of fire that cam on "Curtis" has been lost here as he looks further inside how he sees himself personally and this end doesn't come out as often, but its heavy when it does.
Here we see that 50 moves into a little something that sees him getting into a position where I wouldn't be able to complain about anything he does as we see that in this one he based the track around The Sugarhill Gang's "Rapper's Delight" and puts his own contemporary spin on things in order to come out with something that doesn't stray too far away from the Gangsta rapper we all know.
12."I Got Swag"
For this one we see that he comes in with a powerful one that is backed up Dual Output's rough production that has a very current East Coast Rap feel to it as he goes for one that has him attempting to bring a little something where he attempts to mix in the typical themes that have been heard elsewhere on the thing with flows which have a bit of a mainstream feel to them and so would make it a good candidate for a single.
13."Baby By Me"
This came as the albums official lead single (ignoring the promotional single in "OK, Ya Right" and I felt that it was a good one to kick the thing off as we see that he brings forward a little something for his casual fans who only tend to do the kind of material that has him escaping the 'Gangsta'-based material and with this one we get just this as he rhymes with a little help from the R&B singer Ne-Yo.
14."Do You Think About Me"
With this one we have 50 coming with a tune that has him sticking towards the same sort of direction that was found with the last one and I have to say that it seemed to come up with good results, but not quite to the same degree as the last as this one doesn't really have the catchiness that the Ne-Ye-assisted one does. However, it needed to be dropped as another single with a general lack of this type of tune on this album.
15."Ok, Ya Right"
Here he gets onto what was first featured on his underground album "The War Angel LP", and it is a significant one as it sees that the legendary producer, who (although he had been in operation for years before) found fame as part of 'The World's Most Dangerous Band, N.W.A, and here comes with a tune that I felt took some time to really feel, but has him coming out with a powerful tune where he comes with some rough Gangsta Rap.
16."Could've Been You"
As the album comes to a close we get a fairly unexpected teaming here as he comes to work with the R&B veteran in R. Kelly, and he is seen to bring a lot here as they perform a tune that has him sticking to attempting to appeal to those who enjoy the Rap/R&B link-ups, but it doesn't have a 'single' feel with the rawness of the themes that they bring up on this album as it closes the album off.
I felt that, just as "Curtis", this album was one that I didn't expect to be as good as it turned out to be. It is one that has its singles used deceptively as none of the rest of the release seems to be done in the same radio-friendly format, however I felt that this was a positive for him as he shows more about what he is about and isn't tempted to go back to singing hooks and such.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
2 Came To Win
3 Get Up
4 Need Your Hate
5 Here For A Reason Feat. Nate Dogg
6 Good To Be A Gangsta
7 Don't Mess With 50
8 Trust In Me
9 Norman Bates Motel Feat. Eminem
10 Bitch I'm Sorry
11 All For You
12 No Time To Lose Feat. Swizz Beatz
13 Lonely At the Top
14 You Need Us Feat. Lloyd Banks & Tony Yayo
15 Different Path Feat. Dave Young
16 I Get It In
17 Somebody Forgive Me
18 My Reign
19 Ready For War Feat. Dr. Dre