50 Cent releases 'Outlaw' single from upcoming album: When will the rapper who got rich stop rhyming like he's still living in 2003?


Image Credit: Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images

Remember back in 2007 when Kanye West and 50 Cent both released their third albums, Graduation and Curtis, on September 11?

Fifty swore that if Kanye’s first week sales outdid his, he’d quit rapping. Yeah, I know it was a publicity stunt. I saw them joking with each other during their photo shoot with Rolling Stone. But when Kanye beat him seven days later, I actually did wish he’d fall back—way back into Not Making an Album for an Extremely Long Time land.

And not because he promised us he would. More so because he had nothing new to say in his raps. His 2003 debut, Get Rich or Die Tryin’, is a classic filled with bubbling club bangers, charming hooks, and enthralling tales of ‘hood happenings. Its followup, The Massacre, seemed a bit more calculated, though it furthered his hot streak.

But the seams in his G-Unit tank tops appeared to weaken when he began rolling out Curtis. I can’t put my finger on why: Maybe it was a combination of laziness and lack of creativity. His first single “Straight to the Bank,” a boring declaration of wealth, stalled on the charts. As did his second single “Amusement Park,” which was a knockoff of his Massacre smash “Candy Shop.” It took Justin Timberlake and Timbaland to get him back on Billboard‘s hot 100 chart’s top 10 on his third try.

Since then, he’s been bent on returning to the aggressive street content that inspired Get Rich. The problem is, he’s not that guy anymore. I don’t want to hear a dude who lives in a Connecticut mansion with marginal shares in Vitamin Water stock rap about how he’ll shoot a man over a drug deal gone wrong. Which is why his 2009 catastrophe Before I Self Destruct was his worst album yet.

Meanwhile, artists and fellow rappers like Kanye West and Jay-Z are selling albums being themselves and—get this—progressing! But it seems like 50 just doesn’t get it. Yesterday, after explaining on Twitter that his Interscope label is “moving in slow motion” during the planning stages of his forthcoming album, he decided to release its first single “Outlaw” on his own. Here it is:

“My crack spots bring cash in nonstop,” he spits. Really, 50? They do? You still deal dope? There are so many topics to pull from the sky and he consistently opts to run back to 2003. Why? Well, there are some who love that 50. On Twitter, one fan wrote, “That new @50Cent song ‘Outlaw’ is crazy! Reminds me of Get Rich!” 50 responded, asking “That’s what you want right?” I don’t, though. I need progression from acts I love.

I’m not saying he shouldn’t bring the same passion he did back then. What I mean is that his subject matter doesn’t jibe with his reality. And in a genre which thrives on “realness” and places much weight on words, it’s pretty tough to take him seriously. The truth is this: 50 Cent is rich—like Scrooge McDuck rich. But he thinks the only way he can connect to his core audience is through being a person he isn’t anymore.

It’s quite sad, actually. I’m sure it’s a tough place to be as an artist. His fans can’t let go of the image of him in a bulletproof vest. And he’s unable to make a song (or album for that matter) that lifts him from it.

I hope 50 does it one day. I really do. But my first listen of “Outlaw” was also my last. If I want the old 50, I’ll play his old albums.

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Comments (32 total) Add your comment
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  • Forty

    50 who? Neggah please…

  • Bob

    You… wanted 50 Cent… to grow… as an artist. 50 Cent.

    Think about your unrealistic expectations.

    He was *never* going to grow as a person, let alone as an artist. Sheesh!

  • Max Kadee

    So its image verses reality huh? I thought of Rick Ross immediately when I read this. But no one want to talk about that.

    • Bob

      Or about Larry the Cable Guy.

      • Bleep

        You joker

  • HD

    I actually believed he would retire if Kanye beat him, which is why I bought Ye’s album. Yep, that’s me being a sucka. He’s over and needs to get over it.

  • Jonathan

    well said

  • 50 Cent

    The more you talk, the more money you make me all ;)
    Thank you!

    • Snave Gee

      50 my man let the haters worry about losing while you get that cash.G-UNIT to the world. Just keep it hood and dont stop. Yo number 1 fan here nomatter what.Keep it up

  • Rebecaa black

    It’s Friday Friday looking forward to the weekend…… Got my friends on my right and on my left which seat can I take?!?!

  • Von Titleton

    That song is horrible! 50 Cent is beyond done.

  • jamarious

    he’s worth 400 million now. he hasn’t been motivated to put out anything decent every since the vitamin water deal. he lost all motivation, he’s set for the next thousand lifetimes, and for someone who came from where he was, you can;’t blame him really for barely caring.

    however, lately he’s somewhat motivated again and you can tell with his lyrics which contain more multi syllable rhymes and wordplay.

  • chingwingping

    50 cent makes garbage music and he always has he either needs to quit or maybe get shot because nothing that comes out his mouth is nice and its really annoying like Chinese msg and lil Wayne and young jeezy followed 50 cents music and made rap worse

  • Dr. Dre

    I tried to tell the boy to make music from his heart, and not make it from a mindset of how much money it will make him. 50 is hard to talk to; so many just stay away from the little guy.

  • PN

    I hope that 50 Cent is not stuck into that sameness factor with the same kind of themes and lyrical content. Maybe he wanted to progress on his last album and it didn’t work. I would like him to have a balance of progressing with his rap style as well as recalling his 2003 success on the same album. But he needs to get out of that bulletproof vest image and come up with some other things to write in his songs. The making money lyrics are getting tired after some 60 different songs that he’s done. Kanye West has progressed on his later albums and he’s still getting respect from the streets. And Outlaw, the title, looks like something he rejected from THAT 2003 debut and wanted to record it now.

  • PN

    Looking back, I thought his 2007 album was his worst yet, a wasteland of club ready numbers and not enough strong numbers. I thought that On Fire with Nicole Scherzinger was the strongest track from the album. Amusement Park sounded corny. Not enough to follow two solid albums he made in 2003 and 2005. His 2009 album was a little better, had more gritty street hip-hop songs and that one was more in his zone.

  • Rebecaa black

    I stay at homr like a girl do but tonight you got me sad and blue

  • hassan mohammed

    wag 1 ya wast

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