50 Cent, 'Before I Self Destruct' (Aftermath/Interscope)

5
Before I Self Destruct
Critical Mass
Label: Aftermath/Interscope

by Marc Hogan

Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson said his long-delayed fourth album would be "like a prequel" to his blockbuster 2003 debut Get Rich or Die Tryin' -- in other words, a back-to-basics return to the rapper-mogul's more aggressive roots.

But after 2007's lackluster Curtis and this summer's abysmal War Angel mixtape, not even A-list producers (Dr. Dre, Polow Da Don, Timbaland) and A-list guest stars (Eminem, Ne-Yo, R. Kelly) can bring back Fitty's glory days.

From unsettling babysitter-sex and street-hustling reminiscence "Then Days Went By" to chest-thumping call-to-arms ("I'm not tellin' you to shoot somebody, but...") "Crime Wave," the first half of Before I Self Destruct recalls the nihilistic ferocity of Fitty's legendary pre-fame mixtapes. But Eminem by far out-raps his former protégé on "Psycho," and 50 Cent's crabby sniping at a who's who of hip-hop stars on "So Disrespectful" only underscores his own increasing irrelevance.

The last several tracks shift to the club -- sometimes smoothly (baby-making Ne-Yo duet "Baby By Me"), more often not (baby-mama dis "Do You Think About Me"). Before I Self Destruct starts with 50 Cent literally growling, and it ends, on "Could've Been You," with Kelly crooning about sniffing his own excrement. Both sound equally laughable.

WATCH: 50 Cent, "Baby By Me"

BUY:

iTunes iTunes Amazon

00:00 00:00 No Song Selected More info
00:00 00:00
placeholder
Now Playing
  • 1 Prince & 3RDEYEGIRL — Prince - Clouds " 04:34
  • 2 P. Reign — DnF (feat. Drake & Future) " 03:25
  • 3 Stalley — Jackin' Chevys (Prod. by Rashad) " 03:26
  • 4 Emile Haynie — A Kiss Goodbye (feat. Charlotte Gainsbourg, Devonté Hynes, Sampha) " 03:46
  • 5 Rusko — I Wanna Mingle (ft Pusher) " 02:37

SPIN is a member of SPIN Music Group, a division of BUZZMEDIA