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Sunday, March 06, 2005

Save Sundays For Hip-Hop

It's been awhile since we've had any hip-hop at cool hand bak, and last week 50 Cent took it upon himself to give us something to talk about. Seemingly creating as much drama as possible to underscore the release of his sophomore album, The Massacre, 50 went on a particularly Makavelian spree through New York. Example one, in which 50 takes on anyone who's ever been in the same city as his enemies:

50 Cent - "Piggy Bank"

This is the track that started it all, even before it was released. Amidst all the buzz that it has caused, one could be forgiven for expecting something truly spectacular, but this is far from "Hit 'Em Up '05". Fat Joe gets it the worst with the song's one true brilliant diss, but 50 also takes shots as Jadakiss, Shyne, Nas and Kelis, yet somehow ignores his most vocal (and, perhaps, worthy) detractor, Joe Budden. I can barely call it battle-rap, but it definitely displays the charismatic arrogance and wit that Mr. How To Rob has always been known for. Out of all those called-out, Nas' response is rightfully the most anticipated, but it'll be interesting to see if Jadakiss can use this to finally catapult himself beyond "local" status and onto the national level. The fun doesn't stop there though. This was arguably the least brazen of 50's bold moves; example two, in which 50 instigates beef with a member of his own crew:

50 Cent - Hot 97 Interview

Here 50 "excommunicates" The Game from G-Unit, for disloyalty and disrespect. A number of remarkably harsh things are said, but the most fucked-up of all is 50's assertion that he makes more money off of The Game's debut album than The Game does himself. How's that for commentary on artists' rights in the music industry? Time will tell, but I think there's a good chance that this'll be what finally puts a chink in the Shady/Aftermath/G-Unit armor. It's difficult to imagine how Dr. Dre and Eminem will restore peace in their conglomerate without alienating either 50 or The Game and getting drawn into the beef themselves. With that in mind, here's what'll probably be the last song featuring the full G-Unit for some time:

G-Unit - "Hate It Or Love It [G-Unit Remix]"

In retrospect, it certainly seems as if The Game is issuing a warning of his own to 50 on his reworked verse for this remix. It's a shame too because both of these guys are probably better off together than apart. I'm just as much a fan of lyrical showdowns as the next person, but this has all the makings of something more dangerous than that. The bottom line is if it fuels what happens on wax that's cool, but here's hoping it doesn't go any further.

Let's end this on a more positive note. Here's a track from one of 50's targets that I've been enjoying lately. It's unreleased, and I think it comes from the Street's Disciple sessions. Why it didn't make it onto the album is beyond me.

Nas - "Talk Of New York"

Finally, while we're on the subject of mainstream hip-hop, if anyone has an mp3 of the "Drop It Like It's Hot" remix featuring the Jiggaman, can you put me up on it? Peace.

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