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50 Cent Talks Past Albums, Dubs ‘Before I Self Destruct’ a ‘Classic’

50 Cent‘s fourth album, ‘Before I Self Destruct,’ was released this week. In preparation, the Queens rapper sat down with MTV and explained the science behind the albums he’s released thus far in his career.

‘Get Rich or Die Tryin’

“Largest debuting hip-hop album. I mean, so much was going on when I was writing this record. I had war chants like ‘Many Men’ … ‘P.I.M.P’ — I was exposed to that lifestyle. I actually gave confirmation on ‘Before I Self Destruct,’ with ‘Stretch,’ where I explained where I was exposed to that on that record: ‘Like a pimp, me I was in the passenger seat.’ So I wrote the things, why these things were relevant to me, from this album onto the latest CD. You know I only recorded with Em and Dre for six days on this album? You can do a lot in six days, man!”

The Massacre

“[In] 2005 I was about 15 pounds heavier. I had to draw my muscles on. I got fat while I was doing the tour. And, umm … I overwrote this album. It’s 22 cuts, the maximum playing time on a single CD. Technically it’s a double-disc. I had so much going on creatively at that point that I also wrote the hit music that was on Game‘s effort, you know, doing this project.”

Curtis

“This right here is my artist album — ‘Curtis,’ album three. I had to name this album ‘Curtis.’ My grandfather’s Curtis Sr., his first born is Curtis Jr., I’m his first grandchild, I’m Curtis James Jackson III. And that’s why my third album is titled ‘Curtis.’ I attempted to make this album human. That was my outline for what the record should be. I wrote ‘Straight to the Bank,’ I put laughter in the record. I wrote what I felt what was representation of joy. I wrote ‘I Still Kill’ featuring Akon. ‘I Still Kill’ had the aggression, anger. ‘Ayo Technology’ was love, sex. I put a lot of different things into this album, and I found a new place musically collaborating with all the talented artists on this project. What’s interesting is I came up with the concept before ‘Before I Self Destruct,’ and wrote four demo tracks before I decided to go with ‘Curtis,’ because I knew ‘Before I Self Destruct’ would impact harder behind this.”

Before I Self Destruct’

“Finally, album four, ‘Before I Self Destruct’ — I’m deeming this classic. I didn’t overwrite it. It’s got 15 cuts, 16 is the bonus with R. Kelly, ‘Could Have Been You.’ I pick and choose my moments on this actual record. I finally found a balance of what I feel like a great album is, and this is representation of it right here. I knew what my singles were before we even got started. I came into it and said, ‘This is going to work. I’m going to do ‘Baby By Me,’ and then I’m going to explain what happens when that doesn’t work, when a relationship doesn’t work. And then I’m going to go here, get it hot.’ And people don’t understand the transition and difference between ‘Curtis’ and ‘Before I Self Destruct.’

” … ‘I Get It In’ leaked out and I had to have Dre mix it. The record was out, and I wanted it to sound as best as possible. We still weren’t prepared to launch the actual album, so we never actually shot the music video for that. I said, ‘I’ll make something better,’ and I went back in the studio and I created ‘Baby By Me’ and ‘Do You Think About Me,’ which was written before all of that. ‘Hold Me Down’ was one of my favorite joints on an actual album. So this one, I’m proud of this record. I hope everyone gets it and enjoys it, however they get it.”

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