Thursday, December 01, 2005

50 Cent: The Hip-Hop Paris Hilton

I remember my first exposure to the now ubiquitous "fiddy." It was an advance copy of his album "Get Rich of Die Trying" in a press kit that focused on the following points:
- He was shot nine times, and still has a bullethole in his face.
- He is a real drug dealer.
- He is in a Biggie-Tupak style fight with JaRule and Benzino.
-Eminiem and Dre are on his side.

In case his press materials weren't enough to drop the hint, the cover and inside art from the CD featured guns and blood-soaked wads of money. Thinking "the lady doth protest too much" I dismissed it as unworthy of my attention and gave it to a friend of mine in the photo department.

I also gave him the DVD that came two weeks later. By that time our page designer had already heard "In Da Club" in an actual club.

The only part she could sing back to me was the "party like it's your birthday" part, but the opening hook (da DU, da DU, da DU) was still stuck in her head. The hook, was, of course, composed by Dr. Dre. The rapping on that track is not only unmemorable, it is unintelligible. And that's his best song. The fact is, 50 Cent is a completely talentless rapper.

He is also a publicity whore, as evinced by his over-playing of his gangster roots (now in a movie and video game) and his "beefs." Now that he's gotten all the mileage he can out of his beef and reconciliation with the irrelevant Ja Rule, he's picked a new target: rising star Kanye West.

This is ridiculous. It the intellectual equivalent of carrot top taking on Woody Allen. Besides, West probably doesn't even own a gat. What is he going to do in retaliation, write an Op Ed in the New York Times?

50 (or his advisor) understands this, so he's attacking West's political beliefs. First, he criticized West's spontaneous post-Katrina remark ("George Bush Does Not Care About Black People") as self-serving. Taking this further, he's now saying that he deeply admires President Bush, even calling him a "gangsta". Like Don King (whom we now know, was paid) 50 is saying that if he weren't a convicted felon and thus, ineligible to vote, he'd vote for the president.

What does this tell us about our president? Does it mean that he is paying 50, like he did Armstrong Williams and Don King? Doubtful. He's a lame duck and the gangsta and/or youth communities won't help him much in midterm elections.

Does 50 actually feel a kinship with the president, perhaps with the president's tendency to wage war? This is an intriguing possibility, but I think it may give 50 too much credit. Considering his marketing campaign to this point, I don't think he has an earnest or ingenuous cell in his body.

Is the president so unpopular now that the best way to get attention is to support him? This appears the most likely scenario. Supporting the president at this juncture is akin to Paris Hilton leaking a sex tape of herself. It's headling grabbing for its own sake. Granted 50, who has a movie and a video game to promote, is probably profitting more from his publicity whoring than Paris, who only ever had a bad reality show and some handbags.

2 Comments:

Blogger Doug said...

Rick,

Why do you rip on the Simple Life? It was the best reality show. It really kept things real. Ha Ha. Nice post. Keep up the good work.

7:31 PM  
Blogger Mal Has No Life said...

Ripping on that show is rather reduntant and a bit too easy, kinda like picking on the retarded kid at school. Though this was an entertaining post, and I learned a lot more about 50 than I ever wanted to know. It's a shame that we just can't euthanize people for being idiots.

6:34 PM  

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