Get Rich Or Die Tryin'

50 Cent

Interscope Records, 2003

REVIEW BY: Adam Mico


Since LL Cool J's single "Rock the Bells" and introductory album Radio hit the streets in 1985, I have been a fan of rap music (even its bastardized offspring). The above was my third album owned (actually a cassette tape). Through the years, I've listened, bellied or moped about rap's progression or digression. Seventeen years have elapsed since the genres' undeniable maiden mainstream success ("Walk This Way" by Run DMC w/Aerosmith); in that time, rap has mutated into endless sub-genres and seems to promote one or two champions each year. In 2003, rap's exponent is 50 Cent (Curtis Jackson).

50 Cent's hardcore rap pedigree is impeccable. He grew up in the ghetto and was a professional crack peddler. He freaked due to the birth of his son and his own lengthy rap sheet, turning to performing as an underground rap artist. "Discovered" in 1996 by Run DMC's (former) Jam Master Jay, he was signed on and worked with others in conjunction to his own projects. His street credibility came from his actual life, lyrics and continuous work on mix tapes. He and his G Unit posse hit it old school; like the rap pioneers Sugarhill Gang, he rapped over stolen beats and music. Reaching 2000, his game was building toward a peak, 50 Cent was to release his 1st solo album. However, he was nearly killed after being shot seven times, his record company flinched and his CD was shelved.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The gunshots would not hold Curtis down. The next two years, he grasped and pulled himself back. Working the underground scene and on mix tapes, he caught the ear of Eminem. Eminem publicly endorsed the unsigned artist and ignorantly drove up the price of the artist he signed. After reflecting, all the accidental hype seems to have worked as a fluke marketing tool that ensured multi-platinum sales.

Much like the cheeky merchandise near a Walgreen's front counter, Get Rich or Die Tryin' is all impulse and no substance. Each track is expertly produced and provides a head-bobbin', car bumpin' blue print, but this potential energy is completely busted by 50 Cent's misuse of its application.

Although the closest gunshot was actually 50 Cent's cheek, it sounds like a bullet penetrated his tongue because his mumbled words flow with a dyslexic resonance. The lyrics are fearless, as highlighted in "Blood Hound" and "Back Down," but are retarded retread of NWA, Nas and Tupac; no sense of purpose is heard, no real vitality sensed. Guest artists like Eminem, Nate Dogg and a host of anonymous others are actually more skilled and listenable than the featured artist. 50 Cent is the only exclusive rapper that I ever heard get schooled by his/her own guests.

Sadly, my speakers smoked, fizzled and needed to be replaced because 50 Cent is pathetic excuse for a "professional" rapper. Get Rich or Die Tryin' battered like an Eminem pimp slap on the entire music-buying public. It's like he found the worst possible MC, put him on a pedestal and laughed out loud while the cash flowed in. Any purchaser of this CD has been bought and likely ridiculed by Interscope Records.

If you happen to like gangsta-style rap with an artist's flavor and blueprint, do not waste your coin on Get Rich or Die Tryin'.

Rating: D-

User Rating: F



© 2003 Adam Mico and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Interscope Records, and is used for informational purposes only.