Curtis Jackson needs no introduction. From drug and gunplay talk to multi-million record sales and movies, 50 Cent’s become a household name the world over. Four years after Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ signaled his commercial debut, 50 is gearing up for the release of his third album, titled simply Curtis, with “Straight To The Bank” already burning up the internet and the streets.
With a star heavy list of guest appearances on his forthcoming release including Justin Timberlake and Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger as well as production from the likes of the current Billboard 100 favorite, Timbaland, 50 Cent’s success story shows no signs of faltering, albeit not without ongoing controversy.
With recent news of Olivia being dropped and rumors of Young Buck not being on 50’s good side after trying to mend relations with The Game and Jadakiss, BallerStatus.com had a sit down with the G-Unit front man to discuss the topic, give us some updates on the G-Unit roster and talk about the controversy surrounding each of his albums and why that wasn’t the reason they were so successful.
BallerStatus.com: With your last album, a lot of its publicity came from the beef situation with The Game, Nas and Jadakiss. On this one what’s your main focus?
50 Cent: My music.
BallerStatus.com: But what are the main topics you delve into?
50 Cent: Those weren’t the main topics on my last one. Artists had expressed the discomfort with the success I’d been having, and I addressed them.
BallerStatus.com: So are there any diss tracks on this album, or are you over that?
50 Cent: I don’t have to do that. Those records don’t sell albums. They create a soap opera for people to talk about, but it’s records like “Disco Inferno,” “Candy Shop” and “Just A Lil’ Bit” that actually sold that album.
BallerStatus.com: Your new song, “Straight to the Bank,” highlights your wealth. Are record sales the most important factor you consider when making music?
50 Cent: (repeats the question to himself) Absolutely.
BallerStatus.com: Yes, the most important factor?
50 Cent: You want to make the best possible music for people to enjoy it, and when they actually enjoy it, this translates into sales.
BallerStatus.com: But in terms of best, it might still not be the best lyrically. Would you, say, dumb down your lyrics to sell more records?
50 Cent: Yes.
50 Cent: Absolutely. I mean, it depends on what… don’t dumb your lyrics to sell more records, but dumb down your lyrics for the state of hip-hop. Like if you’ve got artists that have records that are being played… it’s like, “This Is Why I’m Hot,” and the record is saying, “I can make a million saying nothing on a track.” [That track] is an indication that people just want to have fun and they don’t want lyrics to be so complex that they have to think about what you’re saying. That’s why I’m laughing straight to the bank. I want them to actually have fun when they hear the record, and that the first time you hear it, you know the chorus.
BallerStatus.com: You’ve got Dre producing for you on your new album, do you feel this puts you one-up in the on-going feud with The Game?
50 Cent: The feud with The Game is a one-sided feud. That’s him upset with my life and my situation. Have you heard any records of me responding to Game outside of “Not Rich, Still Lyin’?” I never made any records about him because he works for me. When he sells records, I get paid more money than he does, so why would I destroy him?
BallerStatus.com: There’s been various rumors regarding the G-Unit camp recently — Olivia’s been dropped, the problems with Young Buck, and we haven’t heard from M.O.P. in a long time. Where do they stand at the moment?
50 Cent: In Olivia’s case, there was a lot of miscommunications and it’s hard to understand why, considering Violator manages her and Violator manages me. We made new records and they were scheduled to be released, date set and everything, and they never put the records out. I spent over $2 million on that record and they never physically released it, so it’s time for me to drop it.
As far as Young Buck is concerned, people make mistakes. When I don’t communicate with them for long periods of time, they start saying all kinds of stuff. He went onto a radio station and said some things. I wasn’t really comfortable with how he articulated what he was trying to say, but he explained to me later what he was actually getting at. I understand his motive now.
BallerStatus.com: What would you say to critics who say that the rest of G-Unit are only popular because they are associated to you?
50 Cent: There could be some perks that come with being associated with me, and that might be the same perks that I received being associated to Eminem and Dr. Dre. The general public will realize that the quality of the music is going to be up to standard, like this album that Young Buck’s just released, he created it himself.
BallerStatus.com: What about M.O.P., where have they gone?
50 Cent: M.O.P., until they’re actually ready, I won’t release their record. I ain’t gonna bet on a horse with three legs, no matter how much I like the horse.
BallerStatus.com: Thanks, that’s all.
50 Cent: … and any rapper who says record sales aren’t important is lying!