Chicago Sun-Times
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50 Cent, "Before I Self Destruct" (Interscope) [1 STAR out of 4]

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BISD.jpg

The expiration date for Curtis Jackson, a.k.a. 50 Cent, was obvious from the moment he made his mainstream debut with "Get Rich or Die Tryin'" in 2002: No matter how strong your ear for catchy hooks and thumping beats, there's only so much mileage you can get from the "baddest of the bad-ass gangstas" routine when we've heard it so many times before, especially when you have little to add besides endless prattle about how many times you've been shot and stabbed.

Fiddy tried to show a bit more range with "Curtis" in 2007, timed for a celebrated showdown on the pop charts with Kanye West's "Graduation." But you'll recall that West won, commercially and artistically. The melodramatically entitled "Before I Self Destruct" actually was recorded before "Curtis," but the "more personal" effort was swapped out for the darker disc at the last minute, and the 16 tracks here haven't grown any fresher while sitting on the shelf for last two years as 50 Cent's been busy selling vitamin water and courting Hollywood.

There are enticing moments, to be sure--it would be impossible not to have a few, with a top-dollar roster of production talent including DJ Premiere, Dr. Dre and Polow da Don. But the cameos by Eminem (on the tired and tossed-off "Psycho") and R&B superstar R. Kelly ("Could've Been You," one of two ill-advised Fiddy smooth jams) add nothing, and the millionaire businessman's rhymes about scheming bitches, treacherous drug dealers and his allegedly unrivaled ability to beat all rivals to a bloody pulp have never sounded more predictable, boring, contrived or thoroughly insincere.

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26 Comments

Seriously, 1 star? Consensus is saying this is his best album since his Get Rich or Die Tryin debut, and you give it 1 star? Seriously don't review any rap anymore. Unless its poprap. I'm 100% sure you didn't even listen to the album.

i am sorry but this is the wack review...i mean it wasn't no classic i keep hearing the same stuff 50 needs to grow yada yada stfu jay has been rapping the same s--- sense he came out and he is loved but when anyone else doesn't branch off to different stuff its looks down upon...i would rate this 3.5 or 4 out of 5 it was decent maybe great if it had they burn me and some other tracks to replace 2 or 3 wack tracks it would be really dope.

this guy is one of the reasons hip hop is dying.stupid,bias reviews from some1 who didnt listen to the whole disc but skirmed through it.stop reviewing hip hop records you have no taste go listen to taylor swift.

i know this comment wont be published becuase you people dont like the truth. this review is absolute s---. this is a hip hop album not a pop album a--hole. its an absolute classic and you lot should stick to reviewing pop because u middle class people dont know wat the hell your talking about.

50 Cent IS the reason Hip Hop is dying.

Listen to some Wale before you corrupt such a great Review.

is this reviever retarted or sumthin???!!!...this imbecile knows nothing whatsoever about hip hop...this album is the best hip hop album so far....way better than Blueprint 3..this idiot probably ain't even listened to the album..he probably hates 50 cent and hip hop so much that he hates to see 50 do well and get millions for his hard work too....Jim u might as well have not rated anyhing for this album seriously...if u find 50's gangsta rap(what he does best) "predictable, boring, contrived or thoroughly insincere"...then go listen to Soulja Boy and rate his album instead!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

LOL, you didn't even put up the right album cover... shows how much you know about the album. That review was awful...

This is by far the worst review I have read in a long time. You spent no time what so ever explaining your answer, do everyone else a favor and do not review rap albums anymore. Like my man said, the public consensus is that this is his best album since get rich or die tryin, so read my review. IF YOU LIKE NY RAP, YOU WILL LIKE THIS ALBUM, why do you expect him to change and make an album like 808 and heartbreaks?


OH YEAH, NEXT TIME MAKE SURE YOU PUT UP THE RIGHT ALBUM COVER! Your review completely loses all credibility when you do not even put up the right album cover and shows that you have no respect for the people who are reading it.

BISD is the best album of 2009. This is the worst review. They just compare 50 to GRODT. Stop doing that. It deserves a way better rating than this. This is a great body of work, he stepped his game up from his last album. I think it is better than Massacre. I truly enjoyed the album. I'm not even a 50 fan either. I thought he couldnt make good music after Curtis but I was wrong. Who ever wrote this review is a complete dumbass.

Yea well I am hip hop, I listen to rap. This is not a 1/4 album but it is some hot trash though. It is predictable, boring, contrived or thoroughly insincere". How could it be sincere when he lives in a mansion in Conneticut. Has anyone ever died that 50 cent has had beef with? It's all entertainment you agree? With that said it's done in bad taste. GRODT was awesome, and every song had that emotion behind it that made it authentic. Honestly, this sounds like 50 saying "they are saying, I'm soft, let me say murder, murder kill". I don't have a problem with 50 saying crazy stuff but he is not doing well, point blank. It's hot first time through and then it depreciates like a new car off the lot. Good albums maintain their value. Honestly, BP3 was a grower, but I'm in Cali and I hear more people bumping the album now then when it first came out. Officer Rickey :) made a better album this year. Sorry guys 50 has been falling steadily since his debut it true. This will be his lowest selling album ever, not because of the economy but because of the music. Eminem sold 1.5 this year, Jay is at about 1.3 this year, and 50 should come in around the same.(Maybe) he trying to get some buzz up by starting more fake beefs, but it's not working. Hey Fif how about you let ur album be the hype for once.


2.5 out of 4 stars.

You are 100% dead on about 50 cent. Why is 50 still making music? Like Scarface said: "a man without his word is a cockroach".50 needs to quit rapping!I listen to true hip hop like Nas,Wu tang,Scarface,Rakim,K-rino,ras kass,etc. I can't stand this 50 the first time he came out. All he talks about is how much times he got shot,how much a gangsta he is,how much of a pimp he is,and stupid S**t with catchy hooks.Basically his subject matter is BORING and nobody can relate to that's struggling with life. And lets not forget,like Gza said: 50 cent- a nigga don't got f**kin lyrics. Y'all need to listen to Gza's Paper plates,he ethered 50 there. Where's 50's response?
Did I mention 50's a hypocrite and lives on with beefing with other rappers.LOL

You are 100% dead on about 50 cent. Why is 50 still making music? Like Scarface said: "a man without his word is a cockroach".50 needs to quit rapping!I listen to true hip hop like Nas,Wu tang,Scarface,Rakim,K-rino,ras kass,etc. I can't stand this 50 the first time he came out. All he talks about is how much times he got shot,how much a gangsta he is,how much of a pimp he is,and stupid S**t with catchy hooks.Basically his subject matter is BORING and nobody can relate to that's struggling with life. And lets not forget,like Gza said: 50 cent- a nigga don't got f**kin lyrics. Y'all need to listen to Gza's Paper plates,he ethered 50 there. Where's 50's response?
Did I mention 50's a hypocrite and lives on with beefing with other rappers.LOL

This album is crap. I completely agree with the reviewer. The last quality thing 50 was involved in was 'Ayo Technology'feat. Justin Timberlake. My guess is that J-tim's talent was the reason the song was a success. I wish 50 would stop 'rapping', it's seriously just crap.

PEOPLE GIVE GOOD REVIEWS FOR ALBUMS THAT SOUNDS LIKE THE SAME AT THE TIME. SO WHATEVER IS GOING ON IN HIP HOP WILL GET THE BEST REVIEWS IF SOMEBODY COMES WITH SOMETHING DIFFERENT THEN WHAT THE TOPIC OF HIP HOP IS A BAD REVIEW IS GIVEN THIS IS WHATS HAPPENING HERE NOW ALL OF A SUDDEN GANGSTER RAP IF YOU WANT TO CALL IT THAT ISNT GOOD ANYMORE AND IT YOU GIVE A BAD REVIEW TO PROBALY THE BEST RAP ALBUM OF THE YEAR

50 Cent - Before I Self Destruct Review
Can Fif retake the hip-hop crown? We peep his latest release.
by Sketch Longwood

November 9, 2009 - 50 Cent has a treat for fans who thought they'd have to wait until next week to hear his latest album, Before I Self Destruct. The record had been planned for release as early as 2007, but Fif chose to release Curtis instead. Destruct was further pushed back and a November 16, 2009 date was set... Next week. But check that, it's up on iTunes early. And it turns out the 15 tracks of (mostly) dope beats and hard rhymes have been worth the wait.

"The Invitation" kicks things off as 50 Cent lays down a scorching intro over beats by DJ Premiere. It's a taunting intro that sets the hardcore mood.

"Then Days Went By" is 50 waxing nostalgic. It's appropriately backed by a soulful organ groove that grounds the track in the past -- a sample from The Jackson 5's version of "Ain't No Sunshine."

The most commercial cut is also the dirtiest. "Baby By Me" is a booty rap track featuring Ne-Yo with melodic keyboard underpinnings that take it in a crossover-friendly direction. You may have already heard the remix version, as it's the album's official lead single.

You know a gangsta rapper when is doing his job well when he can make you chuckle and threaten some dude's life in the same verse. Such is the case on the dope Dr. Dre production, "Death to My Enemies." And if we're reading between the lines properly, Kanye better watch his back.

Of particular note is a reworking of the classic old school joint "Rapper's Delight" by the Sugarhill Gang. Re-christened "Gangsta's Delight" and given a beat conjured up by Dre and collaborator Mark Batson, the track takes the classic and flips the script with an edgy street sound and gangsta-appropriate lyrics. We love it.

"Psycho," which features a guest appearance from Eminem, is a sparse production (another one by Dr. Dre) which relies on the strength of the rhymes and distinctively staccato delivery.

Weakest link is "Do You Think About Me," a smooth jam of a track that isn't exactly wack, it just seems out of place here. Fif's softer side (which really isn't very soft) is better expressed on the superior "Could've Been You" featuring R. Kelly.

On the whole, Before I Self Destruct features 50 Cent at his hardest in years. Sample the cuts "Stretch," "So Disrespectful," and "Crime Wave" if you have any doubts about that. We expect it will ultimately be regarded as a solid record, an improvement on 2007's Curtis, and perhaps on par with 2005's The Massacre. But will we see the rapper recapture the hip-hop limelight from crossover stars of West's ilk? That remains to be seen.

OVERALL: 8/10


that is what a review is, not this piece of crap that Jim DeRogatison presented.

It's pretty clear you just hating on this because R. Kelly was featured...fat bastard. It's either that or your just a hating cup cake eating faggot mad that 50 dissed your fellow cupcake eating homo faggot friend Fat Joe.

i just had to come and type my opinion....

this album is 8-8.5/10 for the most.
Or to this site 3/4 stars...

i understand everyone who hate on 50 cent (Curtis Jackson) mainly because he has become your competition. Blog sites, Radio, Clothing, Perfume, anythings possible with this guy...

Understand what is being said b4 u judge.....

Great album....got my copy listen twice so far...not a stan...wat ever u call it

fair to be fair

Wat are you talking about!?...The CD is no "Massacre" or "Get rich or die tryin" but it's still a top notch rap album. You're just hating...Don't review something if your gonna be bias about it.

Honestly the cd lacks his melodic choruses, but the rhymes are still fresh and songs well produced.

Don't listen to this guy...

horrible review.... This guy obviously doesn't have a ear for hip-hop unless its Kanye West... Lameeeee biased reviews suck. Realistically, its probably a 3 out of 4.

This is an incredibly weak review, it SO biased. The writer obviously dislikes 50 from the start so doesn't even give the album a chance. Actually, the album is suprisingly much better than expected. Please learn how to review.

I dont know what I'm more disappointed with. The review of this album, or the horrible grammar of the people trying to defend it here.

You suck b---s you cracker, you fatass shouldn't be reviewing rap music, go on a diet, you obese piece of s---, and learn real music.

4.5 out 5.. it looks like people just dont wona like 50cent...
it dosen't matter how great his work is, people still fined time to hate...

50cent is the first human being to do mix-tape but no one
wants to remember that.. (he the reason why mix-tape is alive today)
and we all know mix-tape IS the foundation of music..
but all we do is... push the great work he's done for the music game
aside and point out his error!!!

and i undersatnd some of you are upset cos he took out ur favorite rapper or went against ur ravorite rapper.
but is not a way to judge him on that..

as a human being, would you like it if people judge you only on your
errors and cancelled out the good works you done in life???

NO!!!... i dont think so!!!

the guy obviously has little appreciation for rap music. the introduction to his review is obviously stuff that is irrelevant to the content, but stuff that would come up if one were to google fifty cent and click on the wikipedia link. my guess is the reviewer got stuck writing this piece, doesnt really have much of an appreciation for rap music, and as such gave this a thoughtless 1/4 rating. I myself would give it 2.5/4. while reserving something as demeaning as a 1 for things such as tony yayos last album.

Just Look at the fat ass white guy reviewing it and you know the review isnt legit.

Why do I get the feeling Mr. DeRogatis hates pretty much anyone signed to Aftermath and only praised Dr. Dre's production out of fear of the backlash he'd receive for declaring hip-hop blasphemy? Pretty much like the time he reviewed Eminem's "Relapse". That album was praised by every hip-hop fan tired of the "ringtone rap" that had been plaguing the charts but decried as offensive and awful by pop music reviewers who had no business listening to a hardcore rap album in the first place.

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This page contains a single entry by Jim DeRogatis published on November 11, 2009 7:17 AM.

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