50 Cent

With chiseled muscles drizzled in oil and an unspecified power that left him impervious to bullets, 50 Cent exploded onto the pop landscape like a Nietzsche-meets-Al-Capone Superman with a cadre of club-banging beats, itchy hooks and one-dimensional verses. For better and worse, The Massacre breaks little new ground. There are the requisite sex-drenched club-bangers ("Candy Shop" and "Disco Inferno"), as well as the confessional yet oh-so-gully street ballads ("A Baltimore Love Thing"). And for someone who lists arrogance as a virtue, unsurprisingly, the former formula works better -- thanks in no small part to the viciously infectious funk of Dr. Dre. With a voice that resonates with the power and intensity of a volcano blast, 50 could probably continue to churn out these anthems to the oblivious masses well into the next decade. But for this millennium's Teflon don, the thematic and sonic redundancies he offers shortchange those who are still paying attention.


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