Music News

50 Cent on his new album, Black Magic, and stepping up his Game and keeping the classic tracks all to himself

50 Cent has avoided confrontation exactly never in his twelve-year career. His debut full-length, meanwhile, is universally hailed as a hip-hop classic. So he's been a polarizing force for a long time. You could say that 50 took an artistic stumble with Curtis, perhaps due to an increasing involvement in his many other projects (acting and writing chief among them). But last year's Before I Self-Destruct was a return to form, and if our recent conversation with the rapper is any indication, his upcoming Black Magic will be worth a listen. And in case you were curious, he only went about three minutes before getting in a shot at his old pal Game.

Westword: How's Black Magic coming along?

50 Cent: It's coming good. I've been working on the project for a while now. I don't know — before I actually release the record, I want to have enough time to make sure it's the best possible material I could present. Because it's a concept album, and I kind of had a vision for what it would sound like. I was saying, 'This feels like Black Magic; I'm going to use this beat,' instead of picking whatever came on that I felt was good.

I've read that Black Magic will be a little more up-tempo, dancier, and that you were influenced by your stops in Europe.

I did a song while I was out there that kind of matched the up-tempo. And I'm not sure if these are going to make the record, because I record so many songs before I actually choose what has to stay and what has to go. I watch artists who utilize writers, and it's easier for them to make the decision on what records to keep than it is for me, being the writer. I always feel like I could top what I just did.

To give you an even clearer example, during the time frame of The Massacre, I wrote like twelve songs that only had two verses and a chorus on them. Song ideas. And I ended up scrapping those records and going on to create the hit music that ended up on The Massacre.

The things that I had on the album that stood out to me were after I created "Hate It or Love It," "Church for Thugs," and "Westside Story" that ended up on Game's album. So at this point, I don't want to throw away any hit records; I want to keep them. I always said to myself, 'What if I put all those records on one album'?

The records that took off and created the momentum for Game, if I kept those records and put them on my own album, if I was a little more selfish and just kept everything to myself, then what would happen?' So that's exactly what I'm doing on this album.

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Kiernan Maletsky is Westword's music editor. His writing has appeared in alt-weeklies around the country as well as Miley Cyrus's mom's Twitter feed.
Contact: Kiernan Maletsky