Album Reviews

50 Cent – The Massacre

(Interscope) UK release date: 7 March 2005

50 Cent - The Massacre It was just over two years ago that the immortal line “Go shorty, it’s ya birthday” started to infiltrate our airwaves, beginning a relentless guerrilla attack on an unsuspecting public. The Massacre, 50 Cent‘s follow up to Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ marks the sixth official G-Unit-related album release. But you’ve got to wonder whether so much in so little time will result in overkill.

Interesting then, that The Massacre (plans to release The Valentines’ Day Massacre were shelved due to timescale pressures) begins with strains from What Up Gangsta, the first song on Fiddy’s debut album. Anyone expecting as powerful an intro track will be left shocked with the averageness of In My Hood. It’s a hark back to 50’s pre-Eminem days, which is a nice way of saying: before Mr Cent could afford decent producers.

This Is 50 is better. Much better. It’s a no messing track, and it’s strictly the gangsta beats that the man’s career has been built on. It’s lyrically enthralling with the first verse beginning: “I got an itchy itchy trigger finger”. It’s almost as if 50 thinks his is like gun-spray. But with a beat suited to Dr Dre‘s 2001 it doesn’t matter what he means.

The ambience is continued with the dark I’m Supposed To Die Tonight (well it was never going to be a happy track with a title like that). It’s a story of murder, and the uncertainty of ‘hood-life’ before changing the reality to 50’s success over the last two years, juxtaposing the two with rhymes like: “Frontin’ on me’ll shorten your lifespan, hold my mic’ with my left, my knife in my right hand”.

Then the album really kicks off, Piggy Bank is genuinely one of the hottest rap tracks ever. It’s a verbal assault on everyone from Fat Joe to Mobb Deep merged with a sensationally punishing bass line produced by Needlz. Not to be outdone by his protégé, Eminem makes an appearance on Gatman and Robin. Taking on from Like Toy Soldiers, Eminem’s verse in particular shows that even if he doesn’t want to he’ll jump in for his boys all said over one of Mr Mathers’ slickest verses.

Which all comes before we reach lead single Candy Shop introducing the first lady of G-Unit, Olivia in an impressive debut. It’s a filthy beat, in the best sense of the word and is certainly one that’ll have ’em grinding in the clubs for, erm about two more weeks. After all it is just taking over on the decks from Disco Inferno.

The quality of The Massacre just continues, Get In My Car is a grittier P.I.M.P. and A Baltimore Love Thing is the track 21 Questions should’ve been. It’s very much in the same vein as Eminem’s Kim just with a less murderous tinge. 50 calms down by A Lil Bit with its eastern allusions and hypnotic beat.

There really is no let up, from the up-beat Build You Up which welcomes Jamie Foxx on guest vocals to the mesmerising God Gave Me Style the album ends with a strength that you couldn’t envisage from In My Hood. As far as wow factor goes, The Massacre doesn’t equal Get Rich Or Die Tryin’.

But an album this long showing so much strength with no more than three skip-worthy tracks is really a sign of its class. But, almost like Dizzee Rascal‘s Boy In The Corner, The Massacre requires concentration to be appreciated. Something that might be beyond some of 50 Cent’s fans.

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50 Cent – The Massacre