Sunday, March 16, 2003

50 Cent finally delivers on promise

50 Cent
Get Rich or Die Tryin'
Shady/Aftermath

Ever since "How to Rob" hit the streets three years ago, 50 Cent has been the next big thing in rap music. But you can only be "next" for so long before you get forgotten. Fortunately for rap fans, 50 Cent won't be forgotten any time soon, thanks to an amazing major label debut that's been a long time coming.

50 Cent knows he's been slept on, and lets the listener know it from the get-go. "Many Men," one of the first tracks on the album, talks about his trials and tribulations in getting to the forefront of the rap world, with a particularly poignent verse about his brush with death.

On "Patiently Waiting," 50 trades words with Eminem, his new mentor, and holds his own against the critically acclaimed lyricist. Like most of the tracks on the album, "Patiently Waiting" is violent, but not gratutiously so. When 50 talks about his street experience, you can hear in his voice that he's not just making up stories for songs.

Of course, 50 knows how to party too. "How to Rob" might have been scathing, but it had a beat and you could move to it. And while 50 is never going to be mistaken for P. Diddy (he takes more than his fair share of shots at the shiny suited Bad Boy boss), "In Da Club" is as hot, if not hotter, than any joint to come out this year.

When all is said and done, after listening to "Get Rich or Die Tryin'," the only question you'll have is whether 50 can get his next album done in less than three years. And even if he can't, the wait will probably be worth it. It was for this one.

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