Pitchfucked: Wanna learn business good? Read 50’s books and shit!

17 11 2009

Oh, Pitchfork. Your albums reviews are shining rainclouds in a world filled with rainbows and sunshine. You hate everything music has to offer, which seems strange considering you are a music publication, but that is just one of the many ways you Pitchfork people prove your superior wits to us lowly mouth-breathers. So let’s read one of your reviews together, so we can all be as educated on what should be considered good and what should be thrown into the Hudson Bay.  [note: Pitchfork, R&R]

So I bought The 50th Law. Like most non-musical projects involving 50 Cent, his co-authored book of Machiavellian strategy stood a good chance at being mindlessly entertaining,

Like Get Rich or Die Tryin’ the video game, Get Rich or Die Tryin’ the movie, Righteous Kill and Glaceau Vitamin Water. What’s that, none of those things were entertaining? Well fuck, how else am I supposed to write a generic introduction to his album?

and fuck– I wouldn’t mind being as rich as he is.

Why write for a pretentious music publication when you can deal drugs and get shot nine times?

Surely, I’d learn some sort of hustling tactic that would allow me to make back my $20 and then some.

Perhaps he could also teach me to “bang”, or “stunt” or how to get a “swagger”. Maybe I could teach him how to use words that make me sound like a complete fucking idiot, like “hustling tactic”.

It held up its end of the bargain on the first part, but amidst the surprisingly practical advice and hilariously revisionist history (a staged thrashing of an Interscope office is remembered as a PR coup for Curtis. Kanye West isn’t mentioned once in the book), there was little insight to 50’s music-making process.

You mean The 50th Law was just a device 50 Cent used to get money? WHAT A TRAVESTY! I CAN’T BELIEVE A BOOK AUTHORED BY THE SAME MAN THAT MADE “I GET MONEY” WOULD OFFER LITTLE- TO NO INSIGHT! Borders had better offer me a full refund or they will be getting a strongly worded letter.

The “50th law” essentially lionizes fearlessness and a deep connection with the public, qualities almost entirely absent from his last two albums– Curtis sounded a hell of a lot like a rap record made by a guy who lives in a Connecticut mansion,

After 100 words, I essentially try to connect his book to his album the readers are waiting for me to review, even though the analogy is weak at best. Also, mansions in Connecticut are totally soft.

it may be a wiser move making it to appeal to listener who still might be rooting for the guy. In other words, the sort of guy who thought “Blood Hound” and “Back Down” were by far the best tracks from Get Rich  or Die Tryin’.

In other words, nobody.

He disarmingly sings along with the Jackson 5 sample that begins “Then Days Went By” before reshaping his “Hate It or Love It” verse into a squalid blaxploitation that makes you think he’d view Precious as a comedy.

Topical!

Coming next week: What does Rihanna think about How I Met Your Mother?

There’s the part where a trip to the South turns into a murder spree and he pistol-whips his drug-addled uncle, but it’s his staggering anti-romance that provides the most creepy shock: “she was 20, I was 12/ Nana said she raped me/ I just smiled ear to ear saying ‘take it, baby, take it.'”

Can you imagine 50 Cent as a child? No, of course not. I assume the man was born and immediately turned age 18. Which is probably why he led a life of crime and drugs, nobody read him Goodnight Moon.

As good as the ruffneck stuff generally is, he’s way more entertaining when he’s fucking around with people.

Right, who wants to hear about him being statutorily [Editor’s note: word?] raped when you can hear about him doing the raping?

On that note, “So Disrespectful” is the most successful track, in that it’ll be the one that gets talked about.

Ok, that part is actually true, that track is one of the best on the album.

We can argue about the moral implications of using other people’s serious problems as comic fodder, but 50 has no such use for that.

Wait. Stop. Who argues about that? Every single late-night comic, stand-up act, sketch show, Eminem record, etc. uses other people’s serious problems as comic fodder. Isn’t that why they are called jokes? Do you understand how jokes are made? Do you know your own phone number? Can you find your way home?

A production team including Dr. Dre, Rick Rock, and Polow Da Don ensure that the cold and clinical Aftermath sonic architecture constantly allows Before to reek of amorality and fuck-you money.

Fuck-you money: Like Monopoly money, but instead of buying Marvin Gardens or Park Place, you buy cocaine, strippers and more money. Money that you then burn in front of poor people.

It’s apt since you could make the argument that Before is something of a concept album portraying human relations in purely transactional terms– it’s not called a “social contract” for nothing.

Jean-Jacque Rousseau would be proud to be included in an album review of Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, I can feel it. It’s such a seamless connection too. 50 Cent talks about his relationships, people have relationships, Rousseau wrote about human relationships — It’s like 50 read Rousseau’s work then put it in musical form. Fascinating.

There’s genuine hurt residing deep within a lot of the tracks here, but nearly every time, it’s rendered financially and finds 50 going from playful to extremely bitter as the album goes on.

It’s almost as though he could be a writer for Pitchfork.

Regarding the dissolution of G-Unit, he jokes “keeping these motherfuckers rich ain’t easy,”

Especially if you’re the were the top earning rapper in 2008 with over $150 million in net worth. 50 can’t be just handing out money to his fellow G-Unit rappers. He’s got kids to feed, just like Latrell Spreewell! Do you know how much it costs to eat diamonds?

But the fun of talking about the record overstates its actual quality.

That’s thing this about us over here at Pitchfork. Sure, I can spend 500 words talking about an album positively, but you know damn well I’m eventually going to crush it. What, you thought I was going to get through an entire rap album without eventually bringing the hammer down?

Don’t blame me, it’s a company rule. We can’t endorse any hip-hop not made by the Wu Tang Clan.

After initially promising a return to form, 50 doesn’t have the ability or initiative to hold the listener’s interest over the long run.

The Pitchfork/50 Cent similarities are downright eerie.

It’s almost like even he’s unsure of his hitmaking abilities, and in a weird way, that sorta softens him. But who really wants that?

God knows I don’t want a soft 50 Cent. I want a hard 50 Cent. Just so hard. The hardest 50 Cent ever.

[Review by Ian Cohen. Pitchfork rating:6.0]

50 Cent – Before I Self Destruct

1. The Invasion – ★★★
2. Then Days Went By – ★★★
3. Death To My Enemies
4. So Disrespectful – ★★★
5. Psycho (feat. Eminem) – ★★★
6. Hold Me Down
7. Crime Wave- ★★★
8. Stretch – ★★★
9. Strong Enough
10. Get It Hot
11. Gangsta’s Delight – ★★★
12. I Got Swag – ★★★
13. Baby By Me (Ft. Ne-Yo)
14. Do You Think About Me
15. Ok, You’re Right – ★★★
16. Could’ve Been you

Before I Self Destruct Total ★: 27
Before I Self Destruct ★ Ratio: 1.68

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