Thursday, November 5, 2009

Chess Boxin' With Curtis Jackson

I've heard it said, numerous times, that in order to hate something, you have to had loved it at some point. & I'll admit, I was a huge fan of Curtis Jackson when he emerged in the 90's. He was like a breath of fresh air; he successful combined the degenerative qualities of the West Coast's gang mentality with the gritty, hustle aesthetic of the East Coast. It was a very simple formula, & I'm sure it had been experimented with previous to 50's efforts, but for whatever reason, his execution was flawless. It didn't hurt that he played the "victim-turned-victor" card repeatedly, either. His mom was murdered in the street where she hustled, he grew up father less, thusly turning to the same life his mother lived, only to be almost killed. Here is where his story begins to apex. He decided that he'd be the biggest thing in rap music ever. He seemingly dedicated his life to this ambition. & it showed on his debut album, 'Get Rich Or Die Trying", which still moves units to this day.

For plenty of rap fans & Hip Hop heads alike, this is where the love started becoming hate.

His assaults became the pinnacle of his "talent". What began as attacks on Ja Rule, spread to Fat Joe, NaS, Jadakiss, Jay-Z, among others, & most notably Rick Ross. Rick Ross is an uber-gangsta rapper who built his musical empire on borrowed drug fantasies & genocidal undertones. Oh, & thanks to 50 Cent, Rick Ross was exposed as an ex-correctional officer, contrary to the content of 95% of his music. The other 5% was based on his sexual prowess. Laugh out loud. Ross stuck to his audio guns, releasing good music, while 50 took to the 'Net with comedy skits, stalked Ross' mother at work, & even produced a porno with one of Ross' baby mothers, & helped the other one ink a book deal for a tell-all book on the most famous rapper the world never heard of.

50 has the unrelenting ability to strategically place himself in front of the cameras when it's necessary (i.e. around the time he's about to drop an album). For the most part, it's always been a successful move, except his latest album, 'Before I Self Destruct', was scheduled to be released last year, at the height of the Rick Ross onslaught. It never happened. The album was continuously pushed back to it's apparent release date, this November. & not-so-coincedentally, he's in the mix again.

Jay-Z, & his former artist Beanie Sigel have drifted apart due to Jay's "shady" business dealings, & Beans is set to let the entire world know about his ex-boss' wayward conductivity. Suprisingly (or not really), 50 Cent just happened to be there to scoop up a wounded Beanie & give him the platform to air his grievances. There's a lot of back & forth fact-checking between Jay & Sigel, but the true champion in this melee is 50. He singlehandedly put his name back into the street, like he's known to do, on the backs of two men, former friends, that have nothing at all to do with 50 Cent.

Now, if that's not politics in it's rawest, most uncut, I don't know what is.

With rumors of Beanie Sigel being signed to Curtis' G-Unit Records (which has proven not to mean a whole helluva lot these days), 50's chess playing is paying off tremendously. Beans, 50's pawn, is checkmating Jay-Z's king. One wonders what Jay's queen (not Beyonce, y'all) move will be. In all honesty, Shawn Carter is bigger than rap, so it won't take much to block any move by 50 Cent. The point is that, 50 Cent, regardless to what people think about him, is probably the smartest player in the rap industry. He came, he saw, & he's conquering from a business level.

I'll concede that he'll most likely never again "wow" me with a lyric or song concept, but I sense that he's off that (no pun intended). Seems like it's more about conquest, & until industry cats smarten up, dude will be like Hip Hop's Genghis Khan. When he released his book earlier this year, 'The 50th Law of Power', semi-sequel to Robert Greene's "The 48 Laws Of Power', many dismissed it as another cashocow being milked, similar to his mineral water venture & his acting career. But, if the proof is truly in the pudding, I wouldn't be surprised if Bill Cosby shows up in his next video.

50's not playing checkers, people. It's more like a hood savvy 'Monopoly'/'Chess' hybrid, & he's the only one who knows the rules. Or at least, that's how it seems.


Don said...

And you ain't lying. If cats would wash the green out of their vision pieces they would see Curtis is about real business, not the psuedo-ness stench that Jigga gives off.

Son's chess game is on. You gotta respect that. A dude promoting his album/self on "Nightline" gets serious dap.

Or how about this example:

Jay signed a deal w/Live Nation to keep slaving(touring) for the next 5 years. 50 bought a camera & a movie production studio.


Believe that.


Tony Grands said...


As far as the rapper 50, it is what it is. But, it's mathematically impossible to front on his business-sense. &, just when you think dude's slowing down, taking an 'L' or getting lame, nah, he was just laying in wait.

I've been saying it, & as usual, you might be one of the only one's hearing me, but this guys chess game is on point. Can't be mad @ that.

& I can totally see him signing & pushing Beans to success. I would...

Don said...

Acting is his new GRODT.

And the Beans situation?

Taking one of Jigga's chess pieces, giving him a Dre makeover(throwaways) with some Em verses(throwaways) & introducing him to his(50) fan-base as a co-sign, is a mate, game over move.

I expect this to happen. Like you said:

I would.

Federal Ranga said...

$yk, Grand$! My brothers... ya'll know I was with ya'll...

Dig it. 50's passing GO, checkmating and connectin hella fours when it comes to business moves. As far as the Jigga comparison I see it like this

Jay = Music>Money
50 = Money>Music

We know 50 can make bread. but can he still make a hit? Beans will get signed to to G-Unit and beef up that meek, but not weak, ass line up 50 has. From there, imo, Sigel has the potential to become the Tony Yayo with better lyrics and who commands more respect.
Shit, you wouldn't want to see a Banks/Beans collabo? I KNOW that'll go hard.

The only loser in that shit would have to be Jay.

Kevin said...

I read on the closing of JewMane's blog that you would love to hit his shit with the red pen. I'd like to hit you with it. Try putting a comma inside, or before, the ending quotation mark. "adsdsd," continue. Lesson for Grands.

Tony Grands said...


You should go back & reread to those comments, juice. You've confused my comment with someone elses.

But good looks anyway. I'll keep you in mind when I need a proof reader.

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