It’s been a decade since 50 Cent followed up his classic debut, Get Rich or Die Tryin’ with the successful The Massacre. The album ended up selling more than a million units in its opening week. That was insane. I had never heard of an album selling a million in a week. That was astonishing. The album would go on to sell 5 million in the U.S. and 13 million worldwide.
I think the consensus around this album was that it was a let down compared to his debut. I guess people expected more from his sophomore album. Maybe they wanted something just as hard and tough as Get Rich. However, I liked the majority of the album. I thought it was dope. I mean, if I didn’t think it was dope I wouldn’t have gone out of my way to purchase the album. Once the special edition was released in September of that year, I bought it—making it my second album purchase, EVER.
Although I liked the album, that wasn’t enough of a reason to purchase the album. The album had to be special. The first album I purchased was The Black Album, and that was because it was going to be Jay Z’s final album.
The special edition of The Massacre was going to include a new song, a remix of “Outta Control” with Mobb Deep. Plus, 50 shot a music video for each song on the album, except for the “Hate It or Love It” remix, which wasn’t included because at the time, G-Unit was beefing with The Game—but more on that crazy summer in a future post.
I was sold.
His marketing got me.
So, on the first Tuesday of September, my brother picked me up from high school, took me to Best Buy and I bought the album.
I’ve yet to play the CD once, it is still brand new.
Originally, the album was scheduled for Valentine’s Day, properly titled the “Valentine’s Day Massacre but it was pushed back to early March.
When I do these anniversaries posts, it’s not to highlighted “classic” albums, although some of the ones I’ve done, I do consider “classic,” not all share that label.
The album isn’t anything spectacular. It’s not a classic in my eyes. However, I’m highlighting its anniversary because it was a memorable album, at least for me.
Let’s get back to the album.
The album was cool, in my opinion. Only a handful of songs I wasn’t feeling. I could’ve done without “So Amazing,” “My Toy Soldier” and “Gatman and Robbin’.” Those were the weakest out of the impressive twenty-one tracks—twenty-two with the intro—on the album.
Those songs just didn’t do it for me. “Gatman” was okay at best. It didn’t live up to their previous collaboration, the epic “Patiently Waiting.” It was a letdown.
I’m assuming “So Amazing” was his attempt at the rap/R&B radio single as well as to help introduce Olivia to the masses. It flopped, in my opinion. It felt forced and I, I cringed at it.
I just couldn’t get into “My Toy Soldier.” Sorry, if you fuck with it.
I understand why “Disco Inferno” and “Candy Shop” are there. Both were his singles, the street and radio single, respectively. His third single I didn’t mind, as “Just A Lil’ Bit” had a speaker knocking beat from Scott Storch.
The shit I fucked with was: everything else.
From the smoothness of “Ryder Music” to the controversial “Piggy Bank” to the eerie and banging “Gunz Come Out” to the funky “Get In My Car,” I fucked with them.
The album had banging beats as well as catchy hooks. You’re going to tell me you didn’t go around screaming the hook to “I’m Supposed To Die Tonight” to your (imaginary) enemies? No? Yeah, neither did I. I did recite the hook whenever it would come on.
The buzz behind “Piggy Bank” was real.
Before it dropped and was only a rumor, people were excited and were left pondering why 50 would diss Jadakiss, Fat Joe, and Nas. He didn’t have real beef with any of them. He only had beef with Ja Rule and later Game. That “New York” song must of really rubbed 50 the wrong way. I guess from his point of view, he saw it as “a friend of my enemy is my enemy” situation.
“Ski Mask Way,” “In My Hood,” “Outta Control,” “Position of Power” and “A Baltimore Love Thing” are all dope too. These aforementioned tracks provide that gritty, street feeling. You have to love it. They are dope in their own different but special way.
The remix to “Hate It or Love It” was fucking dope. You had the entire Unit, sans Game, lend some bars and speak about their childhood and growing up. Lloyd Banks killed it. Tony Yayo gave an almost unbelievable, unrealistic story from his childhood. Yayo really lived that gangsta/dealer life. And Young Buck brought it full circle by reminding us that he’s a real thug, a real G. He’ll do what he has to do to win, whether that’s taking a charge or going back to cooking, he’s willing to do it.
Even the song aimed at the females, “Build You Up” was cool. I’m not afraid to admit that I like it. It’s a good song for what it is.
Anyways, in honor of the anniversary, I decided to watch the accompanied DVD that came with the special edition of the album that featured the music videos. Most of these videos didn’t have a big budget. They were innovated in the sense 50 used what was around him and created cheap, quick visuals. This was not common in rap. 50 showed some initiative and went with it.
“In My Hood”: A black and white trip to what I am assuming is 50’s old Queens neighborhood.
“This Is 50”: 50 in front of a green screen rapping toward the camera as shooting targets, his old ‘hood and G-Unit chains appear in the background.
“I’m Supposed To Die Tonight”: 50 flies to Detroit and is joined in the studio by Eminem. He drives around in his Porsche.
“Piggy Bank”: An animated video where 50 mocks his competitors: Fat Joe as a boxer in Mike Tyson’s Punch Out; Jadakiss as a Ninja Turtle, Nas as cheap version of Superman, and Game as Mr. Potato Head. He recreates AK-47 scene from Scarface as well as his Guess Who’s Back cover.
“Gatman And Robbin’”: A comic book-inspired video featuring the two alter-ego superheroes from 50 and Eminem.
“Candy Shop”: 50 visits the brothel-like mansion with plenty of beautiful women.
“Outta Control”: A day-in-the-life video featuring 50 rapping in the booth, 50 being joined in the studio by Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg and 50 joining Buck and Banks at the club.
“Get In My Car”: 50 takes part of his car collection, a Lambo, a Bentley, and a Rolls Royce to the ‘hood, drawing a crowd as he and some of his friends drive these expensive cars.
“Ski Mask Way”: 50 is sitting at a table like a boss, puffing on a cigar while his money, chains and guns are on the table. As the hook comes in, we are greeted with stick-ups as chains are being snatched.
“A Baltimore Love Thing”: 50 rapping in the booth and writing raps on his tour bus.
“Ryder Music”: 50 being chauffeured in a Phantom as he writes down lyrics.
“Disco Inferno”: 50 + club + strippers = uncensored
“Just A Lil’ Bit”: 50 travels to paradise and is surrounded by beautiful women
“Gunz Come Out”: A black and white video featuring 50, a bunch of goons and plenty of guns.
“My Toy Soldier”: The majority of the video is filled with scenes from 50’s video game, Bulletproof with 50 and Yayo making an appearance.
“Position of Power”: A video featuring the tour life is shown with an intermission featuring a brief “What Up Gangsta” performance.
“Build You Up”: We followed a beautiful woman through the streets of New York. It’s implied that she is 50’s girlfriend. As men approach her, someone interjects reminding dude that she is 50’s girl. Although he isn’t there, he is, showing up everywhere, on posters, on vans and on the G-Unit Radio Part 10 mixtape cover.
“God Gave Me Style”: 50 is chilling on a bridge and in front of it.
“So Amazing”: 50 is at the club while Olivia is at a photoshoot.
“I Don’t Need ‘Em“: An animated video where animated 50 is in full-on g-mode.
“Outta Control (remix)”: The entire G-Unit Label is at the club. This includes the Unit, Mobb Deep, Olivia, and M.O.P. My dude The Alchemist makes an appearance along with Winky Wright.
Ten years later and the album is sort-of still relevant. One of the songs on the album is used frequently as it is the go-to entrance song for UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones.
The album was cool. Maybe it wasn’t as impactful as Get Rich but it wasn’t a flop. It had its brilliant moments. It had its eh moments. But overall, I fucked with it. It was the beginning of a turning point in 50’s career. He would soon engage in beef with a former affiliate in Game and would realize the politics of record labels.
Once again, I can’t believe it’s been ten years. Time flies by. Back then 50 was on top of the world. Today, he’s not. He’s still around but not in the same position he was in 2005.