Rapper, actor (cough), friend of Shady 50 Cent has recently revealed he’s been working with Em for his next album, he said…
I just flew from Detroit. I’m working with Em on my new album.
Now, what have Eminem and 50 done together thus far in their careers (duo collaborations only)?
Let’s take a look…
50 Cent ft. Eminem – Patiently Waiting (LIVE)
So this was the first time Em and 50 really met minds on track. Produced by Eminem, he provides a haunting, menacing beat for 50 to lay his dark melodic hook over. 50’s spitting here is better than what he normally spits though, still often just completely coming off beat and losing traction. Em’s verse is an absolute classic and one of the best of his career.
50 Cent ft. Eminem – Gatman and Robbin
Their second major collaboration was less thrilling but had a nice theme about it. Produced again by Em, the beat is sprawling and funky, perfectly fitting the whole Batman vibe that Em so often threads and spins his character with. 50 is quite frankly awful on these, same old repetitive babble about his guns and money, so uncreative and lame and Em wasn’t at his best either, though a hell of a lot better than 50. This was after Encore so he was trying out that laid back, smoother in tone flow. He still sounds good but the subject-matter is same old.
50 Cent ft. Eminem – Peep Show
This is arguably their worst work together. 50 is actually a little better than usual again, despite Curtis being a dud as a whole, I think Em’s beats bring out a better side to him, often forcing him or… inspiring him at least, to step up his flow a little bit. And the fact Em’s on the track with him of course, making him consciously step it up too. Em’s bit isn’t really good or bad, it just, is what it is. Just a mini part about shitting and peeing on a woman’s chest, executed averagely, in supposedly Em’s darkest period. Though despite that, as usual, his flow remains superior.
50 Cent and Eminem – The Re-Up
This is more of a freestyle verse from Em, with a beat-box type verse, partially provided by 50, with a little bit of spitting from him at the end. I actually really like Em’s lyricism and what he’s saying here, and his flow. Everybody likes to say Em was awful around this period, simply because they KNOW that he was on pills. But actually listen to his verse, how is it awful? He’s rhyming well, his flow is on point, his thoughts are relatively sharp and as demeaning as ever. “Maniac of rap / devil baby on crack”… people really exaggerate his deterioration in this period. You can definitely tell (as he also said) that he was self-loathing a lot though.
Eminem ft. 50 Cent – Jimmy Crack Corn
Somewhat of a throwaway track from The Re-Up, it’s one of those times where Em had little to talk about so was sort of going through the motions, arguably just spitting for the sake of it and ironically acting bored and as if he’s too good to try… which, he evidently is but, I do wish he’d put more effort into concepts again. Em’s verses are fairly decent and 50 isn’t bad. Certainly not their best collaboration but you can’t deny its catchy hook. Also… it may even be giving 50 too much credit to call them ‘collaborations’ as, Em often produces the track, writes the hook and provides the backdrop… all 50 often does it come in with a little verse about how he’ll fuck up niggas or pay people to fuck them up with his piles of cash. Come on 50, you’re chasing your tail.
50 Cent ft. Eminem – Psycho
This was done I believe, a little bit after Relapse. There was talk of another track where Em and 50 went ‘back and forth’ like 8 bar / 8 bar but I don’t think this is it. I believe the aforementioned track was actually completed before Relapse and Em was planning to put it on Relapse 2 or Recovery.
Anyway, we ended up getting “Psycho” instead which feels more like 50 trying to fit in with Em and slightly bite off his whole… pills / murder vibe of Relapse. Or maybe Em wrote the hook or told him to go with that to tie it in with his new style, who knows. The result is prretty decent anyway, arguably their best work together since “Patiently Waiting”. Em spits that tricky, psycho Relapse fire and 50 tries to keep up. Surprisingly, not getting totally ass-fucked. Maybe Em helped him with the lyrics a bit, as he’s done before.
So are you excited about this, are you excited by 50, are you excited by his next album? I’m, personally… not. To be honest 50 Cent is a terrible rapper and lyricist. The last time he was good was on his debut album that was shelved, Power of the Dollar. There’s some pretty good writing, in particular “How to Rob” on that album. Since then, he’s got worse with each one.
His career has been built on hooks, drama, beats, image, drama, hooks, Dre, hooks, Em, beats and more hooks. In terms of his substance, it’s fleeting. And I know a lot of people think just because he’s rapping about reality that’s ‘substance’ but it’s not. They also think if you’re not doing that, or if you’re rapping about abstract or insane things that it’s lacking in substance, which isn’t true either. That’s what a lot of critics said about Em’s lyrics on Relapse but in all actuality those lyrics are packed with substance. Subject-matter is different from substance.
Just because you don’t like tracks about murder sprees or murder fantasies doesn’t mean the lyrics have no substance. You could rap about a fucking curtain poll and the lyrics still have substance, it’s about the execution, and content, within that subject-matter. Em’s rhymes on Relapse have substance because of the execution – they’re full of neurotic detail of psychology, little fables and references, poetic phrasing and self-aware musing. If you don’t like the subject-matter, fine, but don’t confuse that with lacking substance. That’s taste.
Now, as for 50 on the other hand, people think because his rhymes are about drug dealing and realism they can be called meaningful. To be honest, I’ve never been much of a fan of confession for its own sake. Rappers who do nothing but relay their past reality with little skill or consideration, and think the fact that X happened to them is enough. It’s not. Simply relaying your life in a song is about as good as a documentary, it may be vaguely interesting on some level, to those who’ve lived it, can relate to it or are interested in your life for its own sake but… that’s not art. It’s not creative.
Beyond the actual… dedication to honesty and the skills of basic rap, it takes no creativity to simply write down your life. Now, some can make it creative from their sheer execution, such as Em with songs like “Rock Bottom”, he doesn’t just relay his life he actually encapsulates a time period and mindset, he makes… depressive ‘anthems’ (which I say, ironically) or, angst-filled rage tracks that really capture the spirit of a mood, beyond his own experience(s).
But somebody like 50, he doesn’t do that. He literally just tells us his experiences and he does it with very little skill. His rhyming is unimpressive, unstructured and messy, his flows are pedestrian and uncrafted and his attempts at humour are often unintentionally embarrassing. Which is strange because in real-life, he’s not a dumb guy so, if he could just figure out how to put the ‘real’ him into his art, he could have something. Instead he puts on this ridiculous front learned from urban environment and, I’m not speaking from a place of ignorance or intolerance, I live in an urban environment myself – I get it…
But, smart people grow out of that in their teens, as I believe he has but.. he can’t let go of it. And due to the nature of rap, seems to think it’s expected and needed from him. It’s not 50, it’s crap. Gangsta-rap is the poison in hip-hop’s veins.
Now, I have to admit, there were some good songs on Before I Self Destruct but that’s because he’s starting to loosen up a little bit with some lyrics, such as “I’ve been gone so long my accents changed” and, just experimenting a little bit with form. And, I do mean a little, but… it’s something. He put more efforts into his flows too, but he’s still, very lazy or just.. incapable. I don’t know which.
Anyway, as we can see, Em and 50 have an on and off track-record together but as to whether whatever collaborations for 50’s next album will turn out good, who knows. Let’s wait and see.