Review Summary: Some bangers, something for the ladies, a few club songs, and his singles. The formula is there, problem is that it doesn’t work that well for him here as it seems he didn’t even try on a lot of these tracks.
50 Cent has been through a turn of events these past few years. Being relatively silent, except for a few mixtape apperacences and The-Reup album, since his successful Massacre hit store shelves two years ago he has been through a few changes. Starting with each fellow G-Unit member's album bombing once hitting store shelves, his inner turmoil with G-Unit South member Young Buck, and the annoying yet ineffective attacks from Game, 50 Cent has pushed through these events with little to no difficulty.
Constantly boasting about how he will constantly put up massive numbers no matter the circumstances, and once even stating he can put out 10mil his first week, 50 has some things to prove. Debuting with two duds, Amusement Park and Strait to the Bank, and having another song, Follow My Lead, leak out on the internet showed 50 in a strange space. Leaving him with only one option which was to go back in and produce a hit. What he came out with was the successful hit I Get Money. Sadly though that wasn’t enough and 50 Cent began to show signs of desperation. With his beef with rapper Camron becoming no-existent, and Game putting an end to his constant attacks, 50 had no one to beef with and no hit single that could plateau his album to must have success.
The album Curtis had nowhere to go. So 50 began to do what he did best. Start controversy. But, these moves just showed the desperation in his eyes. Whether it was the random attack on the popular Lil Wayne, or the odd temper tantrum that he had when his album was leaked showed he wanted to start something, but nothing was working. Then a bright light shinned at his doorstep in the form of a man named Kanye West. It appeared that they were to come out on the same day and 50 jumped onto it creating major controversy softly stating such things as he would move to another date, to more direct statements as wanting to debate him and saying he sounds like a robot. 50 began coxing Kanye into a fight that he was sure to win. So the stage was set 50 Cent vs. Kanye West on September 11th. So who would win? Whose album is better? Well... that’s what this review will help you with. So let’s start it off.
Curtis starts off real gutter as two British men talk about what seems to be a massive gun collection as one of them says “Jesus Christ your going to war," very fitting for an opening track and gets you anxious for the album to really begin. My Gun then comes in hard with a pounding bass and sharp snare. 50 plays his cards right just as a veteran should and rips this beat apart. Next, up is Man Down which comes in beautifully as the piano pumps in, and the bass and snare pop in accordingly. 50 again provides a crazy hook that draws you in to the song as you bang your head and listen to 50 boast about his hood activities. Akon then comes in and although sounds a little annoying provides an ok hook on Ill Still Kill. Dj Khalil cleans it up though and provides a menacing beat that complements both 50 and Akon as the rampage through the song. Truly gangster.
If not hyped enough right after that the banger I Get Money comes in and has you jumping out of your seat as you hear 50 play around with the banging beat provided by Apex (thank God he went back in and did this one). Come and Go then comes in and although the beat sounds like something out of a gangster Batman movie, 50's subject matter sounds a little odd. Thinking he would talk the talk he did for the last four track 50 lazily raps about his money and the females he runs through and doesn’t do it cleverly either. His next single, Ayo Technology, comes in next and although it says Timberland has a hand in the production, it doesn’t really sound like his style. 50 on the other hand is lost in the beat and sounds terrible as he tries to find the right way rap on the track. JT tries to save this dying track but even he can’t redeem it. The album then switches and moves to something for the ladies with Follow My Lead featuring Robin Thicke. Its ok and is easily better than Ayo Technology, but feels like its an odd place to put it cause right after that comes the banger Movin' On Up. The beat is hot but has 50 talking about the usual stuff with an average flow and average lyrics. Right after that is the dud single Strait to the Bank, which oddly uses a Tony Yayo laugh that sounds a little creepy. Again average flow and average topic I can see how he thought it would work in the club though.
...Amusement Park... ‘nuff said…
Havoc then comes in with Fully Loaded Clip, which sounds a little repetitive and has 50 saying such garbage rhymes as "You want a problem with me/ no problem it’s all good/ I aint fresh out the hood/ Im still in the hood". 50 tries to bring back the energy from the beginning of the album but doesn’t do anything but displays a fact that it sounds like he’s not really trying. After that comes the Eminem produced club track Peep Show. I’m not a big fan of Eminem's production style, but this is atrocious. The repetitive ensemble of mess has 50 sounding like an idiot as he tries to keep up with noise. Eminem then comes in and although his verse provides chuckles can’t redeem this garbage. Next, Fire comes in which displays the worst production I have heard from Dr. Dre ever, as he tries his hand at a club track. Is this even 50's album anymore? Where the street, the gutter, the raw, the beastliness that he displayed in the beginning of the album. Is he even trying? Then, All of Me comes in and bangs as Mary J. provides a beautiful yet hard hook to what is one of the best tracks on the album even though it’s a little soft. Havoc then redeems himself from Fully Loaded Clip, with Curtis 187, as 50 nails it and smoothly puts gangster back into the album. Finally, Touch the Sky (Kanye anyone) comes in with a banging but average beat and 50 on his usual and Tony Yayo giving a usual, terrible verse.
50 said Curtis was a prequel to Get Rich or Die Trying. He said it was before all the glitz and glamour the fame and lights. He is going back to the gritty gutter days, where he robbed, stole, and killed. But, thinking about it don’t pretty much all his albums sound like that? And that’s the problem. There’s nothing new here. Some bangers, something for the ladies, a few club songs, and his singles. The formula is there, problem is that it doesn’t work that well for him here as it seems he didn’t even try on a lot of these tracks. Does he care? Does he think this is a better album than Kanye's Graduation? Does he deserve to win with this average album? When listening to this album ask these questions.
Is this different from any of his other material?
Is this the real Curtis?
Did he even try?