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Curtis

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Say what you will about Curtis Jackson’s admittedly dubious contributions to the rap game — there’s no denying that the man has a sound. The tensional, blocky beats we’ve come to know from Get Rich or Die Tryin’ and The Massacre have only become tenser and blockier on Curtis. 50 Cent has achieved riches beyond anyone’s wildest dreams, and his dominant lyrical theme remains his own massive success, yet there is something tortured and restless in the rhythms of “Man Down” and “Straight To the Bank” that suggests a man banging his head against the walls of a cage. Beneath its million-dollar bravado, perhaps Curtis is a concept album about its author’s confinement in a self-imposed psychological cell? Regardless of your personal interpretation, 50’s third album fully represents everything the rapper stands for. The grimy sonics of “I Get Money” and “Ayo Technology” offer disorienting thrills, but “Amusement Park” is little more than a failed remake of the 2005 hit “Candy Shop.” The album’s best tracks come towards the end. 50 hits his stride on the Mary J. Blige duet “All of Me,” while “Curtis 187” begins to resemble something the RZA might have devised. At this stage in his career, 50 Cent should be reclining in the lap of luxury but Curtis reveals a current of terrific frustration — confirmed by the close-up portrait on the album’s cover — suggesting that wealth has done little to resolve this man’s inner demons.

Biography

Born: 06 July 1975 in Queens, New York, NY

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Though he would later struggle with the nature of his fame as well as market expectations, 50 Cent endured substantial obstacles throughout his young yet remarkably dramatic life before becoming the most discussed figure in rap, if not pop music in general, circa 2003. Following an unsuccessful late-'90s run at mainstream success (foiled by an attempt on his life in 2000) and a successful run on the New York mixtape circuit (driven by his early-2000s bout with Ja Rule), Eminem signed 50 Cent to a...
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Curtis, 50 Cent
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