Thursday, September 13, 2007

In my eyes: Some thoughts on 50 Cent's "Curtis"

Despite the implied promise for Curtis to be more of a personal album of sorts, 50 Cent's latest (much talked about) LP remains a viable candidate for mass pop consumption but lacks a certain life that ol' Fiddy seems to have been gradually losing hold of over the last couple of albums. That being said, it is a little surprising how well this album comes off on repeated listens.

You could say that Curtis is uneven--and it is most certainly that--but the overall mood remains remarkably constant throughout the record. Not to mention that the aforementioned aesthetic is no different than we've seen before, and no different than we would expect. 50 just seems to have ups and down in regards to his delivery and overall demeanor.

On Curtis you get "I Get Money" which is just vintage 50, at the top of his game, just spitting that ridiculous, arrogant boastfulness; you get "Ayo Technology," a great song in its own right, but so odd for his character and flow; and you get a song like "Amusement Park" which is the same horrible, unsubtle sexual innuendo track that "Candy Shop" did just as bad years ago.

So Curtis is kind of all over the place. Interestingly enough, that is a fairly big compliment in this case. The semi manic nature of the album's many moods makes it all the more attractive upon repeat listens. Because, in the end, this is a pretty solid rap album. At first, everything seems to be on something of a lower level, but that's really just hype talking. 50 has never really been that great of a rapper. He's made one great rap ALBUM, but his success has much more to do with image and perception than it does with his talents as an MC. I don't really mean that in a bad way. This game is about presentation, and he has always presented himself in just the right way so that it will compensate for some of his minor shortcomings as an actual rapper. He's a lot like Kanye in this respect. They just appeal to two different types of hip hop fans.

Sure, Curtis is not some vivid window into 50 Cent's soul, but it is also not a sign of him going downhill. If anything, the album is almost completely on par with his last outing. The problem he seems to be having is simply that people may WANT something more from him. The interesting thing about that being is that they only want more because he seemed to promise that to them.

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