50 Cent has had quite a few disagreements with his major label, Interscope- some of them weirdly public, and some more than certainly not public. The most interesting was probably 50 Cent threatening to leak parts of Dr. Dre’s comically long-delayed album if Interscope would not “work with him.” He then backed off saying he would never disrespect a friend and would not leak any material. Whether he had access to the tracks or not is unknown.
Conflict arose when 50 Cent first started producing material with a strong dance angle, calling it Black Magic. He then decided to change directions a bit, and produce something more akin to his breakthrough album, ‘Get Rich or Die Tryin.’
Now 50 Cent has decided to release his latest album, ‘5 (Murder By Numbers)’ independently and digitally, July 3rd. Interscope will likely push a physical release in the near future, but it is interesting to see what is essentially a musical hijacking, 50 Cent releasing it on his own terms and hoping that Interscope follows suit and listens. If they don’t, expect to see 50 Cent on an indie label in the not-so-distant future.
For what it is worth, the new album isn’t all that great. It throws back to the street gang styling, but lacks the rawness and immediacy of his older material (particularly off his first two albums) and seems to come from a much different place. Makes sense. 50 Cent has undergone major transformations career-wise that moves far away from his days of getting shot 9 times in the chest. Not just his record label disputes, but political and charity work. 50 Cent is one of the richest men in hip-hop, and a leader of foreign charity work in his medium. If that won’t deter musical productivity, we don’t know what will.
It is fascinating to see the developments of the disagreements manifest themselves. I am sure the behind-the-curtain disputes were far less interesting than you would suspect. There was probably a severe lack of 50 Cent throwing chairs, and probably far more passive-aggression and hand-shaking than what a movie would have you believe.
5 (Murder by Numbers) is 50 Cent’s fifth studio album, and was released independently and digitally July 3rd. A physical release follows, tentatively predicted summer 2012.