50 Cent, Before I Self Destruct
Official release date: November 23
The Verdict: There are three types of 50 Cent songs: the “I’ll satisfy you physically” song, the “I have lots of money song,” and the “I’ll kill you” song. As its cover and title subtly suggest, 50’s much-delayed Before I Self Destruct (which leaked online yesterday) relies mostly on the third kind: He’s “Psycho,” he’s going to cause a “Crime Wave,” and there’ll be “Death to [His] Enemies,” etc. The problem is, any menace he was still capable of after 2007’s Curtis has now — over two years of goofy online shorts, failed MTV reality shows, and general overexposure — completely evaporated. Still, BISD isn’t a train wreck: The minimalist beats are decent enough and the tight guest list is pretty excellent (Eminem, Ne-Yo, and R. Kelly). Of course, it’s always about sales numbers with 50. As far as those go here, this one is tough to call. His album leaking a month early won’t help him, but lead single, “Baby by Me” (which samples 50’s voice on “I Get Money,” his last good song, which nothing here touches), is getting steady airplay. We’re thinking 300,000 plus first week isn’t out of the picture.