Well, 50′s finally got what he asked for: freedom.
Freedom to create. Freedom to change. Freedom to dictate his path. Freedom to determine his own future, as it relates to music. “It’s freedom to invest in your own ideas,” he told Forbes in his first interview since leaving Shady/Aftermath/Interscope to go indie with a new situation courtesy of Caroline/Capitol/Universal.
“He says his deal is structured similarly to Cash Money’s arrangement, which in which Bryan “Birdman” Williams’ label doles out a mere 7% of wholesale per album to Universal in exchange for distribution and support.
The timing of 50’s split with Interscope comes as a bit of a surprise, given that he still owed the label another album. Artists rarely get out of their deals early without paying some sort of fee—five years ago, Jay Z famously bought back the last album he owed Universal for $5 million (and later sold it for $10 million)—but 50 says he didn’t have to fork over any cash.
“I’m a special case and situation,” he explains. “It’s also because of the leverage of having the strong relationships with Eminem and Dr. Dre. They don’t want me to be uncomfortable. They value our friendship to the point that they would never want [to jeopardize] it over that little bit of money.”
Of course, another big reason the split between 50 Cent and Shady/Aftermath/Interscope has been amicable is that all the labels involved have the same parent company (“If it wasn’t all under the Universal umbrella, it wouldn’t work,” 50 admits).”
I’m going to reserve most of my comments for now because any time I say anything other than “I love 50,” y’all tell me I’m hatin’. The fact is I’m being more critical than anything – the same as with any other artist – and this is a guy who’s purposely worn a bullseye on his back for his whole career. Pretty sure he can handle any criticism dished his way and he wants the attention. I’m just giving the guy what he wants.
Honestly, I think going indie was maybe the best thing 50 could do at this point since he obviously lacks that same chart appeal that he possessed 10 years ago, so the label was going to keep blocking his moves. I know no artist wants to spend their own cash to work their project but if any of them could, Curtis would be one of them. Add to that the fact that he’s got the fanbase – or something like it, at least – so he doesn’t require as many resources as others might.
The problem is 50′s attempts to reinvent himself keep falling short. Yes, he’s made okay music in recent years but okay and marginal won’t cut it, not when you’re an artist who’s constantly boasted of his superiority over his peers. ScHoolboy politely confirmed that the flame was burning low for Curtis when he said he had to leave Boo Boo off the album. To put that in perspective, remember that Q once said that 50′s music probably saved his life and cited Fiddy as one of the reasons he decided to pick up a mic. Would you leave off material from an artist who was an influence on you? Yeah, that’s what I thought.
That said, if there’s anyone who can survive it’s Curtis. Even without any major moves on the music front, he’s managed to stay a topic of discussion, which is saying something when you think of others who emerged in the early ’00s. The guy’s sold 30 million albums to date. That doesn’t happen by luck.
Anyways, here’s his newest video for the song “The Funeral.” Tins likes it for the storytelling aspects. I think it’s just another run of the mill, monotone number for Boo Boo. But, like I said, I’ll hang around to listen and watch just to see what his next magic act is. Right now, we know part of the plan is to release Animal Ambition on June 3. Pretty sure everything leading up to that will mean we can expect the unexpected.
That’s what freedom will do for you and I’m positive 50 will use it to his complete advantage.