50 Cent no longer sells the records that he used to. It seems that everybody has realized that except for him. The game has changed and no one will be able to sell as many records as he used to. But, when his latest album, Before I Self Destruct, flopped, 50 Cent had a host of excuses pertaining to why his album did not sell well. For years, he bragged off of his numbers and they let him down.
When he was still feuding with Ja Rule, 50 Cent released “Piggy Bank.” The song took aim at the collaborators with Rule on his hit, “New York.” Fellow New York rappers, Fat Joe and Jadakiss had known Ja Rule for years and decided to do a song with him. Because he had an issue with Rule, 50 Cent dissed them. Lyrically, he was not on their levels, but he was selling more records than them. He used that as his angle in both feuds.
Two years later, he moved on to Cam’ron and the album sales were the centerpiece of their feud, but his bragging time was almost up. Later that year, 50 Cent was preparing for the release of his album, Curtis. He began bragging about his album sales when Kanye West’s Graduation was pushed back to the same release date as Curtis. For years, 50 Cent had been trying to bait Kanye into a feud. He used their album release dates as an angle.
Expecting to move the same numbers that he moved with his first two albums, 50 Cent said that he would retire if Kanye West outsold him. When the results finally came in, Kanye West did outsell 50 Cent. Despite Kanye outselling him, 50 Cent did not retire. It turned out that his worldwide sales narrowly defeated West’s. That clause in their deal allowed 50 Cent to continue his career. Along the way, he has become one of Kanye West’s most vocal critics.
After the lackluster sales of Curtis, 50 Cent admitted that he flopped, but he vowed that his next album would fare much better. Initially, 50 had planned to release Before I Self Destruct in 2008. But, the label politics led to the album being pushed back for over a year. After failing to find a single to catch on, 50 Cent decided to change things up. He reached out to Ne-Yo for the remix of his mixtape single, “Baby by Me.” The song became a hit with black radio and the album was set.
With the buzz surrounding his lead single, 50 Cent released his diss record, “So Disrespectful.” On the track, he took aim at his former allies, Young Buck and Game. While the track was mainly aimed at them, he also had words for Jay-Z and words about the late Pimp C, B.G., and his own mentor, Dr. Dre. He had hoped that the mentioning of Jay-Z, Pimp C, B.G., and Dr. Dre would lead to more hype around the album. Instead, it may have turned fans off.
Unlike his previous three albums, Before I Self Destruct had very low first week sales, lower than that of Rick Ross. The low sales of his album prompted Rick Ross and Game to taunt 50 and some hip hop websites also began to tease him. All of the bragging that he had done about selling records had finally come back to haunt him. The sad thing was Before I Self Destruct is the best album 50 Cent ever created. He finally learned the tricks to the trade, but the fans had moved on.
To date, the album has sold a little fewer than 400,000 copies in the United States. With those types of numbers, an album usually does not certify. But, because of the fact that he used to sell so many albums, 50 Cent has been bailed out. SoundScan has decided to certify 50 Cent’s most recent effort as Gold. It takes 500,000 copies sold for an album to certify Gold. The exact numbers of Before I Self Destruct are 372,000.
The fact that his album sold so low, but still charted as Gold may cause some of his rivals to speak up.