Eight years ago, 50 Cent re-entered the hip hop arena. In 1999, 50 Cent had a contract with Columbia Records and he was working on his debut album. Within the New York metropolitan area, there was huge buzz surrounding 50 Cent. But, outside of New York, he was nothing more than a no-name. Right before the 2000 release date of his debut album, 50 Cent was shot several times, which nearly ended his life.
While 50 Cent did live, his rap career seemed to be dead. He had to return to the streets, but with his dream still intact. During the new come-up for 50 Cent, he had to contend with Ja Rule, a guy from his old neighborhood taking the game by storm. 50 Cent and Ja Rule never really did know each other, but Ja was working with the people who shot 50. On the other hand, a close friend to 50 Cent had robbed Ja Rule.
There had been times where the two rappers talked, civilly. Once, Ja Rule was at a club and he shouted out an unknown 50 Cent and they hung out. It was not until Rule spotted 50 conversing with the man who robbed him that all hell broke loose. Soon, 50 Cent would discover that Ja’s entire crew was financed and supported by the people who had him shot. This led to the diss records going back and forth.
By 2002, 50 Cent and Ja Rule were bitter enemies. Soon, it was revealed that Ja Rule was involved in a feud with an underground rapper. At the time, hip hop was ruled by Ja, so everyone expected this guy, 50 Cent to go away. Instead, he went to Canada to record his second album, which was properly titled Guess Who’s Back? The album boasted appearances from Nas and disses towards Ja Rule and Murder Inc.
The album eventually was heard by Eminem, who played it for Dr. Dre. In return, they looked the rapper up and signed him to their labels. Until 50 Cent revealed this in 2007, no one knew that he had no intention of running Ja Rule. But, when Rule and Irv Gotti discovered that 50 had teamed up with Eminem and Dr. Dre, they planned to use their popularity to drive them out of the game. Their plan backfired and it would be Murder Inc. that fell off.
50 Cent used his newfound popularity to officially end the career of Ja Rule. Within one year, no one remembered the name Ja Rule. In contrast, the next year saw 50 Cent’s first album certify platinum six times over. As he prepared for his second album, he became involved in multiple feuds. His list was comprised of Nas, Ja Rule, Jadakiss, D-Block, Fat Joe, Terror Squad, and even his own artist, Game. There was a slight backlash for 50, but his next album still sold very well.
However, the disses from each direction began taking a toll on the other artists that he had developed. Lloyd Banks, his second in command, saw his album sales fall off by 50% and the same fate was suffered by Young Buck. 50 Cent had developed a formula after he made it big in the game. The formula was for him to release albums by his artists first, that all had a feature by him on it. That way, 50 Cent’s voice was never out of the public eye. Then, when his album would come, it would sell better.
But, when the albums from his crew did not sell well, 50 Cent did not have the proper buzz, which led to his album only selling 1 million copies. After his album did not sell well, 50 Cent lashed out against Young Buck. Before long, he was kicked out of G-Unit and was directly feuding with 50 Cent. Things did not get better for the crew when 50 Cent decided to go against the ever-popular Lil Wayne. The lack of a response shocked 50 Cent.
Because he was not selling the records that he used to, 50 Cent lost the support of Eminem and Dr. Dre. Despite the constant disses from 50 Cent to Lil Wayne, Eminem began collaborating with him. This enraged 50, but he did not take his issues public, out of respect to the man who helped him become famous. Already upset with Dr. Dre, things got worse when Dre reunited with Game and reconciled with Murder Inc. The Aftermath house is now welcoming Ashanti and even Ja Rule.
Dating back to 2007, 50 Cent has been upset with Interscope Records. He said that when he released his next album, he would leave the label. It did not take long for 50 Cent to live up to that promise. With most of the G-Unit roster off of the label, all that 50 Cent had to do was purchase the G-Unit name from Interscope Records. He has already done this and the main artists on his label are back in the studio.
50 Cent felt that Interscope Records was not giving him the creative freedom that he desired the most. Now that he is off of the label, he is going to record with an independent label. From the way that he sounds, this is not a permanent move. He will be here long enough to release a new album from the G-Unit group and to release albums from Tony Yayo and Lloyd Banks. If these albums do better than expected, G-Unit may attract a major label.
With Interscope Records off of his back, 50 Cent feels that he and his entire label can properly make a comeback.