Sunday, May 24, 2015


Well this is sad.  50 was the Biff of mid-'00s rap, and time is a McFly punking him in the end.

The '00s were a good time for heels. Fif, Cam, and Jones all donned the black hat with aplomb, doling out wedgies as Jay incubated his increasingly self-important corporate incarnation. Well before that, 50 perfected the art of shitting on careers as a perverse form of entertainment, blackballing Ja Rule and The Game with a charisma that made hating someone look like the kind of fun you wanted to join. Ironically, The Game now assumes the role of rap's Sandman Sims, a transparent attempt to make up for the hiding he took as 50 just flashed his gap-toothed pearlies, but the sense of fun is absent from his witch hunts.  He's a sourpuss licking his paws.

50 wasn't just the bad guy, he was also a pop culture phenomenon.  He was Andrew Dice Clay selling out the Garden in 1990, a commercial titan whose extreme divisiveness couldn't be explained by rote formulas of high and low culture. There was no snobs vs. slobs logic to the feelings he inspired.  But after years of fading gradually, he's now mired in his Bless This House era.

"Get Low" is more of the same.  His use of autotune is a midlife crisis on wax, as awkward and embarrassing as Jonathan Lipnicki in his studio gangsta period.  The overreliance on features - T.I. and 2 Chainz, Jeremih on the chorus - has the desperate air of a failing restaurant trying out promotional gimmicks for a last resort bailout.  It's a shit song made worse by excessive cosmetic surgery: Jeremih's the fake tits, 2 Chainz the butt implants.

I hope 50 gets his Blue Jasmine one day, as much for myself as him.  His decade-long slide into irrelevance is a most unwavy reminder of my own mortality. Everyone wants to see the mighty fall, but 50's descent seems to have no end.

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