XXL: During the photo shoot, you asked to listen to some new hip-hop artists. What do you think of the current regime in rap?
50 Cent: The whole culture, I think, is a littleā¦confused. Itās not what I fell in love with, you know? So my job is to make a album that doesnāt have any holes in it, that is a representation of all of the elements I fell in love with. So, like, I look at artists to find what I like about them or why theyāre hot or why they exist. And then you see that weāre creating momentum. Weāre creating synthetic heat for new artists to generate interest and revenue. So the sales is some shit that aināt really hot. You see what Iām saying? Like, the actual business of music is saying, āOh, heās hot!ā and āLetās try and do something to market it and sell it.ā But thereās some shit thatās organic thatās out there that you see, like, without record-company assistance. People are gravitating to it.
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So who are you competing against?
Well, for me, Iām still up against what Iāve done. So in order to top it, I know itās a difficult task. You know, I see the bloggers. My audience hasnāt grown with me. They keep saying, āAw, man, I want the old 50!ā āCause those people, it would take them on a safari. I was bringing them close enough to the animals, without being able to get hurt. I was taking them into my neighborhood, where you can very well get your ass killed.
Thereās also Lil Wayne.
Heās turning into 50 Cent. Heās going through that process of being successful, ātil people go, āYou know what? Get the fuck outta here. We donāt want you here no more.ā Because youāre successful.
Is Hip Hop confused or just confusing 50 Cent?