In recent years, there has been one emcee that dominated each year before everyone started getting sick of him and his work began to diminish. You have Nelly from 1999-2000, Eminem from 2001-2002, 50 Cent and G-Unit in 2003 and Kanye West in 2004. After some failed attention-seeking mix tape appearances, 50 Cent is now trying to bring back the glory of G-Unit in 2005—fresh off the success of label mate The Game’s debut album, The Documentary—with his sophomore release, The Massacre.
We have heard of the so-called “sophomore slump” that artists go through when their second album rolls around, but 50 does a nice job not slumpin’. Rather, he stays on the same level as his first effort, Get Rich or Die Trying, by doing party anthems, songs about him and his gun, and taking shots at other emcees in the game. To start off this formula we have “Candy Shop”, the catchy first single that will move more units from its strength alone. “Disco Inferno” is another single, but it is bad effort, as the track is dominated by a hook of bubblegum pop-hop.
Someone might read this and say that I might be a 50 Cent hater, but that’s not the case: This is a pretty good album and it does have its share of solid tracks. The best track on this album, hands down, is “A Baltimore Love Thing”: 50 takes personifies heroin and tells his tale of how the downer can consume someone. “Ryder Music”, with its solid Hi-Tek production, is just as the title suggests. Other album highlights are “In My Hood” and the guilty pleasure known as “Build You Up”, which features Jamie Foxx on the hook and Scott Storch behind the boards.
The track that had everyone talking and looking forward to was “Piggy Bank”, in which 50 takes shots at Fat Joe, Jadakiss and QB cohort Nas. Even though the shots were short and few, it already has ruffled the feathers of Fat Joe and Jada, as they both say there will be retaliation. With that being said, note 50’s comment: “If you stand next to the enemy, you will be fired at.”
With an album like this, 50 might have the attention of the media for a couple of months, but not enough to dominate 2005 as he did two years prior. Nonetheless, he does bring us another solid effort that everyone can ride to, plus the remix to “Hate It Or Love It”—which features all of G-Unit—does put a plus on the album.