I have a conspiracy theory regarding 50 Cent. He’s faded from prominence recently—I was as surprised as you will be to discover he’s doing an album (that will be “Eurodance” influenced, apparently, which means that 50 is following a trail most recently blazed by the Black Eyed Peas. It will also be entitled "Black Magic." There's 50's irrelevance in two sentences.)—and there’s a very simple reason for that: 50 Cent has run out of jokes.
You might not associate 50 with high humor, but I’m certain his career began as an elaborate joke. “Get Rich or Die Tryin’” is up there with “The Fast and the Furious” for great, obvious titles of terrible works of art. So the title should’ve been a tip-off. Then there’s this:
Because I don’t want you to be reading a dissertation, let’s isolate the four most risible claims in the song: 50 Cent claims “When I die, they’ll read this and say a genius wrote it”; 50 Cent claims that any shooting ever committed, at any time or any place has been caused by 50 Cent; Eminem claims that al Qaeda actually meant to hit Shady Records with their airplanes; Eminem claims that 50 Cent is like “mixing Biggie and ‘Pac” and “throwing them into a pot.”
Admittedly, that song is probably the funniest song of the album, but there’s also the hilarious claim of “If I Can’t” which is all title (“If I Can’t/do that/homie it can’t be done”), and then there’s this:
In which 50 Cent claims that a) the LAPD and NYPD’s top priority is bringing 50 Cent to justice, b) 50 Cent is a better three-point shooter than Kobe (actually, if he means 2010 NBA playoffs Kobe, this may be accurate) and c) his songs “belong in the Bible like King David’s.” (A tipoff that this is all an elaborate joke: no way someone who has that extensive a knowledge of the Bible also makes such self-evidently absurd.)
Then there’s this:
In which 50 Cent claims that “every time I rhyme/something special happens every time/something like Ali in his prime.” Again, laughable claims.
The problem with 50 Cent’s fiendish plan was, like The Producers, actual success. The public (including, sadly, myself at oh, fifteen or so) appeared to buy him as a somewhat legitimate artist and he ran out of jokes. He was unable to seriously be 50 Cent, but he tried to be. And say what you will about the public, but they can spot a faker: or, someone trying to fake being a fake image. So, uh, score one for the public? I’m not sure, but I wouldn’t count on a 50 Cent comeback.