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Name: Adam Bernard
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About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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50’s Lost Unit
Friday, July 06, 2007

I’ve interviewed 50 Cent a number of times and if there’s one thing I can tell you about him it’s that in most cases he’s one heck of a businessman. Unfortunately, when it comes to his friends he’s been going the MC Hammer route, giving them pretty much anything they want. According to a recent interview with XXL magazine, however, 50 has found a pretty interesting to resolve this money flow issue, he's decided to cut everybody off.

Apparently 50 called a meeting where Sha Money XL and Olivia, as well as members of Mobb Deep and M.O.P. were all in the building with him and Young Buck, Lloyd Banks and Spider Loc appeared via a conference call. According to the article, 50 told his roster he wouldn't be assisting them financially anymore. During the interview with XXL he said “I was telling them I wouldn't be there. [In the past] they'd make a lot of money and spend a lot of money and have me there to fix it.” Hey 50, I could have told you that would happen with Olivia, she was a Hofstra girl, and I knew plenty of them that did nothing but spend their daddy’s money (sorry Olivia, but you we were there at the same time, it’s not like you couldn’t have seen that one coming).

I guess it’s not too surprising to find out that over the past few years 50 has been bailing his team out of disaster after disaster. Olivia still doesn’t have an album out. Mobb Deep’s was garbage, and they’re way past their prime (I know their dozen or so fans will try to point to Prodigy’s solo release on Koch, but I’m still saying they’re done). M.O.P. hasn’t done anything on the label despite being the most talented artists there. And 50’s G-Unit cohorts, Banks and Buck, made about as much from their albums this year as your average high school student does during the summer working as a camp counselor. 50 stopping the free ride for his artists is clearly a great move, but the next step should be finding a more talented roster.

50, though being a smart businessman, hasn’t been the best talent scout. Over the past few years his label has done nothing but sign has-beens (Mobb Deep, Mase), Release terrible albums (Buck, Banks), and shelve the one group on the roster that still has a good following (M.O.P.). When 50 started signing a startlingly large number of artists to his label it raised more than a few eyebrows within the industry. What was up with his choices in artists to sign? How would he find the time to focus on all of them? And where was he going to get the money to fund all of these albums? Now we have the answers to those questions; he didn’t know. That’s OK, though, everyone’s allowed a misstep, and 50 is still making plenty of money off of his other endeavors (like over $100 mil from his vitamin water thanks to the sale of Glaceau to Coca-Cola).

Right now, if I was 50 I’d cut ties with the vast majority of the artists on the G-Unit roster. If they’re not earning their keep buy out their contracts and focus on the talented people who are making things happen. All those extra folks on the roster are doing nothing but taking up time and energy that could be spent on someone who’s truly valuable to the company. Also, once the roster has been trimmed, look for one or two artists that don’t do exactly what G-Unit does. Though I love M.O.P., both they and Mobb Deep do the same kind of music as 50 and G-Unit. Olivia was the only non hood rapper on the roster, but her work became cluttered with G-Unit guest appearances so we still have yet to figure out who she is as an artist.

The first step 50’s taken to reclaim his label and attempt to turn it into something relevant again was a great one. No more handouts. It’s kind of sad that it’s taken him this long to realize just giving a friend $300,000 isn’t a smart decision, but I guess someone finally showed him MC Hammer’s Behind The Music. So now that 50’s read his roster the riot act and told them to make their own money where is he going to find some artists that are talented enough to bring in some dough? Well, he could give The Game a call… just a thought.


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:50 AM  
  • At 11:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    50 may be a great businessman but when it comes to rapping, lyric for lyric, he's one of the worst in G-Unit. He can write/sing/rap catchy hooks yes, but for wordplay, punchlines, creativity he's not blessed. I love him to bits but if you're going to criticise about talent Buck and Banks are streets ahead of 50.

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