On the eve of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, 50 Cent gets wind of Meeks stabs at him on his 4-4 EP and the key word of the rest of the day became “Sh*thead”. Funny and I definitely enjoy watching 50 go in on cats because he honestly has what it takes to be a comedian if he applied himself.
The part I want to focus on, is the “Meeks dead/done out here now” and “50 is going to do to him what he did to Ja Rule.”I want to focus on that because I’m on the fence with the logic. In a way, I kind of think Curtis Jackson “The Monster” is getting too much credit and 50 Cent “The Hitmaker” isn’t getting enough.
First, lets be clear that 50 Cent is the man that made us care about record sales. I don’t remember me really caring about how many millions records sold, before 50 brought it up to diss Ja. I just know I bought albums that I liked and that was that. With that said, 50 knew what Ja’s sales were and knew he had to beat that to make a name for himself. He knew that because Jay-Z’s bar on Vol. 3 didn’t help him in 99 and Big Pun’s pending ass beating and death threat, that released in 2000 didn’t really help either. “How To Rob” was a song that people knew, but it’s not a respected hit record. So who cares who 50 Cent is, right?
“You’re life’s on The Line” was another street record, this time aimed at Murder Inc. A good street record but not an nationally impactful one. Ja Rule still didn’t have to respond to that.
Fast forward to 2002 and “Wanksta”. A great record! A definite hit that was added to a great movies soundtrack and all of a sudden, people know who 50 Cent is. You got a hit record, a then great national platform called 106 & Park, hosted by AJ and Free and they ask you, “What is a Wanksta?”, You do the only thing you can do. Seize that moment in an effort to be known and make it clear your now hit record is about the same person you been dissing for years. 50 says Ja is Wanksta, crowd goes OOOH and now all of a sudden, “50 Cent and Ja Rule” is a real conversation on a national level.
Ja had probably over 10 million records sold before “The Last Temptation” dropped, which is around the same time as 50’s first hit record.
The one song that 50 pinned to Ja didn’t really hurt him that much, however the tables were turning and 50 Cent drops “In Da Club”, possibly the biggest rap song of this millennium and the game changes forever! You can call shots when you drop a song like “In Da Club” and that’s exactly what he did, but he was able to do so cause he dropped more great records.
“21 Questions”, “P.I.M.P”, “If I Can’t” “Many Men” “What Up Gangsta” all these joints, with Wanksta all on one classic album. 50 was just making better music than Ja. The only NEW song for Ja was “Back Down” and you’re totally foolish to think that song is in the upper half of great songs on that album.
Based solely on numbers, Ja Rule’s music career didn’t really “end” as bad as people want to believe. Last Temptation, platinum plus, Blood In My Eye, just under gold and R.U.L.E went gold. Was that really 50 or was it inferior product? I say product because bandwagon fans buy hit records and they buy them in big numbers. I’m willing to bet, if you didn’t buy a Ja Rule album when he was hot, you definitely weren’t going to buy one when he was cold. A lot of WOMEN bought “Rule 3:36” and “Pain Is Love” not “hip-hop heads.” That’s not a diss, that’s just a fact.
Last Temptation Ja
Many people feel 50 has fell off completely musically since “Curtis” and that album sold 3 million worldwide. “Before I Self Destruct” I felt was a really good album and that sold 1 million world wide in 2009-2010 when the “rap music doesn’t sell anymore” campaign started.
BISD was also the album during the Rick Ross Beef and it may have stopped him from going gold, but it didn’t “end” him cause Ross kept putting out big records whether you respected his “street cred” or not.
In the music business, the hitmakers call the shots; Ask Drake. So Meek does make a great point at the moment. If 50 can’t get a plaque, then it really doesn’t matter how he feels about Meek because right now, Meek is outselling 50 Cent. This is also why Meek will forever take L’s to Drake. Drake has gold and platinum mixtape songs. People keep saying “Rap isn’t selling” but Drake has a Platinum and a Gold plaque on the way for the projects he did in 2015 and people swear WATTBA wasn’t hot! Let that sink in; Drakes duds are going gold when people are telling you rap music doesn’t sell.
The perfect storm from November 2002 to February 2003 is long gone. Curtis Jackson may not be the person to play with in the streets, but 50 Cent needs to make a hit record right now of “Drake Proportions” to cause the effect he did now 13 years ago. Can he do it? Never count a man out that sold 12 million on a debut album is my final answer.