I've been thinking a lot lately about how we, as fans, always seem to feel like an artist's best work happened in the past. Yeah, The Life of Pablo was cool, but it's no College Dropout. Yeah, I like To Pimp a Butterfly, but it's no GKMC.
Part of that may be that an artist really has fallen off in terms of music quality, but a big part is also just nostalgia. You don't want 50 Cent to make another Get Rich or Die Tryin, if he did you'd call it predictable and boring. What you really want is that feeling you had in 2003, just out of high school, aimlessly driving around with your friends listening to Get Rich or Die Tryin'.
So while I feel like 50 hasn't made great music in what seems like a decade, a huge drop in musical relevancy that's been covered up by his astounding ability to keep his name in the headlines regardless, maybe that's not true. Maybe there's joints on The Kanan Tape better than anything he's ever done, I'm just too married to the past to realize it.
Or maybe I'm right. When Fiddy himself recent listed his top five favorite songs in an interview with Power 107.5 it was interesting to note they they're almost all deep cuts, but it was also interesting to note that they're also almost all at least 10 years old.
- "A Baltimore Love Thing" - The Massacre, 2005
- "Ryder Music" - The Massacre, 2005
- "Like My Style" - Get Rich or Die Tryin', 2003
- "Curtis 187" - Curtis, 2007
- "What Up Gangsta" - Get Rich or Die Tryin', 2003
I wonder if 50 really does feel like he was making better music way back when, or could he be feeling some of the same nostalgia that we are? 50 will never, never, never show any weakness or admit that he's ever taken a loss. But in the dark of the night, with bankruptcy cases mounting and almost seven years since he had anything resembling a hit single, I wonder if he feels like his best days are behind him, too?
We'll likely never know. This is 50 Cent we're talking about, not Drake, he's not about to pour out his insecurities in a song. But regardless, at the very least we have another reason to listen to The Massacre again and reminisce about the past - a past when 50 was one of the biggest rappers on the planet.