Drake has taken the hip-hop world by storm with his mixtape So Far Gone and much-buzzed-about debut Thank Me Later. Someone who knows a thing or two about creating buzz is 50 Cent, who exploded onto the scene in 2003 with his breakthrough album Get Rich or Die Tryin’. So we went to 50, now a seasoned vet, to get his thoughts on hip-hop’s latest sensation.
While he gives props to his younger peer, he points out the pass that Drake has been given to create more melodic music. “The things that he’s able to do are things that I’m not permitted to do ’cause of the perception of me,” he explains to Rap-Up.com.
Find out if 50 desires to go down the R&B path and whether he would be up for a collaboration with October’s Very Own.
What do you think about Drake?
I don’t really. I guess he’s cool. He has momentum with his music, but the things that he’s able to do are things that I’m not permitted to do ’cause of the perception of me. The aggression in my music is translated the strongest and they expect that from me every time. It kinda works for me and works against me at different points. [Drake's] a great singer also; we like the part when he starts to sing on the chorus. He just put out a whole R&B song ["Find Your Love"]—like there’s no rap on it, it’s just an R&B record. That is what Kanye West was permitted to do with 808s & Heartbreak, to make a complete love song or an R&B record. I won’t be permitted to do that because they expect me to kill someone on the song. They just want that from me because I’ve had that type of energy in my actual experience and they feel like it’s special or authentic in some way when I offer that.
Would you want to do an R&B record?
Not an R&B record, but just music that has those melodies in it. I probably wouldn’t perform the singing portion of the songs, but to make an album like that, yeah, it would be cool.
Are you open to a collaboration with Drake?
Yeah, why not? He’s talented. I ain’t taking nothing away from his talent and Kanye too. We never had any issues with me saying they weren’t talented artists. It was more of a conscious decision to compete [with Kanye] to stir up some energy.
With an artist like Erykah Badu there is no containing the creativity. The June/July cover of the singer posing "naked"is not only going to be controversial but iconic. In the feature titled "Arts & Craft", written by VIBE's Chloé A. Hilliard and shot by photographer Erin Patrice O'Brien, Badu talks going naked and the importance of having a good partner.
"I look at some other videos. I’m not naming names, because I don’t want that to be mentioned. There is the thing with sexuality. I’m naked for 13 seconds, and these people are naked the whole time and gyrating and saying come “lick on my lollipop,” and “suck on my cinnamon roll,” and, you know, suggesting sex. People are uncomfortable with sexuality that’s not for male consumption. Could be ‘cause I did it in public too. Do you think people would have been complaining if I had on high-heel shoes?"
"I am a big fan and a supporter of [Jay Electronica's] evolution and growth as an artist. I write all his rhymes. I’m joking. [laughs] I’m always amazed and impressed with the things he comes up with. He definitely does what a partner is supposed to do, that is, evolve you."
"I was 27 when I had Seven. I was already a vegetarian. I had been for 10 years. I had started making choices that would shape me for the rest of my life. I never thought to measure by each child. My children are six years apart. It wasn’t planned, just how the relationships rolled out. I’ve had three unorthodox marriages of sorts. I’ve had the benefit of having substantial amount of time with people, mind-building time."