2.8 10
by 50 Cent

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There are two big stories behind 50 Cent's third album, Curtis (as in real name: Curtis Jackson). First, there's the promise he made that he would outsell Kanye West -- who was releasing his Graduation album the same day as Curtis -- or he would retire. Second,…  See more details below


There are two big stories behind 50 Cent's third album, Curtis (as in real name: Curtis Jackson). First, there's the promise he made that he would outsell Kanye West -- who was releasing his Graduation album the same day as Curtis -- or he would retire. Second, there's the album's original title, Before I Self Destruct, a fitting caption to the moody close-up of 50 on the cover, which looks much more troubled, concerned, and intense than anything on the album sounds. Referencing self-destruction would have been a gross misrepresentation of a full-length that repeatedly employs the tried-and-true 50 Cent formula -- heavy hooks, macho charisma, a dash of controversy, and some sly cleverness -- and features a collaboration with the ultra-suave Robin Thicke smack dab in the middle. The perfect soundtrack if 50's G-Unit empire begins opening cocktail lounges, "Follow My Lead" with lounge lizard Thicke is pure polish, a slow finger-snapper dressed up in an expensive suit that feels extremely comfortable. Equally at ease is the Timbaland production "Ayo Technology" featuring Justin Timberlake, an obvious single that's "been there, done that" for all parties involved. This doesn't mean it's bland, just safe. Same goes for both "Amusement Park," which is as empty-headed and hook-filled as "Candy Shop," and "I'll Still Kill" with Akon, which offers no surprises, just another melody that refuses to leave the head. Also from the high-profile department and pushing a little harder is the emotional "All of Me," which finds Mary J. Blige and 50 displaying some passionate chemistry, and "Fire," which succeeds not because of the underwhelming Dr. Dre production or the severe chorus from Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger, but because of 50's inspired verses, one of which gives up "You can hate this/But face it/B.I.G. and 2Pac/Just ain't around." "Get a tan?/I'm already black/Get rich?/I'm already that" comes from "I Get Money," a classic "I run New York" swagger-fest in the G-Unit style. The third killer verse on the full-length is much too foul to repeat and comes from Eminem, who also produces the great "Peep Show" and makes 50 sound hungry for a change. As far as Dre rapping on "Come & Go," he's got two lines, and as far as controversy, "Fully Loaded Clip" flippantly drops some big names for the sake of mischief while "Man Down" is censored no matter what version you buy, since Interscope isn't so keen on cop-killing lyrics. In the end, Curtis is entertaining but only impressive in that 50 can run in place and still be on top.

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Editorial Reviews

Rolling Stone - Rob Sheffield
1/2 Like The Massacre, Curtis divides between hard songs ("I'll Still Kill") and soft songs ("Follow My Lead"), for the first time letting guests sing most of the hooks.
Village Voice
["I Get Money"] is a huge, immediate adrenaline surge, its Audio Two sample hitting subconscious rap-dork buttons and 50 really attacking, sounding happy and motivated for once. Tom Breihan
Billboard - Hillary Crosley
"I Get Money," "Man Down," "My Guns Go Off" and the Mary J. Blige-assisted "All of Me" partially redeem his pop forays, and it's nice to hear his gruff street stories and charming lyrics.

Product Details

Release Date:


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Album Credits

Performance Credits

50 Cent   Primary Artist
Dr. Dre   Guest Appearance
Jeff Bass   Keyboards
Mary J. Blige   Guest Appearance
Mark Batson   Keyboards
Timbaland   Guest Appearance
Eminem   Guest Appearance
Justin Timberlake   Guest Appearance
Young Buck   Guest Appearance
Eric Krasno   Bass,Guitar
Nicole Scherzinger   Guest Appearance
Tony Campana   Keyboards
Adam Deitch   Keyboards
Tony Yayo   Guest Appearance
Robin Thicke   Guest Appearance
Dawaun Parker   Keyboards
Detroit Red   Keyboards

Technical Credits

Dr. Dre   Producer
Jeff Bass   Composer
Brooks Honeycutt   Composer
Steve Baughman   Engineer
Havoc   Producer
Timbaland   Producer
Tyrone Fyfee   Producer
Eminem   Producer
50 Cent   Executive Producer
Justin Timberlake   Composer
Nancie Stern   Sample Clearance
Philly Blunt   Engineer
Demo   Engineer
Eric Krasno   Programming,Producer
Tony Campana   Engineer
Adam Deitch   Programming,Producer
Curtis Jackson   Composer
Tony Yayo   Engineer
Mauricio "Veto" Irragorri   Engineer
Alonzo Vargas   Engineer
Jake One   Producer
Frankie "Whispers" Zago   Engineer
Robert "Roomio" Reyes   Engineer
K Lassik Beats   Producer
Mark "Exit" Goodchild   Engineer
Ky Miller   Engineer
Don Cannon   Producer,Engineer
Taj "Mahal" Brown   Instrumentation
Hailey "Silence" Campbell   Producer
Teraike "Chris Styles" Crawford   Producer
Detroit Red   Producer
Dean "Freak" Farmer   Producer
Andrea "Fluterscooter" Fisher   Producer
Gary Hadfield   Engineer
Ian Stewart   Engineer
Tha Bizness   Producer
Kirk Robinson   Composer
Brian "Big Bass" Gardner   Mastering

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Curtis 2.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
a lot of street records & club hits, and he kept it real, just what the fans wanted
Guest More than 1 year ago
Well, I have been following 50 Cent for some time now and all I have to say is, this man is worn out. I actually previewed the whole album online and it stinks. It sounds like his second album The Massacre. 50 Cent has no creative drive anymore. His first album was the best one. After that he just fell off. He was brain-washed commercially so he lost his view of urban life completely. He lost it for glamour and money. Actually, all of the rap music that is out now stinks. I am definitely through with rap music, thank God. I will not waste a dime on rap artists ever again. 50 Cent can go blow on his own horn. This album is garbage.
Guest More than 1 year ago
well this album isnt 5 stars but i give it 4 stars. 50 is still "slick with words" and throwing out disses that you have to listen for. for example in "fully loaded clip" how he just happen to say that trina was running game on lil wayne cause she was dating young buck too. i love 13 out of 17 its a good cd but i heard better from 50
Guest More than 1 year ago
Dammit to be honest in this whole 50 vs Kanye West competition, I knew Kanye would win hands down. I got both albums, and I have to say that I've never been so let down by fifty. Coming from a true G-Unit fan...rocked the G6 IIs and the G-Unit clothing and proudly blasted 50 Cent, Lloyd Banks, Young Buck, and Tony Yayo, even bought the video game, (couldn't swallow down the Formula 50 though, it tastes like creek water) Anyway point is I used to be a huge 50 Cent fan, but now it seem that that time has ended. Curtis did not excite me after the first two singles. Straight to the bank was a catchy lil' joint, and Amusment Park was Candy Shop all over again dear lord. I get money instilled a little hope in me that the old 50 hadn't died yet, and the hot and flashy Ayo Technology almost put me back on the team, but every last track except for the ones mentioned disappointed and let down. This album is horrible. Simply put, don't waste yor time. Fifty boasts that he doesn't need to rap anymore to survive. I hope that's true because this is the end of the road for him.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have to agree with the reviewer before me. I have been a huge 50 fan since back when he was with Trackmasters, and I feel that he has grown with every release up until "Curtis." While "I Get Money" and "Ayo Technology" are hot songs, after a few spins the rest of the CD comes off as pretty lackluster. Maybe it will grow on me. It seems, though, like he thinks he can put one over on us and put all the pieces together to make the CD sell, instead of just focusing on making good music. He is looking at things from too much of a business perspective, and the music suffers for it. He still has a nice flow so it's not a complete loss for die-hard 50 fans, but it could have been a lot better. Surely he still has the capacity to put out more classic CDs, but this one is a letdown.
Guest More than 1 year ago
"It seems, though, like he thinks he can put one over on us and put all the pieces together to make the CD sell, instead of just focusing on making good music." well, ya, he's a hustler, ask about him. CD is awesome.
Guest More than 1 year ago
50 cent new album i really think he put in alot work into it. He didn't just want to make a cd with just gangsta rap he rather get street play and commerical play at the same time to put out a album.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Im glad 50s reign is over.50 never had anything positive to say and this album changes nothing.Too many brothers will get blown away or locked up forever for trying to emulate this fake snitch,who was shot 9 times for being a narc.If you want real rap check out eric b and rakim
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you like "heavy" rap this is for you. Fiddy mixes it up and duos with Justin Timberlake on a song. Personally I loved Graduation by Kanye West, a slower yet strong rap album. And he won the rap battle.
MushRoomHeadfan101 More than 1 year ago
i know when i hear good music but since 50 cent made this album hes been going straight downhill this album is a poor example of rap music i listen to rock bands who do a little rap music themselfs like mushroomhead and slipknot but this has to be 50 cents worst album to date look what i suggest you buy youll thank me later also plus mushroomhead and slipknot blow 50 cent out of the water