With an acting career, energy drink empire, and line of headphones, it’s easy to understand why it’s taken so long for 50 Cent to launch his latest album, Street King Immortal.
Thankfully, the wait it finally over. The album is currently slated for a February 2013 release and to get the word out, Fiddy stopped by AMP Radio to catch up with his old friend Carson Daly.
50 Cent debuted the first official single from Street King Immortal, “My Life,” Monday night on a live episode of The Voice.
The song features both his mentor Eminem and Adam Levine. The self-described “aggressive” rapper and Maroon 5 front man may seem like an unlikely pairing, but 50′s been a fan for quite awhile.
“We were coming up at the same time and they asked me what do I like and I said Maroon 5 because I just heard the song [“She Will Be Loved”] and I just said, ‘What is that?’” he told Carson.
Once he secured Levine for the hook, he headed off to Detroit to team up with Eminem. The hip hop greats have collaborated before on lesser-known tracks, but this time around, 50 Cent is determined to make a hit record.
“We went into the studio and I said, ‘No, we gotta make a single.’ he explained. “I found a space that kind of meets the Slim Shady, not the Marshall Mathers, but the Slim Shady side of Em when he starts to get in that pocket…It just makes a great collaboration every time we did it.”
“My career wouldn’t even exist. I wouldn’t even be talking to you if it wasn’t for Em.” he said. “It’s amazing that…later in your life you can find someone that means so much to the comfort in your actual life. My grandparents were that for me before Em.”
“When you’re selling 22 million records, everyone wants to do what you want to do. The Marshall Mathers LP comes, he goes, ‘This guy’s the next guy.’ And they go, ‘…Okay. Why?’ And they listen to the music. Everyone listens and pays attention to it because he heard it.”
50 Cent tried to pay it forward in the same way to his fellow G-Unit crew members, Game and Young Buck, but at some point things got off track and both rappers parted ways with the hip hop group.
“You can offer artists the opportunity to have the audience that’s interested in you become interested in them. You can let them perform on your stage. You can let them work in your music videos and everything, but if they want what you have, they can’t quite do that,” Fiddy explained. “They’ve got to establish that on their own.
“The artists kind of got uncomfortable and felt like they wouldn’t be as big as me with me,” he added. “I never felt like, ‘I have to get rid of Em to be big’ or disassociate myself from that.”
The tension is evident in the lyrics of “My Life,” but 50 claims that he isn’t calling them out to further his own fame.
“Beef doesn’t actually sell records. It creates that barber shop, beauty salon conversation. Hit records sell records.”
50 recorded nearly 70 songs for Street King Immortal all while juggling his multiple business ventures with ease and that’s no accident. He carefully studied the market before jumping into the energy drink industry.
“At the launch of this actual product, it was the same time we were having Occupy Wall Street, LA, Chicago, and all these things going on. People feeling like major corporations don’t actually care about them. So, I chose the category because it was the only category within the consumer packaging goods that was a billion dollar category with one player, 5-Hour Energy. And they market to a demo that’s 35 and over.”
Proceeds from every sale of Street King go towards feeding a billion children in Africa, similar to the business model of shoemaker TOMS.
“He had the right vision,” Fiddy said of TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie. “It’s just, people can’t eat shoes. For every pair of shoes that’s sold, he buys a pair of shoes for someone in need and I was just like, ‘But we just can’t eat them. We can’t eat the shoes!’