Fiddy - More Like Diddy
We knew this was coming. Many prayed for this.
In the aftermath of his 2007 sales shallacking courtesy of image antithesis, Kanye West, for the first time, “Bulletproof 50” exhibited commercial vulnerability. Not to sleep on the 691K units Curtis moved in its first week -- essentially the platinum equivalent in today’s crap-tastic retail environment -- but ironically, Fiddy’s self described “artist album” was artistically years past his prime. Clearly, Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ it was not. No need to waste words. But lyrically aspiring tracks like “A Baltimore Love Thing” or “I Don’t Need Em” on The Massacre eclipsed any semblance of artistry Curtis supposedly offered. Instead the buying public was treated to Omaha Steak-style manufactured beef and false proclamations of retirement if out sold. The gimmicks were too gimmicky, grossly outpacing the product. Curtis, at its best, was a passable LP loaded with Pop-centric guest appearances, generic bump and grind raps and gun music. At worst? At worst it represented the last grasp of commercial viability from a soon-to-be-fallen album sales titan.
That was then...
In 2009, as we all witnessed (some more jubilantly than others), Fifty’s Before I Self Destruct self destructed on the charts, moving an embarrassing 160k units in its first week, declining consistently each week after.
While the warning signs leading up to this official sales calamity were more obvious than those leading up to 9/11 -- numerous delays and rescheduled release dates, slumping music sales environment, ineffective lead single, tiring gimmicks that proved more polarizing than profitable, digital leakage a month prior to release -- the idea that Brand50 would ever produce such a meager SoundScan showing, leak or no leak, seemed more like a wish from one of his laundry list of detractors than an actual reality. 50 Cent was still 50 CENT, after all. Surely an artist that’s sold over 20 million solo albums in six years, amassing upwards of $150 million (pre recession) through diversified business ventures, and lived in Mike Tyson’s house could crack 200k in his first week. Especially if he’s tossing in a free DVD or two...Right?
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