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50 Cent takes pole position while serving beef; Jennifer Lopez is reborn while the world remembers The Notorious B.I.G.

Contributing Writer
March 11, 2005

50 Cent's Position of Power

Love him or hate him, 50 Cent isn't going anywhere. The release of 50's second album, The Massacre, has sold approximately 1.2 million copies to date. That is seven days of sales. To put it in perspective, Soundscan's second slot is filled by Jennifer Lopez's latest album, Rebirth, which has moved roughly 262,000 copies. You don't need to be a mathematician to comprehend the difference in sales. If this trend continues, 50 may manage to outsell his debut Get Rich or Die Tryin', which has sold some 11 million copies to date. The bottom line: That is a lot of cheddar for Fiddy to grate.

Escaping 50 is an impossibility these days. Just two weeks ago 50 pulled a fantastic promotional stunt by publicly excommunicating The Game from G-Unit. It seems that Compton-bred rapper The Game signed on to collaborate with Queensbridge super-MC Nas. This did not sit well with 50, who carries a beef with Nas. 50 was also pissed off due to the lack of credit for tracks he supposedly wrote and produced for The Game's debut The Documentary. The beef came to a head when 50 dismissed The Game during an appearance on New York's Hot 97. Shortly afterward, shots were fired on 50's entourage outside the radio station.

Wait, the drama is just getting started. The Massacre offers "Piggy Bank" a track that tosses lyrical sand in the eyes of New York MCs Fat Joe, Jadakiss, and Nas. 50's attempt to stir up a response track from the mighty Nas fell flat. Terror Squad's Fat Joe has, however, rolled up his sleeves and released a response track "F*** 50," which, as the title implies, has very few kind words for 50. The first line Fat Joe spits is, "50 you gonna end up dead," and then he proceeds to attack 50's general paranoia and jealousy of The Game's success. Jadakiss has responded as well with "Checkmate," and honestly this track makes Fat Joe's response seem pretty tame. Jada drops the line, "Never the king of New York, you live in Connecticut," and attacks 50 for singing more than rapping and suggests that 50 stick to selling clothes and sneakers. Ladies and gentlemen, it is going to be a very hot summer.

Things Done Changed

Wednesday, March 9, marked a very sad day in hip-hop. It has been eight years since Christopher "The Notorious B.I.G." Wallace was murdered. Biggie's presence has faded little in rap, as many MCs continue to pay homage to Bed-Stuy's Big Poppa. It is amazing that Biggie only released two full-length albums and yet his style continues to influence new generations of emerging MCs. We recommend blasting a copy of Ready to Die while checking out the articles we've collected that remember the late Notorious B.I.G.

This Is Me...Now

Jennifer Lopez has done an about-face in the media. Just a few years ago, Jenny from the block seemed a permanent fixture on tabloid front pages and entertainment television shows aimed at pop-culture junkies. First there was the relationship with music mogul and ultimate bad boy, Sean "Puffy" Combs, which suffered an explosive ending shortly after a shooting that eventually sent the New York emcee Shyne to prison. Then came Lopez's inescapable relations with actor Ben Affleck, which eventually ended leaving the Hollywood bad boy to pursue a new flavor of the month while J. Lo retreated. Eventually Jennifer Lopez set her eyes on Latin crossover superstar Marc Anthony, which brings us up to date.

Jennifer's retreat from the public eye coincided with her marriage to Marc Anthony. As the title of her new album suggests, J. Lo has rebirthed her persona and shed the wild-style antics for that of a polished star. J.Lo's maturation is apparent from the get-go on Rebirth, in spite of the in da club packaging of "Get Right." The album flirts with a variety of styles overflowing with screeching jazz horns, Middle Eastern instrumentation, and playful funk. The album is littered with a couple of jump-up party jams, but in general is dominated by a quiet storm vibe suggesting that Jennifer Lopez is indeed shying away from the tabloid drama-loving J.Lo persona and settling into a character that is calm and refined.

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