50 Nifty

The young man who goes by the moniker 50 Cent currently has five songs in the Billboard Hot 50. Quite the troubadour. Three hits are his alone, two are works with his protégé-cum-Hatfield/McCoy buff, The Game.

If I were The Game, I would have had concerns that my name would be confused with the Michael Douglas vehicle of the same name, but there seems to be little confusion among fans. Which is good, because you don't want the guy that made "Se7en" after you with a trademark lawsuit. You just know he mails people heads in boxes just for fun.

Where was I?

Right, The Trammps. Thank you. In 1977, The Trammps released Disco Inferno, one of Disco Era's most memorable hits. 50 Cent's Disco Inferno is currently Number One on the Billboard chart. Mr. Cent was zero years old when the song came out, but he still likes it enough to record a cover of it. This is a testament to the staying power of a song that tweaked the leaders of the day by syly commenting on society, with lyrics such as:

Satisfaction (uhu hu hu) came in the chain reaction
(burnin') I couldn't get enough, (till I had to self-destroy) so I had to
self destruct, (uhu hu hu)
The heat was on (burnin’), rising to the top, huh!
Everybody's goin' strong (uhu hu hu)
And that is when my spark got hot
I heard somebody say
Burn baby burn! - Disco inferno!
Burn baby burn! - Burn that mama down, yoh!

It's easy to see how Cent is touched by these words. What is confusing, though, is that very little of the original song has made it into the new version. For example:

Disco inferno
Let's go
Ya now rockin with a pro
I get dough, to flip dough, to get mo' fo' sho'
Get my drink on and get on the dance floor

There are the words "Disco Inferno", but there are no babies burning, no sparks getting hot. This is a very loose interpretation, to be sure. Which is a shame. Whereas the Trammps saw a world where

It was so entertainin' - when the boogie started to explode

Mr. Cent lives in a place where

I'm so gutter, so ghetto, so hood.
So gully, so grimey, what's good?

The alliteration using the letter G has a purpose. It's an homage to 50 Cent's group called G-Unit. In every song he records, Cent puts in at least one line of G-alliteration, like in the recent hit "Candy Shop":

Get a Gobstopper, Grab a Goober
Good 'N' Plenties are super-duper
Gobblin' gummies makes me a #1 hooper

Actually, I haven't heard Candy Shop, but this is the way I imagine it goes.

So, here's thing: I think 50 Cent may have a trademark infringement lawsuit on his hands. And watch out for those guys from the Trammps... mess with them, they'll mail you superfluous consonants in a box: "What's going on over there? What's in the box? What's in the box? WHAT'S IN THE BOX!!!?! No! Noooo! Now I'm Fiffty Cennts!"


Idle Mind said...

I just don't understand how kids can find him entertaining. The only thing that is even close to tasteful in the one album that I heard was the beat.. and even that got old. It's discusting that he can make millions just by spitting out some crap that has been said already by most of the new rappers. Maybe rap isn't supposed to be intelligent. I have no idea.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree with you more I don't think he even knows the true meaning of the word "ghetto" Ihope the trammps take him to court for having the audasity to ruin their #1 hit I hope he keeps his crap up and goes bancrupt I will laugh until I can't laugh no more !!!!!

Anonymous said...

I couldn't disagree with you anymore. 50 cent, compared to most rappers knows the meaning of 'ghetto' much more then you think. He grew up in queens and his mother sold drugs which led to her death, he was forced to live with his grandmother and began selling as well (at the age of 13). He sold drugs for a long time until it led to him getting shot (9 times), somehow he survived and tried pursuing a rap career to get himself and his son out of the 'hood' and the life of drug dealing despite discouragement from his enviroment. If you analyzed some of his other songs, besides the junk that miraculously climbs the charts (i.e. candy shop, disco inferno, in da club...all garbage compared to his other tracks) you would gain an appreciation for his lyrics, flow, and beats. Try reading his biography and gaining some factual knowledge instead of criticizing his understanding of the word 'ghetto.'

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