In direct opposition to Kanye's fearless, risk-taking Graduation, 50's new album is a blatant rehash-- a bottom-line sequel that insults the same audience it mindlessly panders to. Once again, from Rolling Stone: "'Kanye receives trophies because he's safe,' 50 Cent says, punctuating the word 'safe' with a lisp and a limp wrist." At this point, those grandstanding put-downs aren't just wildly off-the-mark, but genuinely sad; like Curtis, such remarks are too pathetic to be taken seriously and too stupid to be funny. In his insular quest to recapture the king-sized popularity of his massive debut, 50 is sacrificing the same thing that Kanye (and Jay and Nas...) has so tirelessly worked to cultivate: an engaging music career worth remembering.
To be honest, I think it's a habit of critics to add more intelligence to these guys than they deserve. I wouldn't credit Curtis Jackson's ambition to his reading up on The 48 Laws of Power, I would credit it to him being a drug dealer and hustler who turned his skills of talking people into giving him their cash towards music. There's a certain type of personality in some people that is able to talk someone into buying anything, and that's 50. (You would have to have some pretty good hustling skills to be able t o sell music as terrible as what he makes.) If he hadn't come from Southside Jamaica Queens, and instead was from say Woodinville, Washington, or some other American suburb, he would've become a car salesman.