BY SATEESH ROGERS
PHILADELPHIA, PA â€” The streets in every hood have been buzzing about 50 Centâ€™s latest release, â€œThe Massacreâ€� which hit stores March 3. The multi-platinum rapper known for using beefs and battles to boost his sales has stuck with the same marketing strategy this time around.
On one of his lead singles Piggy Bank, 50 attacks well known rappers, Fat Joe, Jadakiss, Nas, his wife Kelis and Shyne:
â€œYou know me, black on black bentley, big olâ€™ black nine / Iâ€™ll clap your monkey ass, yeah black on black crime. That fat nigga thought Lean Back was â€œIn Da Clubâ€� / My shit sold 11 mill, his shit was a dud….Jada donâ€™t fuck with me if you wanna eat / Cause Iâ€™ll do your lilâ€™ ass like Jay did Mobb Deep / Yeah homie, in New York, niggas like your vocals / But thatâ€™s only in New York, dawg your ass is local…. Kelis said her milkshake brings all the boys to the yard / Then Nas went and tattooed the bitch on his arm… Shyne poppinâ€™ off his mouth from a cell / He donâ€™t want it with me, he in DC / I can have a nigga run up on him with a shank / For just a few pennies out my piggy bank.â€�
These are the â€œwarning shotsâ€� as 50 calls them, that are to open up hip-hopâ€™s latest beef.
But, the real question raging throughout the hood has been, â€œIs 50 Cent really 50 Snitch?â€�
An upcoming mixtape release from artist Kornbread Jenkins entitled Kornbreadâ€™s Kookout Konversations makes a very strong case on a couple of tracks that 50 really stands for â€œ5.0â€� â€” a common street term used to describe the police. Kornbread, in an interview with The Burning Spear suggested that the pigs are the ones that put money in 50â€™s piggy bank. â€œI like some of his music. But a snitch with good music is just that â€” a snitch.â€�
In fact, no matter where you go, more and more people indicate that they believe that 50 Cent, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, is a snitch. In Newport News, Virginia, a man was selling bootleg copies of music including The Game and 50 Cent albums, two for ten dollars. When he gave his pitch to one person on the street, the person replied, â€œIâ€™ve already got Gameâ€™s album and I donâ€™t fuck with 50 Cent.â€� Another individual walking past agreed, â€œYeah, fuck 50. Rat ass nigga.â€�
In a clothing shop in Newport News on Jefferson Avenue, locally produced â€œFuck 50 Centâ€� t-shirts are flying off the racks.
But beyond that, the streets are filled with suggestions that 50 really is 5.0.
On the airwaves and in the street mixtape circuit, Fat Joeâ€™s hard hitting comeback, â€œMy .44,â€� fires back at 50:
â€œOh yeah, you got 65 niggas on your team / and theyâ€™re not from southside jamaica queens / theyâ€™re the boys in blue / Iâ€™m just speakinâ€™ the truth / Now we all see the bitch in you… this nigga be walkin around with 20 cops talkinâ€™ shit on records, never cominâ€™ out his house.â€�
Jadakissâ€™ response, â€œCheckmate,â€� features him rapping over a beat from 50â€™s own mixtape saying this:
â€œ…I heard you put a couple good niggaz behind bars / I might never sell that much / But you can bet your last two quarters, I never tell that much.â€�
From the word on the streets to lyrics over beats, everyone seems to be trying to expose 50 as an agent of the police. One of the major things that has brought many to the conclusion that 50 Cent is a snitch was his coordinated activities with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
On BET, 50 Cent snitches on Murder, Inc.
In an interview broadcast on BET, 50 Cent claimed that he had first hand information that the record label, Murder, Inc., was started with drug money. Two weeks later, the FBI arrested and brought charges against several figures tied to the label best known for producing rap star Ja Rule.
This drew intense criticism from everyone from the average African on the block to rap legend Scarface. The same FBI that 50 snitched to, and perhaps works for, is a part of the very government responsible for putting drugs in our community in the first place.
Since selling over 11 million albums and raking in over $50 million in the last year or so, 50 went from saying how he owed the streets for his success to loudly and clearly broadcasting his new message of â€œfuck the hoodâ€� in recent tours and in a March XXL interview.
In a radio interview on New Yorkâ€™s Hot 97, Funkmaster Flex said that he â€œhad been around nearly every rap beef since the very beginning and never have I seen someone go up against 4 or 5 top artists at one time. Then in addition to that you have beef with your own artist, the Game.â€�
Compton native, the Game, was temporarily kicked out of 50 Centâ€™s Gorilla Unit or G-Unit for refusing to take part in growing this beef into a war between factions of the rap world. The Game, stated in interviews with Hot 97 that he was cool with rappers Fat Joe and Nas and that Jadakiss calls him regularly and asks about his son. He wrapped it up by saying that â€œ50â€™s beef is 50â€™s beef,â€� and he wasnâ€™t taking part in it.
“The real concern is really not about how well 50 Cent does in the music business or even the quality of his music. People might like his music, but the one thing no one likes in any hood is a snitch.”
Later on the same day that the Game made his decision known to the public, 50 Cent and Lloyd Banks, another member of the G-Unit, went to Hot 97 to put out their position.
According to Lloyd Banks, the Gameâ€™s principles were a violation of the Gorilla Unit. Banks said, â€œHe donâ€™t move how we move. We fall under a certain umbrella. We follow suit. I donâ€™t care if 50 disrespects your mama. I donâ€™t care if heâ€™s 120 percent wrong, we down with 50 Cent.â€�
Apparently, that didnâ€™t make sense to the Game. While 50 Cent and the G-Unit have been attempting to create the next massive rap war that would mostly serve the police, the Game, a long time Blood, has organized what he calls the â€œBlack Wall Streetâ€� in an effort to unite Bloods and Crips in Compton.
â€œItâ€™s not red wall street, itâ€™s not blue wall street â€” itâ€™s black wall street,â€� said Game in an interview with www.mtv.com. It has long been evident that the Game and 50 Cent have had their differences.
What is even more interesting about Curtis Jackson, is that for all the tough talk he seems to have about whomever and whatever, he didnâ€™t say a word when Eminem, according to last summerâ€™s issue of The Source Magazine, was calling African people black bitches, coons, apes, monkeys and niggers, on his underground Detroit mixtapes.
In fact, Eminem openly brags in his music about being the â€œlatest thing since Elvis Presley to use black music to make himself wealthy.â€� Elvis of course, said that the only thing â€œniggers can do for me is buy my albums and shine my shoes.â€�
Riding his â€œfavorite white boyâ€™sâ€� coattail, 50 Cent was thrust into the center of white Americaâ€™s attention. Eminem has become the great white hope and the role model for white kids everywhere that want so desperately to be black. With Eminemâ€™s stamp of approval, 50 Cent was almost assured of selling well in the group most responsible for purchasing hip-hop albums â€” young white people.
These are the facts that reveal Curtis Jackson as a house nigga in gangsta clothing. He has built his success from support from the community and now says â€œfuck the hood.â€� He goes out of his way to start beef, unlike anything most people have ever seen, but says nothing about Eminemâ€™s anti-African statements.
The most damning evidence is that he has served as an informant to the police. Some rumors also suggest that the reason 50 Cent was shot to begin with was for snitching, and while that rumor is unconfirmed, it is seemingly not out of character.
50 Centâ€™s music confuses Africans as to who our real enemy is
The real concern is really not about how well 50 Cent does in the music business or even the quality of his music. People might like his music, but the one thing no one likes in any hood is a snitch.
The concern is that his instigating is confusing African people as to who the real enemy is. If there is any fight to be had, itâ€™s against the police who keep the whole African community in their crosshairs.
That is the real issue that makes this article necessary. These types of beefs often lead to Africans getting killed. The Tupac and Biggie, east coast and west coast feud is probably the most well known example.
With this situation though, if the masses believe like the evidence suggests, that 50 Cent really is 50 Snitch, then the struggle wonâ€™t be west versus east â€” it will be the people against the police. Thatâ€™s how it should be.
That is the understanding that must get through every ghetto from
Oakland to Soweto. There are two lines in the community. You are either with the police or with the people. Right now the lines are being drawn and peopleâ€™s sides are being exposed.
If the streets heat up because of the drama 50 Cent started, he wonâ€™t be around when the bullets start to fly. Heâ€™ll be in his 18-bedroom mansion in Farmington, Connecticut, guarded by the police and his bulletproof vests. If 50 Cent wants to make money, thatâ€™s fine, but at the point in which Africans start getting killed because of his police-like instigating, something needs to be said and done.
The Philadelphia branch of the International Peopleâ€™s Democratic Uhuru Movement will be holding an upcoming forum entitled â€œSnitches and Hip-Hopâ€� to address this issue.
We are also supporting and participating in Kornbread Jenkins mixtape, Kornbreadâ€™s Kookout Konversations, which will lyrically lay out the sides that people have to choose from â€” the people or the police. That mixtape is likely to be out as this issue of The Burning Spear goes to press.
For more information or if youâ€™re interested in getting involved contact 215-474-8182 or come out to our weekly meetings held on Saturdays at 12:00 noon at 503 S. 52nd Street in west Philadelphia. Be on the lookout, because the official launch of Burning Spear Records is coming soon, and weâ€™ll be redefining the whole game. Snitchinâ€™ is over.
Uhuru Is A Movement!
Black Power is Back!