Tuesday, April 22, 2003

It’s easy to love me now
Would you love me if I was down and out?
Would you still have love for me?

- 50 Cent featuring Nate Dogg, “21 Questions,” 2003

Trash your preconceived notions about 50 Cent you got from “Wanksta” and “In Da Club.” This is the other side of 50, the – gasp! – sensitive side, even if his idea of a beautiful thing to say is “I love you like a fat kid love cake” (gotta give him props for cleverness, though). It’s actually an awfully interesting way to spin a pseudo-love song, asking, Would you still love me if I wasn’t successful? Would you stick with me through the bad patches? For better or worse, richer or poorer? Honestly, the last rapper I’d expect to hear asking about the kinds of things you hear in marriage vows is 50 (well, maybe Kool Keith and El-P, but you know what I mean). And he pulls it off. Where an idiot like Nelly sounds smarmy and insincere on “Dilemma,” 50 sounds believable. Augmented by a perfect old-soul guitar riff, looped into infinity, this is the thuggish version of LL’s “I Need Love,” the ’03 remix. And it’s damned near flawless.

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