With his new video game Blood On The Sand dropping this week, we stopped by the G-Unit Records office to talk to 50 Cent about the release. But what we got was a bit more. In addition to speaking on the third-person shooter, 50 spoke (of course) about his tiff with Rick Ross, Lil Wayne's lack of response, and how he felt about Kanye's genital-heavy video game concept.
Oh, and later in the interview, you'll read about how 50 pulled out a stack of about 75 old photos of Rick Ross from his childhood and teenage years. Trust us, you ain't seen nothin' yet'he could fill up a pretty thick photo album titled "The Adolescent Years Of William Roberts." Read on for the full interview...
By Joe La Puma
Complex: So Blood In The Sand is a third person shooter with a bunch of ammunition. What's your favorite gun to use in the game?
50 Cent: I like the 9mm action on it, the action pistol, the handgun. It's not as dramatic, like, you got a rocket launcher and a big machine gun, but I like to use the handgun.
Complex: Gaming reviews were really impressed by the helicopter aspects of the game, did you get to test that at all?
50 Cent: Yup, and that actually came from me liking Outrun as a game. There's that point where you're actually flying and running, because of the environment it came out the way it did. I threw out the idea and allowed the guys that actually do that to do it, to make the game come out as cool as possible and it came out amazing. Better than my initial idea, but of course I'm going to take credit for it.
Complex: There's a part of the game where you recruit girls at a strip club and send them to distract enemies. That sounds a little bit like Pimpin' Curly to us...
50 Cent: [Laughs] Yeah, that was early, that was two years ago. That concept has been around for ages, sending women to distract men. They make for a great distraction, especially attractive women, right?
Complex: Who would you say is the best shooter in the game besides you? Banks, Yayo, or Whoo Kid?
50 Cent: Well, I think they're fairly good, but I like to play as myself. Yayo doesn't play with me, he takes me off and puts him as the actual character. It's cool, when you're the actual character in it, it kind of makes you have a superhero's vibe, it's like being in an action film where you're Hancock.
Complex: What's the biggest difference between the first video game and this one?
50 Cent: There's a huge difference. There's a whole different studio creating it. Initially we started the concept with Vivendi'that's who we did Bulletproof with'and then their merger with Activision changed things around, so we went with THQ. I mean the whole process, it's totally different, the experience, the new music. Of course they have the hit music from Get Rich or Die Tryin', The Massacre and the Curtis album and as a person reaches a certain level of the game, they can unlock the actual music. Even if they're not a 50 Cent fan, they have an option to utilize a score produced by Swizz Beatz.
Complex: Not a lot of other rappers have video games but, Kanye said in article recently that when he was growing up, he dreamed of making a video game that features a giant penis chasing around vaginas. Do you think that makes for a good game?
50 Cent: I don't see how you make that one. Maybe you do a metaphor for those things. You'd have to change it around so it's not so aggressive. I don't see who's going to buy that. That might be like a game you could sell on a cell phone. Like a small game where they don't have to spend a lot of money marketing it.
Complex: If Rick Ross were a character in the game, what method would you use to take him out?
50 Cent: I don't know, because, I don't know where the police fit into the actual scenario in this one. If had to use a weapon against him in the game, it'd probably a rocket launcher, just to make sure that he's completely gone.
Complex: On the first diss record you made aimed at Rick Ross, you also went at Lil' Wayne pretty hard at the end. What made you do that?
50 Cent: Wayne, I'm addressing something that leaked out. It didn't sound as good as a lot of things that I've heard from him, so I felt like it couldn't have been intentional. But because he didn't say anything to the public, they don't understand that or interpret it that way. So I was saying little things to see if he had a problem, and I took him not saying anything as [him saying that] he doesn't. So that's the end of that. But Rick Ross jumped out there on is own.
Complex: Obviously you're willing to put energy into it if Wayne responds. Do you think he will?
50 Cent: I have no idea. I don't know him. Like, people feel like they know me, until they see something new. I'm sure they didn't expect me to do Pimpin' Curly. But that's me taking something that Rick Ross said, and addressing Pimpin' Ken at the same time and the Foxy issues, and putting it all into one situation and then it evolves into this character. It's a case-by-case situation, like, you can't really say what you would do or how you would actually handle it. Once you're in the actual situation, you make the adjustments.
Complex: Has Rick Ross been the easiest target thus far?
50 Cent: He is. He has absolutely been the easiest one. Cam'ron was fast because he just went away so fast that there wasn't an issue at all. He called me the name my mom gave me as disrespect. He called me Curtis, so I named my album Curtis. And then with Rick, when you have a guy that presents himself as the biggest drug dealer from Miami, who's previously a correctional officer, has no criminal history at all. There's no one who can actually say anything to support what he's actually doing. You got the people from Miami that surrounds it, moving away from it, going, I'm glad I don't have that headache. He made a mistake. What happens is when you mess with an artist that has more energy than you, sure you raise your awareness, but not with your music. Not with your actual art. it doesn't drive people to the store. People acknowledge that you have an issue with 50 Cent, but you fade to black after that dies down.
Complex: People applauded both sides for taking a step back'Khaled for taking down the photoshopped picture of your son, and you taking down the video of Khaled's mom...
50 Cent: Well, when people cross a line, they get rid of their boundaries in an actual situation. Like, I haven't talked about anyone's kids since I've been doing this. And like, I haven't done it. To find out what a person's kid's name is, is so easy. Everybody says it in every interview, so for you to go into that pocket, that's desperation. He's one dimensional because he's been trying to create this drug dealer persona and this hard guy image, he can only go aggressive. If he tries to go a lighthearted route, people are going to look at that as that's who he is completely because they don't believe him.
Complex: Right. Was there discussion on both sides, like...mutual discussions of 'If you take this video down, I'll take this video down'?
50 Cent: Not communications between both sides, but like Flex, and other DJs would call and talk about it and say, "Yo, if they take that down..." And I was like, "I'll take it down." Once you create those parameters, then there is no range. Everything is free, you can use everything possible, and you don't want that because the resources are...[50 opens his desk drawer pulls out a huge stack of old photos]. Look at this'this is Rick Ross since he was a child. I want to show you him when he was a bum.
Complex: Oh man. [Looks through photos of Rick while he was young]
50 Cent: That's him, he's right there. Look at this bum, there's the bum.
Complex: Who gave these to you? Tia?
50 Cent: This is not even from Tia, it's from other places. Look, that's before he had hair on his beard. Now you can tell it's the same guy in the correctional officer suit. See, this is why we're talking about resources. Look at his mother, look at how ugly she is. Look at that. Did I say anything about that? I didn't put that out. Just look at his mother.
Complex: So it looks like there's about sixty pictures no one has seen?
50 Cent: More than sixty. This is ten right here. Look at how many pictures I got. You got people sending me things from his graduation ceremony'their tape of his graduation ceremony. He's a fraud. People in Miami knew that it was only a matter of time. They didn't want to say it themselves, but they knew.
Complex: How do you feel about Rick getting Bang 'em Smurf on a track?
50 Cent: Look who you're talking about. I got letters from Smurf he sent, where he turned Muslim while he was in jail. And he wanted to make peace and all these interesting things, like, that's desperation. You know he's been deported?
Complex: Bang 'em Smurf?
50 Cent: Yeah, he's not even in the country. So, like, he'll send you his recording through a phone call.
Complex: "Crack a Bottle" is getting a lot of spins and downloads. How did you end up taking that record from Eminem?
50 Cent: Well that record was already recorded. That always was my record. We recorded it in Detroit. Organically, when we make records, sometimes, like...Em has records for his album that I'm on the hook and I'm rapping with him. So I dominate the actual song because creatively the idea came out of me faster to that actual production and it was good. So, when "Crack a Bottle" came, conceptually, once the hook was there, it was like, Okay, we got the hook and we wrote the verses and that was the end of it. It goes one, two, three. We're not all the way conscious of who does what on each song. You know, we just make good music.
Complex: Wealth wise, you're basically in the same space as Diddy and Jay-Z, but you're still so much more entrenched in rap than they are.
50 Cent: If you consider yourself a part of the culture, then finances can't allow you to be bigger than the actual art form. So, there's always been battling within the art form, then you figure out a new way to do it on a new level that is higher from an entertainment perspective. Like what's going on Thisis50.com is the next level of what hip-hop battling will be in the future. See what I'm saying? When you see artists like Soulja Boy and Bow Wow responding to each other in actual video clips, as opposed to freestyles, it shows you how hip-hop is changing its shape into something different.