50 Cent Explains Why He Didn’t Sign J. Cole

50 Cent detailed why he decided against signing eventual hip-hop standard-bearer J. Cole around the arrival of his debut mixtape 'The Come Up' in 2007.

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50 Cent has explained why he decided against signing J. Cole around the arrival of his debut mixtape The Come Up in 2007.

“That was so early bro, this is before…at that point I don’t think we had a lot of representation on the street end, like we were the representation,” he explained at the 32:50 mark of his Breakfast Club interview when Charlamagne tha God asked why he didn’t sign Cole. In ’07, G-Unit records had a roster that included the members of Mobb Deep, Lil Scrappy, and M.O.P. among others.

“To me J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar…these [type of] artists existed early on when I fell in love with hip-hop, but it was Talib Kweli, it was Mos Def, it was A Tribe Called Quest...Common Sense,” he said. “You know what I’m saying? They really, as dope as they are, it’s smarter rap. Smarter music. The logic, ‘sit down, be humble.’”

While 50 thought Cole and Kendrick’s music was “cool,” he suggested he wasn’t sure “if everybody was ready” for more “conscious” rappers at that time. Earlier this month, Fif’s close collaborator Tony Yayo said he almost signed the Fayetteville native before Jay-Z gave him a Roc Nation deal. He revealed Cole met with them at 50’s home in Connecticut, where he played “Simba” from The Come Up.

After digging into the topic of “street” rap clashing with “conscious” rap, as Fif and Kanye notably did in 2007, he suggested he hasn’t won many awards in his career despite continued sales success. “I got the checks, I didn’t get the trophies,” 50 said at the 35:00 point. “Jay got all the motherfucking trophies, man. ‘Cause he signed that contract, the one with Beyoncé.”

He went on to suggest that Bey has made companies sign a contract to give them both a trophy if they’re nominated, to which Charlamagne told him to be careful because he’s clashed with her in the past. “She did, she did worse,” 50 Cent laughed. “She jumped off a thing, off the ledge. I was like, ‘Oh shit.’ I didn’t really know what to do. It was one of those situations where you were like, ‘Whoa!’ … She was like on a window sill.”

Apparently Bey approached 50 when he sought a conversation with Hov. “If Solange was there I would’ve had to reboot,” he continued. “She popped in that elevator like it was nothing, there was some gangsta shit going.” Circling back around to the conversation that Beyoncé interrupted between him and Jay, 50 added, “She came like she was ready! I thought something was going to happen.” As that situation went down, Jay appeared to get a lot of enjoyment from the reaction and laughed it off.

Earlier in the chat, 50 was asked if he’ll consider doing a project with any of the G-Unit members again. “I’m done carrying them around, my back hurts,” he said near the 8:00 point. While he’s still got a good relationship with Yayo, he’s notably clashed with many of his former bandmates over the years. While he might not make another record with them, he is interested in doing a documentary on the group.

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