In the second part of SXSW’s candid interview series with 50 Cent, the Jamaica, Queens lyricist touched on evolution in Hip Hop and spoke on the genre recycling itself every few years or so.
Fifty referenced one song in particular as he spoke on the evolution of Hip Hop and how various elements of the genre can be used in different ways. The song he used to prove his point was Nas’ heavily metaphorical, It Was Written record “I Gave You Power.”
“I think music recycles itself like fashion,” 50 Cent revealed. “So, a lot of the content, the things that we’re utilizing has been done in a different fashion. I’ll try and give an example. I think it was It Was Written, Nas’ second album, he had a song where he was the gun. And it was one of those things that had a strong impression on Hip Hop culture at that point because it was a song that was like ‘wow.’ It had good metaphors, it was strong, and it gave you a visual. And he’s one of the great storytellers within Hip Hop music culture.”
The G-Unit rapper even brought up a personal favorite, The Massacre’s “The Baltimore Love Thing,” when speaking on the use of metaphors in Hip Hop and how the technique is a heavily recycled one.
“My favorite song on the record was ‘The Baltimore Love Thing.’ And it was a metaphor and an actual song where I used a relationship between an addict, a female addict and the drug heroine…Because she keeps listening to people saying ‘You should change your life’ or ‘Get yourself together,’ it drags her deeper into addiction. And it’s one of my favorite records because of the depth to the story itself,” said 50 Cent.