Welcome to part 1 of my installments of my hip-hop related debates and conversations.
The question this week: Who has had the better career, 50 Cent or Game?
Obviously there likely wouldn’t be a Game without 50 cent, but if you ignore that, it’s actually a pretty good conversation.
The answer seems obvious at first: 50 Cent. You probably know the name of way more 50 cent songs, and the lyrics to way more of his verses (I break yo face!). He’s also put out a top 10 rap album of all time (Get Rich or Die Trying) and a top 30 album (The Massacre). Actually, what could be most representative of 50’s career is his second verse on Patiently Waiting, which is arguably better than the Eminem verse that precedes it (Em’s verse is still probably better, but at least it’s a conversation).
But that actually brings me to my point about 50’s flaw. He was so good in the early 2000’s, but he couldn’t keep it going. Sure Curtis had some jams, and obviously he’s the leader of G-Unit (although Young Buck was the best in the group), but since then… eh. His whole shtick was that he was a G until the end. He was from the street, and he came at everyone. The flow was gritty and grimy, and he said he would always be that way. But now you just hear about his money and deal with Vitamin Water. I don’t really want to hear it.
Meanwhile, Game on the other hand has consistently put out great music. 5 albums in 10 years, each of which has at least 5 very good songs. Very few are the caliber of the early 50, but Documentary has some absolute classics. He filled the gap that NWA left for the west coast rap game and kept it alive for the new generation of left-coasters we see today (mainly, kendrick). Game is still coming out with new good albums (RED Nation, Jesus Piece), and hasn’t ever really changed his flow. And it still sounds hot. It’s still grimy and angry. He still comes at everyone’s throat except his OG peers (Ye, Jeezy, etc.). Like here.
It’s really a Biggie v. Tupac situation. In the end, both are great representations of their coasts. But I think even if you do stress the importance of longevity, 50 was too good at his prime.
Sorry Game. Keep putting out good shit and we can talk in 5 years.
PS. Eminem murders Patiently Waiting. He definitely has the better verse.
PPS. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little scared that I’m on some sort of Game hit-list.