Before I Self Destruct

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For the 2009 film, see Before I Self Destruct (film).
Before I Self Destruct
Studio album by 50 Cent
Released November 9, 2009
Genre Hip hop
Length 57:23
Label
Producer
50 Cent chronology
Curtis
(2007)
Before I Self Destruct
(2009)
5 (Murder by Numbers)
(2012)
Singles from Before I Self Destruct
  1. "Ok, You're Right"
    Released: May 19, 2009
  2. "Baby by Me"
    Released: September 10, 2009
  3. "Do You Think About Me"
    Released: January 16, 2010

Before I Self Destruct is the fourth studio album by American rapper 50 Cent, released November 9, 2009 on Shady Records, Aftermath Entertainment and Interscope Records in the United States. It is his final solo release with Shady Records, Aftermath Entertainment and Interscope Records excluding a "greatest hits" album.[1][2] A feature film, also titled Before I Self Destruct was also made, and is available within the album packaging. The Invitation Tour took place in promotion of the album and his then upcoming studio album Black Magic, which has since been shelved.

Background[edit]

Initially, Before I Self Destruct was planned to be 50 Cent's 2007 album, for which he confirmed he had already completed twelve songs.[3] However, he decided to release Curtis instead, and thus Before I Self Destruct's release date was originally pushed back to 2008.

In a red carpet interview 50 Cent stated that while he was working on the album, he wrote, produced, and directed his first film saying that the release of the film would coincide with the release of the album.[2]

Though a tracklist appeared in early January 2009,[4] 50 Cent later stated he reworked much of the album.

Another track stated to be on the album, though not officially confirmed as a single, entitled "Crime Wave" was released in late October 2009.[5]

The album's release date was initially announced to be February 4, 2008, but later moved to March 2008, due to the release date of Curtis being pushed up to September 2007.[6] However it was later revealed, in an interview with G-Unit members Tony Yayo and Lloyd Banks, that the album was scheduled to be released during the 4th quarter of 2008, with 50 Cent himself later stating that the album was due to be released December 9, 2008.[2][7]

MTV later reported that the album would instead be released in 2009,[8][9] with February 3 being the date 50 Cent himself confirmed.[10] Though it was later pushed back to March 2009, with March 24 being set as the day,[11] until he later confirmed that mentor and labelmate Eminem's album, Relapse, was going to be released before his own. 50 Cent then told MTV that he would release the album in June,[12] with the date being changed once again as he decided to retool parts of the album once Eminem's Relapse was completed.[13] However, the album was pushed back to a Fall 2009 release,[14] with September being the specific month.[15] On Jimmy Kimmel Live!, 50 Cent stated that the album will be out "second week of September, I'll be back on the streets baby",[16] with the date later stated to be specifically September 11, which at the time, was the release date of Jay-Z's The Blueprint 3.[17] However, these reports were later contradicted by MTV, when they stated that 50 Cent exclusively confirmed the release date as September 29, 2009.[18] The album was later officially confirmed to have been pushed back again by 50 Cent, who claimed November 3, 2009 as the newly confirmed release date,[19] but this was once again changed to November 17, 2009.[20] However, in October 2009, the album was pushed back a week to make the release date November 24, 2009.[21] Universal has pushed several albums forward to November 23, 2009, including Before I Self Destruct.[22]

50 stated that because the album leaked and the good response it got, he will release the album a week earlier, on November 16.[23] The album was released exclusively on the iTunes Store on November 9 at 12:00am, while the physical copy was released in stores on November 16.[24] Since the album was released digitally a week ahead of the physical copy, Interscope records requested that Billboard and Nielsen SoundScan uphold a rule instituted in 2008 where a label may ask Nielsen SoundScan to hold the digital sales count of an album for up to one week, and for Billboard to delay charting that album, when a leak results in a digital album beating its physical counterpart to brick and mortar stores.[25]

Music[edit]

Concept[edit]

50 Cent told MTV that he named the album Before I Self Destruct because "it could potentially happen."[26] 50 Cent described the album as "darker" and more "aggressive" than his previous album and stated, "hands down, [it] will be the best record of that time period".[27]

Production and guests[edit]

When speaking of producers and guests for the album, 50 Cent has stated Rich Harrison will be producing for the album,[26] as well as Kanye West, though his track will not be featured.[27]

Other producers that have stated they will be working on the project include Sha Money XL and Ty-Fyffe, who posted his listening session on YouTube,[28] Swizz Beatz, after not having any tracks make the final cut of Curtis,[29] DJ Premier with a track entitled "Shut Your Bloodclot Mouth",[30] and Dawaun Parker, who has stated he is featured on the single "I Get It In".[31]

In contrast to Curtis, 50 Cent explained that fans "should not expect to see guest appearances like you saw on Curtis".[32] He also described Before I Self Destruct as an entirely different concept, which will set up "the next batch of records" in his career.[32]

After 50 Cent's collaboration with Akon on "I'll Still Kill", which appeared on Curtis, Akon stated that 50 Cent and himself would be working on each other's upcoming albums due to the successful experience they developed while working on Curtis, and that, when working on songs, "Whoever’s album it feel right on, that’s where we gonna put it".

In an interview, Timbaland stated that he has worked with 50 Cent, but he did not know which albums (Curtis and Before I Self Destruct) the collaborations would end up on.[33] This song was released on May 18, 2010 for internet download and is titled "You Should Be Dead". This song gained popularity and is a constant source of debate as to why it was not featured on the album. The Koalition website stated "It truly is amazing how 50 Cent’s leftover tracks are better than most rapper’s singles. A perfect example of this is You Should Be Dead”.

J. R. Rotem also spoke about working on the album, saying that 50 Cent is into "soulful" music, and he sat down and gave him numerous tacks[clarification needed] and that on this album, 50 Cent was "[trying] to bring a very powerful new sound", and that is would be a "remarkable project".[34]

Play-N-Skillz also confirmed working with 50 Cent for the BISD project, saying:

Our rhythm on the drum pattern, we had to switch it up a little bit. 50 Cent said he wanted to go back to the boom-bap hard-core gangsta stuff. We tried to fit his style. I think 50 is gonna come back. He's a hitmaker. He's written a lot of hits for a lot of people. Sha told me 50's getting back in the Get Rich or Die Tryin' mode. 50 is a person who doesn't like to know who the producer is. He just likes to go in with the music. But Sha Money XL is going crazy for the tracks we sent.[35]

Singles[edit]

The album's intended lead single, "Get Up" was released for digital download on October 13, 2008, after earlier being released through 50 Cent's official Internet community ThisIs50.com.[36] The song features production from American record producer Scott Storch, and peaked at number 44 on the Billboard Hot 100. The music video was released to Vevo on June 16, 2009. The intended second promotional single, "I Get It In", was released in early January 2009, with production credited to Dr. Dre.[37] The song peaked at number 53 on the Billboard Hot 100. However, neither track appeared on the album, largely due to delays the album encountered.

The album's eventual lead promotional single, "OK, You're Right", was released for digital download on May 19, 2009, after originally being included on 50 Cent's seventh solo mixtape War Angel LP (2009). The song features production from Dr. Dre, with co-production from Mark Batson.[38] However, the song under-performed commercially, peaking at only number 20 on the Bubbling Under R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart in America. The album's lead single, "Baby by Me", was released for digital download on September 10, 2009. The song features American R&B singer Ne-Yo, and is produced by American record producer Polow da Don. The song peaked at number 28 on the Billboard Hot 100, and peaked in the upper regions of several national charts worldwide. The song features a sample from an earlier 50 Cent song, "I Get Money".[39]

The album's second single, "Do You Think About Me", was released for digital download on January 16, 2010. The song features uncredited vocals from R&B singer Governor, and is produced by record producer Rockwilder. However, the song was one of 50 Cent's least commercially successful singles to date, only peaking at number 7 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart in America. During an interview with MTV, 50 Cent announced that the third single to be released will be Get It Hot.[40] Shortly after this announcement, 50 Cent confirmed with MTV that "a visual" will be released for So Disrespectful.[41] However this did not materialize.

Commercial performance[edit]

The album sold 160,000 copies in its first week of release in The United States, debuting at number 5, according to Billboard.[42] Due to the album leaking on October 28,[43] nearly four weeks ahead of the original release date of November 23, the album was released exclusively to iTunes on November 9 and was physically released to stores on November 16, a week later.[44] Due to this unique circumstance, 50 Cent's label Interscope requested that Billboard and Nielson Soundscan delay charting the album for a week, so the first week digital sales were added to the total amount of albums sold between November 16 and 22.[45] The album sold 46,000 copies during its iTunes exclusive week,[46] meaning that 114,000 copies were sold between November 16 and 22.

The album fell 15 spots to number 20 on the billboard chart in its second week with sales of 66,000.[47] In its third week the album fell 20 spots to number 40 with sales of 30,000.[48] In its fourth week the album sold 23,000[49] falling to number 64 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. The album sold 26,000 copies in its 5th week[50] to land at number 67 on the chart, and continued to slowly increase in sales during the holiday season for its sixth week, landing at number 61 on the Billboard charts with sales of 29,000.[51] In the seventh week of sales the album sold 15,000 copies[52] to land at number 42 on the Billboard 200. This was the last sales week of 2009, placing the album at year-end sales of 349,153 and making it the 111th best selling album of 2009, after seven weeks of sales.[53]

Moving into 2010, in its eighth week of sales Before I Self Destruct sold 8,800[54] placing it at number 57. In its ninth week it sold 7,300[55] moving down to number 68. In its tenth week it sold 6,800[56] placing it at number 73 on the Billboard Top 200. In its eleventh week it sold 6,600 copies[57] to land at number 89 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. In its twelfth week the album saw an increase in sales to 8,500 copies[58] to land at number 73 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. In its 13th week it sold 8,100 copies to land at number 99 on the Billboard 200 chart. In its 14th week the album sold 7,000 copies to land at number 87 on the Billboard 200 chart. In its 15th week the album sold 8,400 copies to land at number 64 on the Billboard 200 chart.[59] In its 16th week the album sold 5,800 copies[60] to land at number 106 on the Billboard 200 chart. In its 17th week the album sold 5,000 copies[61] to land at number 129 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. In its 18th week the album sold 4,300 copies[62] to land at number 132 on the Billboard 200 chart. In its 19th week the album sold 3,700 copies[63] to land at number 154 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. In its 20th week the album sold 3,600 copies to land at number 182 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. In its 21st week the album sold 2,500 copies,[64] which was not enough to land in the Billboard Top 200 albums chart, however it landed at number 188 in the Top 200 Current Albums Chart. This was the last week the album would chart on the Billboard 200 or Billboard Top Current Albums Chart.

Before I Self Destruct has sold over 512,000 copies in the United States.[65] It was ranked 67th on the Billboard Year-End for 2010.[66] On January 21, 2010, the album was certified Gold by the RIAA[67] for shipment of 500,000 units. As of April 2014, the album has sold 512,000 copies in the United States.[68]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[69]
The A.V. Club B–[70]
Chicago Tribune 2/4 stars[71]
Entertainment Weekly B–[72]
Pitchfork Media 6.0/10[73]
PopMatters 7/10[74]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[75]
Slant Magazine 3/5 stars[76]
Spin 5/10[77]
USA Today 2.5/4 stars[78]

Before I Self Destruct received generally positive reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 62, based on 15 reviews.[79] Allmusic called it "a fantastic juggernaut of a 50 album if you exit early, and a very good one even if you don't".[69] Entertainment Weekly wrote that "Growling violent threats over hard beats, 50 sounds the hungriest he has in years. Of course, there’s nothing remotely original about the formula he’s returning to, but at least he’s going through the motions with gusto".[72] The A.V. Club said that, "If Destruct qualifies as a pleasant surprise, it’s only because 50 Cent’s last few releases set the bar so low. Still, for the first time since The Massacre, it’s once again intermittently fun to root for the bad guy"[70] Pitchfork Media wrote that, "After initially promising a return to form, 50 doesn't have the ability or initiative to hold the listener's interest over the long run."[73] PopMatters said that, "With surprisingly little filler, renewed energy, and the unique glimpse Before I Self Destruct offers into the psyche of a public figure as intriguing as Curtis Jackson, 50 Cent has crafted easily his best album since "Get Rich or Die Trying."[74]

In a mixed review, Rolling Stone magazine called it "an album where 'Got more guns than a gun store' passes for wordplay — but that's how 50 sticks to basics".[75] Greg Kot of the Chicago Tribune wrote that, "about halfway through the album, 50 Cent detours from the street to the bedroom."[71] The New York Times wrote, "Taken as a whole this album has a pleasingly morbid tone, in keeping with the best moments from 50 Cent’s first two albums. But context is this album’s undoing."[80] Slant Magazine's Jesse Cataldo stated, "Before I Self Destruct plays as a prudent step back ... the album possesses a sense of latent menace that's been left unexplored since his early mixtapes."[76] Marc Hogan of Spin criticized 50 Cent's rapping on the album's first half and stated, "The last several tracks shift to the club -- sometimes smoothly (baby-making Ne-Yo duet 'Baby By Me'), more often not (baby-mama dis 'Do You Think About Me')".[77] MSN Music's Robert Christgau gave the album a "dud" rating ((dud)),[81] indicating "a bad record whose details rarely merit further thought."[82]

Track listing[edit]

  • All song samples, writing and production credits are according to the album booklet.
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "The Invitation"   Curtis Jackson, Tyrone Fyffe, Manuel Perez Ty Fyffe, Manny Perez (co.) 2:54
2. "Then Days Went By"   Jackson, Darren Billy, Jr., Bill Withers Lab Ox, Vikaden (co.) 3:44
3. "Death to My Enemies"   Jackson, Andre Young, Mark Batson, Trevor Lawrence, Jr., Dawaun Parker, Mike Elizondo Dr. Dre, Mark Batson 3:46
4. "So Disrespectful"   Jackson, Justin Henderson, Chris Whitacre Tha Bizness 3:39
5. "Psycho" (featuring Eminem) Jackson, Marshall Mathers, Young, Lawrence, Parker Dr. Dre 4:45
6. "Hold Me Down"   Jackson, J. Groover, Y. Davis Team Ready, J Keys 3:19
7. "Crime Wave"   Jackson, J. Fragala, D. Zacharias, W. Witherspoon, A Bond Team Demo 3:44
8. "Stretch"   Jackson, Ricardo Thomas Rick Rock 4:07
9. "Strong Enough"   Jackson, C. Ruelas, Q. Hysaw, C. McMurray, G. Jones, P. Sawyer Nascent, QB da Problem 3:02
10. "Get It Hot"   Jackson, M. Davis Black Key 2:59
11. "Gangsta's Delight"   Jackson, Kejuan Muchita, B. Edwards, N. Rodgers Havoc 3:14
12. "I Got Swag"   Jackson, R. Frazier, W. Hutchinson, D. Jolicoeur, K. Mercer Dual Output 3:34
13. "Baby by Me" (featuring Ne-Yo) Jackson, Jamal Jones, Shaffer Smith Polow da Don 3:33
14. "Do You Think About Me"   Jackson, Dana Stinson, Governor Washington Rockwilder 3:26
15. "Ok, You're Right"   Jackson, A. Young, M. Batson, T. Lawrence, D. Parker Dr. Dre, Mark Batson 3:04
16. "Could've Been You" (bonus track) (featuring R. Kelly) C. Jackson, A. Young, R. Kelly, K. Rahman, C. Injeti DJ Khalil 4:20
Notes
  • Track 14, featuring uncredited vocals by Governor.
Sample credits

Personnel[edit]

Charts[edit]

Charts (2009) Peak
position
Australian Albums Chart[83] 19
Austrian Albums Chart[84] 41
Belgian Albums Chart (Flanders)[84] 34
Belgian Albums Chart (Wallonia)[84] 47
Canadian Albums Chart[85] 11
Dutch Albums Chart[84] 54
European Top 100 Albums[86] 22
French Albums Chart[83] 15
German Albums Chart[83] 36
Irish Albums Chart[83] 18
Italian Albums Chart[87] 67
New Zealand Albums Chart[88] 35
Swiss Albums Chart[84] 13
UK Albums Chart[83] 22
US Billboard 200[86] 5
US Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums[86] 1
US Billboard Top Rap Albums[86] 1

Release history[edit]

Country Date Label Format
United States[89] November 9, 2009 Interscope Records iTunes download
Germany[90] November 13, 2009 Universal Music CD, CD+DVD, digital download
United States[91] November 16, 2009 Interscope Records CD, Super Deluxe Edition CD+2 DVD (Best Buy exclusive)
United Kingdom[92] Polydor Records Standard (CD, digital download)
Deluxe (CD+DVD)
France[93] Interscope Records CD, digital download
Japan[94] November 18, 2009 Universal International
Brazil[95] November 27, 2009 Universal Music

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