A shadow of himself: Is 50 Cent's career wasting away too?
It's gotta be tough being gangsta' when you only weigh about 100 and change.
Unlike past 50 Cent shows in Houston in which the Queens rapper (born Curtis Jackson III) took the stage yoked with muscles, scarred from past bullet wounds and boasting the most coveted rap records in the country, the new 50 Cent (who hits the Arena Theater Saturday night) is a shadow of his former self in more ways than one.
His last album, last year's Before I Self Destruct, sold a bit over 500,000 copies in the United States, which is a far cry from the nearly eight million copies of his major label debut, Get Rich Or Die Tryin' back in 2003. Back then, 50's mix of tough talk and helplessly catchy beats and rhymes on songs like "In Da Club" and "P.I.M.P." were the toast of the rap world.
Unfortunately, rap superstardom goes bad quicker than an avocado and fans have long since moved on to newer, younger talents (Rihanna ... Drake ... are you listening? The clock is ticking. Enjoy it while it lasts).
Rather than fade into obscurity, however, 50 Cent has thrown himself into movies in a rather disturbing way. In the last few months he has lost over 50 pounds in preparation for a role in which he plays a football player stricken with cancer. Recent pictures of him show his former bulky frame stripped down to bones. Truth be told, he looks a little malnourished.
While prepping for the movie he has also put the final touches on a new album, Black Magic, scheduled to be released later this year. With any luck he'll preview a few of the new rhymes in Houston.
The main attraction, however, will be to see what 50 Cent looks like in the flesh ... which is about all he has left.
50 Cent, Saturday at 8 p.m. at Arena Theater