50 Cent released his third album, Curtis, on September 11, 2007. Although he was already a household name by that point, the album couldn’t have come at a better time. As his music career was still at its peak, Curtis was a continuation of commercial glory for 50 Cent. The beloved body of work turned 16 this year and has been a notable vessel in his lauded discography.
Despite his troubled rise, 50 Cent was clearly destined for fame. After releasing his debut album in 2003, his career experienced a meteoric rise in Hip Hop’s stratosphere. 50 Cent has since evolved into a multifaceted entertainment mogul. Furthermore, his influence now extends far beyond music. However, his stellar career as a rap giant cannot be swept aside, especially with albums like Curtis under his belt.
The Rise Of Curtis
LAS VEGAS – SEPTEMBER 09: Rapper Kanye West and Rapper 50-Cent during the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards at The Palms Hotel and Casino on September 9, 2007 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jason Squires/WireImage)
50 Cent already had two multi-platinum albums in his roster before releasing the eponymous Curtis. Naturally, due to his incredible success with Get Rich or Die Tryin’ and The Massacre, Curtis was highly anticipated. Moreover, the buzz surrounding the album was elevated due to it being released on the same day as Kanye West’s third album, Graduation. Hip Hop fans had a field day, as the media greatly raised attention to the friendly rivalry over album sales. Upon its release, Curtis debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 chart, behind Graduation.
50 Cent Explores New Themes On Curtis
50 Cent enlisted major producers, including Dr. Dre and Timbaland to work on Curtis. The production style on the album eventually became a fusion of diverse musical elements. It incorporated samples, synthesizers, and live instrumentation to create a rich sonic landscape that complemented 50 Cent’s lyrical themes. On the album, he covered topics such as love, his rise to fame, and his street credibility. Furthermore, the album did not have a single all-encompassing theme, which, in hindsight, probably led to its mixed reception. Curtis is a mesh of different themes that all come together, with pop elements that were missing from his previous works.
Singles And Guest Appearances
Curtis is a star-studded 17-track album, with 50 Cent having a hoard of artists from a plethora of genres. Notable features on the album range from Justin Timberlake and Timbaland, who appeared on the successful single, “Ayo Technology,” to Akon on “I’ll Still Kill.” Other features include Eminem on “Peep Show,” Robin Thicke on “Follow My Lead,” and Mary J. Blige on “All of Me,” among others. Two of the album’s singles, “I Get Money” and “Ayo Technology” peaked within the top 20 of the Hot 100 chart. “Straight to the Bank” and “I’ll Still Kill” peaked at numbers 32 and 95 respectively. “Amusement Park,” the first single released out of the five, did not make an appearance on the Hot 100 chart, however.
Reception And Commercial Success
Curtis received mixed reviews from critics largely pointing out 50 Cent’s tested formula and and failure to evolve. Nonetheless, the reception towards the album’s production was stellar. Moreover, fans lauded the album, leading to its massive commercial triumph. Despite its lukewarm reception, Curtis peaked at number two on the Billboard 200 chart, with 691,000 copies sold in its first week.
While Curtis did not achieve the same level of commercial success as his previous albums, it still contributed to cementing his status as a prominent figure in the rap industry. 16 years after its initial release date, the album is just as enjoyable now as it was when it first dropped. Curtis is still widely regarded as a staple album in the rapper’s large catalog. Since Curtis, 50 Cent has released two more solo studio albums, and a hoard of mixtapes.