Today sees the release of 50 Cent‘s fifth studio album, Animal Ambition, which marks his first disc as an independent artist. The rapper feels he’s become a more effective artist after departing with his longtime record label, Universal Music Group’s Interscope Records, and Eminem‘s imprint, Shady/Aftermath.
“Timing means everything in the music business, music marks time,” 50 tells ABC News Radio. “The actual period that it comes out, that’s like if someone is in a relationship with someone, they’ll say ‘This is our song.’ And when that song comes on years later they will reflect on how they felt when it first came”
He continues, “So now I have the ability to release a record instead of having to go through the audition process. Even being an established artist and having a successful sales history, there’s a point where you have to play your music in a staff meeting and then you want everyone to be impressed so it creates a morale. I don’t actually have to do that audition,” he say, laughing.
The rapper’s new-found independence lead to an unconventional promotional campaign that featured new music being released every week leading up the album’s launch date. The first offering, “Smoke,” featuring Trey Songz, was produced two years ago by Dr. Dre. The rapper tells ABC News Radio how the record came together.
“I ran into Trey and I told him that I needed him to hear it, because he didn’t even remember the record, he recorded it like two years ago,” Fiddy recalls. “So when he got a chance to listen to it, he was like, ‘Oh yo! I want to re-vocal it because the way I’m doing it now it’s a little different.'”
50 agreed that reworking the track would “make it more current,” adding, “it only took about three sessions before [Trey] was really happy with it.”
The rapper adds, “When he brought it back, I changed my vocals in the chorus, because I want it to match what he had did at that point and then we were done with the actual record.”
50 says Animal Ambition‘s concept is about prosperity, which is an idea he feels many fans will relate to. “You hear it in one piece and you listen to it, you understand why its conceptually the way it is,” he says. “It’s pretty tough for you to turn your nose up at prosperity. The people that I have value for in my life all have an interest in living on a decent life and on a good level, so there’s things on the record relate to that.”
After being in the industry for more than a decade, 50 also says he isn’t worrying about first-week album sales. “It doesn’t event matter to me, because everything is a failure moving forward, considering what I’ve already experienced, like everything would be so low that I have to make it not matter to me,” 50 says. “I’ve had such a huge successful sales history that if you came in saying, ‘I gotta do this much.’ And then you look around, you’d say, ‘Well, nobody is doing that.'”
Animal Ambition‘s 11 tracks features contributions from Yo Gotti, Jadakiss and Styles P, and a bonus track, which includes a collaboration with ScHoolboy Q. The set marks 50 Cent’s first offering since 2009’s Before I Self-Destruct.
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio