Harold Stallworth steers clear of candy shops and amusement parks.
Last month, somewhere about Valentine’s Day, 50 Cent announced his departure from Interscope Records via press release. After a nearly decade-long tenure on the affluent label, he’s finally taking his G-Unit imprint independent with the help of Caroline Distribution. Things look bleak for the crack slinger turned entertainment mogul, but if you’re panning for a silver lining to 50’s twilight career trajectory, look no further than the late-aughts run of his former labelmate, Prodigy.
The blindsiding 1-2-3 punch of Return of the Mac, HNIC 2, and Product of the ’80s was a wonderfully prolific chapter in Prodigy’s solo career, ripe with blaxploitation riffs and conspiracy theories and brilliantly executed sci-fi tropes. Similar to his filthy rich Queens counterpart, Prodigy was written off, cast aside, and lost among the ever-evolving mainstream fray. And like so much of Prodigy’s post-Blood Money, pre-prison bid output, the recent leaks from 50 Cent’s forthcoming Animal Ambition LP bend and blur the line between street noir and criminology. On the newest leak, “Hold On,” he taunts an incarcerated Jimmy Henchmen, prodding him through cold federal bars with the long arm of poetic license.
50 Cent is due for a “tree falling in the woods” type of resurgence. What he lacks in Alchemist and Sid Roams, he makes up for with the likes of Jake One and Frank Dukes. The ball is in 50’s court, as always.