Is 50 Cent Changing His Tune on Lil Wayne?
It’s been many years since Lil Wayne’s beef with 50 Cent when 50 famously called Weezy a “whore”. However, 50 seems to have changed his point of view on Lil Wayne. Whether it’s 50’s twilight years retrospective or the fact that he himself has become the victim of a forced “washed up” phase in his career, there is no question that 50 cent is a vocal supporter of Weezy F. Baby.
In 2007 when speaking with Funkmaster Flex, 50 Cent called Lil Wayne a “whore” saying “A whore sleeps with whoever will pay ‘em. So we gotta call him a whore. If he’ll just go with whoever pay him to be on their records.” It wasn’t all hate however, 50 added “He makes those records good. It’s just that he works with anybody. You gotta kinda make it an event.”
This was a time when unbeknownst to 50 Cent, his career was in decline. He was preparing for a September 11th album release showdown with Kanye West in which he challenged Kanye saying that if Kanye outsold him he would retire from rapping. Kanye’s “Graduation” outsold 50’s “Curtis” 957,000 to 691,000 in 2007. Now to be fair, 691,000 copies is more than anyone in today’s rap industry is selling, but for a guy who said he would retire if he didn’t outsell Kanye, it was a pretty large defeat.
In the time following that diss of Lil Wayne and the loss to Kanye with “Curtis”, a lot of lyrical back and forth dissing ensued. In Lil Wayne and Birdman’s “S on My Chest” Wayne spat “I’m a whore, you know that I’m a whore” and “If you say you want beef then I got ya boy! I just let the Big Mac Whop-a-boy”. And in “Louisianimal”, Weezy got a bit more personal rapping “I’m all about a dollar, fuck two quarters! I pour syrup in ya Vitamin Water.”
Lil Wayne was quoted saying that Pimp C had advised him not to respond to the disses, that the only person that benefitted was the person who dissed you in the first place, so for a good while Weezy didn’t respond to the beef instigation, but it seemed that at a certain point he’d had enough. Lil Wayne’s view on beefing has always been well summed up in his quote from “I’m Blooded” in which he stated “they barking at the dog, but I don’t bite back. I ain’t CPR I ain’t bringing they life back.” This quote aims to say that Lil Wayne has always realized that most of the time people diss you it’s because they are looking to piggy back off of your brand equity. The goal is that 50 Cent disses Lil Wayne, Lil Wayne disses him back, and then the media attention brings 50 Cent’s name back into the limelight. If Weezy never responds however, 50 Cent is left looking desperate as someone who is only seeking attention and Lil Wayne doesn’t even see as a current threat.
Now, I’m not criticizing 50 Cent or insinuating that he only attacked Lil Wayne out of desperation. 50’s M.O. has always been to beef and murder. He always had a loyal fanbase and he used it to bully other artists, he was very successful with this tactic. It seems now in retrospect, that 50 was threatened by Lil Wayne and didn’t understand his business model. Appearing on the enormous quantity of songs that Lil Wayne did from 2007-2011 is something that had never been done before, and probably never will be done again. Most rappers at the time thought Lil Wayne would suffer from over-exposure and that his fan base, or at least his casual fans, would eventually tire from his sound and his verses, and eventually turn to hate him.
The opposite happened. The Carter III sold over 1 million copies in its first week (in a time when no rapper sold 1 million copies in a month, even despite a major track leak!), and Lil Wayne’s fan base grew to the image of millions of addicts that fiended for new Lil Wayne music whenever they could get it. Wayne fed fans with feature after feature, mixtape after mixtape, and seemingly never stopped, until prison.
But the tune of 50 cent towards Lil Wayne has certainly changed now. After multiple appearances on Shade 45 and speaking with Angie Martinez, 50 has made numerous complimentary statements of Lil Wayne, just recently stating he doesn’t think Lil Wayne has ever fallen off. One has to wonder though, not only is 50 giving Wayne credit for now being an un-disputable OG and one of the greatest rappers of all time, but is 50’s current position as a “former great” forcing him to keep from insulting the likes of the Lil Wayne’s and Jay Z’s of the world. Is the only status that 50 Cent has left in Hip Hop that of a former great? And if that’s true, does 50 realize that he needs the support and alliance of other former/current greats such as Weezy and Hov to stay in that role and not be outcast?
Obviously the likes of Eminem and Dr. Dre are not going to abandon 50 Cent. They were partially responsible for his rise to power in the first place, and it would hurt their legacies as the artists who signed him to now have his legacy be one of former greatness. But legends such as Lil Wayne, Jay-Z and Nas, have no stock in the well-being of the legacy of 50 Cent. It would seem that in the now fading limelight of 50 Cent’s career, he’s taking great care that the future Tupac’s of the Hip Hop world such as Lil Wayne, have no reason to alienate him and keep him from being remembered in the Hip Hop Hall of Fame. As long as 50 can keep in the good graces of those artists, it bodes well for him for riding off into the sunset as a rap legend.
So, yes. 50 Cent has changed his tune on Lil Wayne, and he has changed his tune to a very loud, pro Lil Tunechi, tune.