It looks like hip-hop is embracing the concept of the short film. Just days after Kanye West’s “We Were Once a Fairytale” — an introspective meditation about isolation — leaked, 50 Cent unleashed his own entry: the video for “Crime Wave,” the first official single off his upcoming Before I Self Destruct, on his ThisIs50 Website. But where West’s collaboration with director Spike Jonze is aimed for the art-house crowd, 50’s mini-movie is modeled on a big-budget blockbuster, complete with explosions following the opening credits.
If “Crime Wave” had to receive an MPAA rating, it would definitely be an emphatic R. Within the first two minutes, expletives fly at a Pulp Fiction-esque rate and 50 graphically kills someone with a shotgun. Then the music finally starts and the MC starts rapping all about the gangsta game; ironically, the clip glorifying gun violence arrived the same day Lil Wayne pleaded guilty to firearms charges.
As the song’s title hints, the video features 50 Cent and his felonious associate going on a multi-borough crime wave that includes bashing a Long Island drug dealer with a hammer after he’s light on his payment, slashing the face of another dude under the Brooklyn Bridge and using a baseball bat to break the leg of an unsuspecting Harlem criminal. The “Crime Wave” finally comes to an end when police catch up to 50 Cent’s ostentatious blue car. “To be continuedâ€¦” reads the final overlay before fading to black.
After a year’s worth of delays, 50 Cent will finally release Before I Self Destruct on November 23rd, giving Queens, New York, a challenger in an insane new release battle that will also include Rihanna’s Rated R, Adam Lambert’s For Your Entertainment, Shakira’s She Wolf, Britney Spears’ The Singles Collection, Timbaland’s Shock Value 2 and Lady Gaga’s The Fame Monster. That’s a stacked week of music. As Rolling Stone previously reported, 50 Cent released both the Forever King and War Angel mixtapes this summer in anticipation of Self Destruct.