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50 Cent Is Blamed for "Pulling Apart" New York City's Rap Scene on Hot 97

Fif also discusses turning down half a million dollars to campaign for Trump.

by Phil Witmer
Sep 27 2017, 3:51pm

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50 Cent has been on an interview spree lately to promote his new BET show 50 Central, showing up on The View to talk about the wave of #TakeTheKnee protests against Donald Trump in American sports. He recently sat down with Hot 97 and Beats 1 DJ Ebro Darden to discuss his own interactions with Trump ("his presidency is an accident"), such as refusing to make a public appearance as part of his election campaign in 2016 ("they was having issues with the African-American vote," says 50) despite being offered $500,000. As sensational as that tidbit is, it's not what gets 50 going.

At one point, after acknowledging the staying power of Jay-Z's 4:44 (a common topic for pretty much all rap interviews this year, looks like) 50 and Ebro get onto the general topic of NYC's hip-hop scene through the ages, with 50 bemoaning a lack of healthy competitiveness in the community over the last 15 years or so. He then blames Ebro for not playing enough local artists when he was Hot 97's program director in the mid-to-late 00s, leading to an exchange of rebuttals between the two.

50: You're saying that New York City hip-hop died. I didn't shoot it. You did it.

Ebro: You pulled it apart. You had everybody beefing with you. Anybody who did a record with [Fat] Joe or Ja [Rule] was beefing with you. At a time when we could have had unity, the marquee artists did not wanna work together.

Ebro's argument seems to be that, though Fif was a phenomenon, he didn't cultivate his scene the same way someone like Drake did for Toronto (my example, not his). You could also definitely argue that the latter is growing talent just to farm it for himself, but growth is growth. The whole interview is worth a watch, and you can do so above.