Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

50 Cent: Curtis [Interscope, 2007]
The first giveaway is a lie no less bold-faced with his Connecticut mansion on the trading block: "I ain't fresh out the hood, I still in the hood." The second is a truth all too revealing of the lost urgency of his aesthetic motivation: "I ain't even gotta rap now, life is made." What the two boil down to is that a parvenu mastering pop music for money has turned into a made man running on vanity. I find that this renders his expert trivialization of murder and such rather less piquant, and I think he does too--that an audacious formal delight has become routine. And though his sex talk retains some charm, Eminem's gross-out cameo casts a pall. Is Slim trying to one-up R. Kelly or just his D12 doxy Bizarre? B