I have exciting things to do right now, but I thought I’d point out that 50 Cent just did an interview with Joystiq (kinda), and they asked him a bunch of questions and he answered them. I thought I’d highlight this segment, just, you know, because:
On a more serious note, how do you feel specifically about the effect of things like the taunts and the vulgarity in the game on hip-hop culture and African-American culture in America?
The harsh realities are, these words exist. I didn’t make them up. To create a description of a person’s lifestyle or their behaviors, we utilize these things. Now, I mean, for you to be there and to be representing a company that they have you asking questions, I know that you understand the information that I’m relaying to you at this point.
So, when you say “bitch” at certain points, it’s to describe a person’s behaviors at that point. If you say “ho”, it’s because she might be wanting to suck a dick right now, she might be wanting to go on a date, she might be in pornography, she might be… There’s a class of people who would classify those things. So now, if the game is too aggressive for certain people, then, you know, it’s rated “mature.” That right there … are the standards they’ve created to say “this is acceptable for adult entertainment.” For me to change those requirements or to have more responsibility than anyone else has is a bit unfair, from my perspective I feel like. If you’re saying I’ve become so influential that I need to make specific adjustments and changes, I’m flattered by that but I don’t believe that.
I guess I’m more specifically wondering how you felt about the influence on the youth of hip-hop and African-American culture in America.
Well it’s rated mature, so the youth really shouldn’t come in contact with it unless they have someone around who can explain it. If you have someone around you, an adult — if it’s rated mature, then someone mature should actually have it. And if a kid does interact with it or has it, someone should be around to explain it. When you go into a film that’s rated R, do they have an adult outside to tell you it’s okay to go in or not? ‘Cause they’ll use all the terminologies you’re talking about. But keep the standard across the board — don’t make it just for the video game because it’s 50 Cent’s video game. You know what I’m saying to you? And everything that’s mentioned in the game will be in your films. And everyone on the other end of this phone knows this. Since cable television.
See the freedom with the web … it provided a new freedom. When we used to have to rely on BET and MTV and the other networks to actually reach the consumers for different products. That’s not so true anymore. Like, the number one music video on BET is playing six times a week. You see what I’m sayin’? So all that video does on that network is to tell them to go to YouTube and other sites that would actually have that content. Whatever time. If you just got home from work or you just got out of school or whatever you did when you have free time the web will be on-demand television. But all of these terminologies are being used even further. So even if your kid is sheltered to the point where they don’t interact with anyone who says these things, I’m sure they’re hearing these terminologies.
And then this:
So, just to be clear, you don’t feel any responsibility towards your fans with regards to the derogatory terms — the language used in the game.
I don’t feel like it’ll effect ’em. I don’t feel like they’re hearing anything for the first time in this game. Ben, let me ask you a question, what is your nationality?
Well, I’m American too. I’m saying your ethnicity.
My ethnicity — like what color am I? Is that what you’re asking?
Yeah, well, what would be a derogatory term to your culture or how you was raised?
I guess “whitey” or something like that. I’m a white guy if that’s what you’re asking.
Oh, you’re a white guy. I could kinda figure that out through your tone of voice. Check this out, Ben. A lot of times the terminologies that are being used are coming from the culture or the environment that you’re in. So, it might not sound as aggressive if you heard someone say, “He’s a redneck up the block,” if he’s a white guy saying the other guy’s a redneck.
But you’ll feel like I’m saying something negatory if I’m like, “This fucking redneck just cut me off, down the street,” ’cause, you know what I’m saying, where I’m from. I think it’s being responsible by making this a fictional plot and not having it be so real to the kids who walk out from seeing this kid feeling like they should go do this.
You’re from Joystiq.com, right?
Yeah, I’m from Joystiq.com.
Ben, I’m gonna watch what you write. I swear I’m gonna find yo ass!
I’m only going to write what you say, 50. Don’t worry.
[Later on, while answering a question from another person] This guy is actually asking me whether I feel uncomfortable with saying curses at some points. Do you not live in the same society I live in?
It’s not necessarily the curse words, it’s the effect that you might be having. I’m not saying whether it’s right or wrong, I’m just wondering how you feel about it, you know?
What I’d like to do, I’d like to remix “We Are the World” with you. [laughs] I’d like to a lot of things that I don’t actually have the power to actually change. So when you say, from a creative standpoint, are there things I’m wiling to do? Yes. But, check this out. For me, in a song, there’s only three minutes. three minutes and fifty seconds max, right? I can only give you descriptions of actions. I can’t give you cause-and-effect, I can’t give develop reasoning for dysfunctional behavior. I can’t do any of that. I just gotta give you what happened specifically.
So, a lot of times you revisit things that you’ve experienced or things that went on around you until you capture it perfectly And after you’ve done that, you gotta move forward, you gotta move forward. You gotta do things differently. Now you got a lot of guys out there who’ve achieved zero success and guess what they write about? The lifestyle I have right now. Because they aspire to live life on the highest level, they write luxury. And I understand it. I actually was one of those people. Now after I’ve achieved the success that I’ve achieved in the last six years that I’ve been consider what we would call “successful,” I totally focus on the struggle. I focus on how far I came. So I have more interest in writing the portion of my life when I didn’t have than where I’m at right now. And that’s a little weird, it’s a little backwards but it’s honestly where I’m at right now.
Now it’s not like 50 distinguishes himself as a paragon of awesomeness, virtue, and all things wonderful and non-offensive in his music (and it’s not liek I think he’s the next great socially conscious artist out there), but he definitely has Mr. Joystiq here. I do like how the guy keeps on asking about “hip hop culture and African American culture” like they’re one and the same. And by like I mean, that must have been awkward. Oh, and if you ask me, it’s tough to call a artist on swearing or being offensive (destroying our youth, you know), when we’re part of the video game industry. Which is such a… great influence on young people. I mean, look at the new House of the Dead. Or maybe Resident Evil 5! We’re like paragons of virtue!