Before I Self Destruct

Music review by
Jacqueline Rupp, Common Sense Media
Before I Self Destruct Music Poster Image
Violent rap release is for adult Fiddy fans only.

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 7 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive Messages

Violence is shown as the way to succeed and gain people's respect. "N---a it's murder one when you see my gun!" These is also a level of intimidation that persists on many of the songs: "Now see it how I see it; or I bring the straps out!"

Positive Role Models & Representations

50 Cent presents an image that says might makes right and that it's okay to cheat on women and profit off of drugs and crime. His message gets a little scarier when he moves into sociopathic messages that make killing seem like a casual part of any day.


50 Cent describes himself as criminal minded on "The Invitation." "I serve 'em with the Semi, feed 'em a clip for breakfast....You jus' bleed and bleed till the police come! -- Huh? You want some?" Various types of guns are name-dropped and murder is threatened. "Got more guns than a gun store." The track "Psycho" is especially violent.


"Your daddy f--ked your mama, then f--ked your sister! Then climbed in your bed, playin' with you sh--ter!" "Hold Me Down" features some sexually suggestive lines, such as: "Use my finger, get ya hot girl, i know ya spot." Women are portrayed as gold diggers who shouldn't complain about 50 Cent's infidelity on "Do You Think About Me?" "I wanna f--k your friends and live comfortably."


"F--k" and the N-word litter every song. There are also plenty of "bitches," "ho"s and "s--t" on most of the songs.


More varieties of guns than most firearms encyclopedias.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

There's discussion about people being drunk and various drugs like heroin and "dope" are mentioned as well as baggies and grams of "stuff" that give a nod to drugs, along with a mention of a "crackhouse."

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that although this album might not be as sick and twisted as Eminem's Relapse, it does focus on violent threats and imagery. 50 Cent talks about shooting people that don't see things his way and discusses more varieties of guns than most firearms encyclopedias. Besides the intense violence here, there's also lot of profanity, with "f--k" and the N-word being 50 Cent's two favorite curse words. Women don't fare well on the album; they're viewed as sex objects or gold diggers who shouldn't complain about 50 Cent's infidelity. The album also contains the 50 Cent movie of the same name that is equally loaded with gun violence and bad language.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of an infant, 2, 4, 7, and 11-year-old Written bylindsey678 February 2, 2011

BAD PARENTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

IF YOU LET A KID 14 AND UNDER LISTEN TO THIS CD THEN YOU ARE A BAD PARENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Teen, 14 years old Written byspeyan727 September 11, 2018
Kid, 11 years old March 8, 2015



What's the story?

BEFORE I SELF DESTRUCT has been several years in the making. The album was actually completed in 2007, but 50 Cent chose to release Curtis instead. By 2008, singles from Before I Self Destruct were hitting the airwaves, and it has been a steady stream of releases from the album ever since. Lloyd Banks and Ne-Yo appear on individual tracks, while Dr. Dre can be found as producer on a few as well. The bulk of the album covers inner-city struggle as "Fiddy" recounts his rise to the top. On more than a few songs he interjects more current struggles with women and phony rappers.

Is it any good?

For loyal fans of  50 Cent, this album shouldn't disappoint. It's basically consistent with what the rapper has delivered in the past. Although the album is definitely not for kids (or teens!), adult listeners should appreciate a sound that is less heavy and dense than previous releases. By adding a few varying hooks and piano touches, the album doesn't drone on...too much. Some songs like "Stretch" and "Days Went By" break up the monotony a bit, but the lyrics in general lag and the album lacks the creativity and enthusiasm of many of today's other popular rappers.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violent images. How do you feel when you watch something violent happen on a TV show or at the movies? Does it bother you or can you just blow it off? Do you think violent lyrics can ever be appropriate for tweens or teens? Do you think make-believe violence can still affect how you think about violence and how you behave?

  • Talk about rappers as role models. What makes these hip-hop stars, who talk about murdering people, selling drugs, and disrespecting women, accepted celebrities who appear on talk shows and enjoy mainstream media exposure? Do you think their popularity makes the messages they promote more acceptable? Do their images differ any from their rhymes? Is the marketing of many rappers toned down for younger audiences?

  • Families can talk about reality versus fiction. Many rappers sing about leading a thug life, murdering people with ease, and breaking laws wherever they go. Do you think this is how their lives really work? Or, do you think this is an image that they're selling to their audience? What about rappers like 50 Cent, who is widely known to have been shot many times, and T.I., who is now serving a prison sentence for weapons charges?

Music details

  • Artist: 50 Cent
  • Release date: November 16, 2009
  • Label: Aftermath
  • Genre: Rap
  • Parental advisory: Yes
  • Edited version available: Yes
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

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