50 Cent On Wisin Y Yandel

Although 50 Cent has collaborated with countless musicians, few of those tracks made it onto another artist's album. With the reggaetón duo Wisin & Yandel and the track "Mujeres En El Club," 50 Cent not only made the album but took it upon himself to promote the song and feature it on his Web site. The move highlights the importance of the Latin market to one of hip-hop's biggest stars and opens the door for other high-profile collaborations between Latin and mainstream.
WATCH THE BILLBOARD COVER SHOOT: Go behind-the-scenes at the Billboard cover shoot with 50 Cent and Wisin & Yandel.

What was it like working with Wisin & Yandel?

When they sent the actual concept, I listened to it and the melodies completely fit me. It could be a song that I could do apart from them. So we're meeting on a ground that is completely comfortable for both of us. My duet with Justin Timberlake, for example-there is more compromise for me there. The content is similar to what you can see from 50 Cent, but the actual rap, style and cadence is different. But when I go into the song with Wisin & Yandel I didn't even have to make those cadence changes.

Had you deliberately gone after the Latin market before?

I've had huge success in Latin markets without intentionally reaching for that audience. And I'd like to maybe remix different things with different artists, and creatively, I'd like to do more stuff with Wisin & Yandel. I think hip-hop in general has changed dramatically based on artists reaching for other people. If you look at the artists out there, I think they're a reflection of what was rock'n'roll. In general, they're doing a style that isn't hip-hop. They're doing things that aren't traditional at all.
Is this what's happening with your music?

What I fell in love with and inspired me to get into hip-hop is dwindling away. I'd like to be a representation of that, because there isn't much of that left. I think people are so conscious of the numbers they're not being creative anymore. I've received nothing but positive feedback on this collaboration. And it's a surprise because it's playing in a space where you wouldn't traditionally hear 50 Cent. It's exciting and it's a whole new charge of energy for the person that is tuning in.

Can collaborations hurt or cannibalize other product from the same artist?

Absolutely not. It allows you to write outside of whatever your album concept was. When I'm putting together my album conceptually, I develop this thing in my head and on paper of what I want it to feel like. Sometimes I need to do things several times to get it right. I feel a song is a piece of what they were putting together as part of the actual album. And if the album is sequenced properly, it could be something people consider a classic and you fall in love with every song. I think even the best albums we love would have been different if they had been sequenced different.

You say your album, "Before I Self Destruct," will come out in August or September. What about your film?

I wrote, directed and produced the project. With the purchase of the CD you get the film. I wanted my audience to see it, because I was inspired by what I wrote on the album. I wanted to create reasons for the actions, and I was able to develop cause and effect. When the song is three minutes long you only have time to create descriptions; you can't explain why things are the way the are. That's why I put it in the album package. It's a different form of entertainment. I feel music marks time, and there's a lot of great music being made now that doesn't completely match the time period.

Do you have a first single yet?

When these guys finish mixing I'll finish making the decisions. People look at my projects as if it's only 50, but it's really 50 Cent up to Dr. Dre and Eminem standards.

Is there anything about your Latin America performances that stand out?

While I was performing in Medellín [Colombia] this girl near the front was so excited and she was so beautiful, and I thought, 'Oh, my God, I want to have kids. With her. Now.' And when the concert was over she was gone.