Bootlegging Woes Advance 50 Cent's 'Massacre'
With anticipation high for 50 Cent's latest album and bootleg copies beginning to appear in major markets, Shady/Aftermath/Interscope has bumped up his sophomore album five days to an off-cycle ThursdWith anticipation high for 50 Cent's latest album and bootleg copies beginning to appear in major markets, Shady/Aftermath/Interscope has bumped up his sophomore album five days to an off-cycle Thursday, March 3 release. "The Massacre" features guest appearances by 50's G-Unit crew, protégé the Game, Olivia and Jamie Foxx.
Albums typically hit stores on Tuesdays, allowing for six days of sales of new releases. In recent years, it has become common to move up scheduled release dates to off-cycle days to thwart the availability of pirated copies.
Among the higher profile instances of this practice was November's early issue of Shady/Aftermath/Interscope labelmate Eminem's "Encore." That set managed to sell 711,000 copies and debut at No. 1 despite only being available for three days of the chart week.
"Fans want instant gratification, especially when they are fiending for my music. They'll even risk buying the wrong s*** from bootleggers," 50 Cent says in statement. "I want them to have the real thing as soon as possible."
Another incentive for fans to wait for the legitimate release of "The Massacre" is a limited-edition version including a CD key that unlocks exclusive content including a bonus track and a trailer for 50 Cent's upcoming video game, "Bullet Proof." Ten copies out of the 250,000-pressing will reward buyers as winners of the Ultimate G-Unit Soldier contest, with G-Unit clothing and footwear, Formula 50 Vitamin Water, a G Unit dog tag designed by Jacob the Jeweler and autographed photos of 50 Cent as prizes.
"50 Cent is linked so closely to the streets, that we have to react quickly when his album surfaces illegally," says Interscope Geffen A&M Sr. executive, marketing and sales Steve Berman. "The best way to combat piracy problems is by getting the real version into stores with all the exclusive content and special packaging that comes with it."
"The Massacre" -- which was executive produced by Dr. Dre, Eminem and 50 Cent and co-executive produced by Sha Money XL -- has already spawned a pair of top 10 singles. This week, "Candy Shop" featuring Olivia takes over the No. 1 post on Billboard's Hot 100, giving 50 Cent his third No. 1 on the tally. Meanwhile, "Disco Inferno" is No. 6 for a second consecutive week.
In other news, 50 Cent is planning a weekly takeover of Eminem's Sirius satellite radio channel, Shade 45. "G-Unit Radio" will air all day on Saturdays with shows hosted by the rapper, as well as features produced by his DJ and mixtape host Whoo Kid. "I'm bringing my A-game to Sirius," 50 Cent says.
The venture will be inaugurated with Friday's (March 25) "The Personal Preview Special," which give listeners an exclusive inside look at "The Massacre." Co-hosted by Whoo Kid, the show will bow at 8 p.m. ET.