The Game and 50 Cent - Hate It Or Love It
"Hate It or Love It" is the only 50 Cent song I really even remotely enjoy or respect - instead of the usual bullshit ego posturing and flat fuck-me-bitch nursery-rhyme club choruses, we get genuine autobiographical information and emotion from 50. Not to mention a half-bad flow that interweaves perfectly with labelmate and hip-hop feud partner The Game, an old school soul-type track from Dr. Dre and a chorus you'll actually sing along to after you hear it a few times.*
The video, from director (or is it a company?) The Saline Project, has present-day 50 Cent and The Game visiting their hometowns - 50 raps from an empty street at night while computer-generated white graffiti pops up behind him, while Game goes back to Compton in the daytime. Compton has more palm trees than I remember.
In between, we see both rappers in the front seats of cars, I guess headed to and from those destinations. 50 has this very song playing on the car's iPod, while Game's car is listening to later-years Hall and Oates for some reason. He's trying to learn the M-E-T-H-O-D O-F L-O-V-E, is my guess.
And we see childhood versions of 50 and Game acting out the song's lyrics. When you listen to "Hate It or Love It," you picture their descriptions of selling drugs and "being strapped like carseats" to keep from getting murdered over a pair of Barkley 95 sneakers (lots of words cut out during that verse**) as happening to, you know, like an 18 year old. Little 50 and Little Game look even younger than the two fourth-graders from Diddy's boy band B5.
The Game actually gets more mic time than 50 Cent - 50 even cuts short his second verse and says "listen to Game." Then Game pops in with a verse about how he bought his Mom a Benz with a red bow on it, how the government spends $30 million apiece on airplanes but won't feed the hungry, how the wood that should be used to make school books is used "to build coffins." Then you see him and 50 Cent sitting side by side on a charter jet in oversized white leather seats, drinking martinis. It seems a little contradictory.
These guys come from such a violent, poverty-ridden background that one of the posse guys from the video shoot already has an "R.I.P." dedication over his face. Somehow in between the filming, editing and release of this video, the dude got shot to death or stuck a knife in his toaster or something. This is a world cozy-living white folks like myself can't possibly understand. I may be in credit card debt, have no car and no health insurance, but I live really fucking comfortably and almost feel guilty about it. Almost.
* = What am I talking about, "hear it a few times"? This song's been out for over a half-year already and has saturated the airwaves - we've all heard "Hate It or Love It" more than a few years. But it's become that rare breed of hip-hop pop I still don't get sick to hear and am actually glad to recognize the opening beats of when I'm out in public and therefore can't control the flow of music.
** = As a public service to you fans of the First Amendment, here's a list of words cut out of the MTV version video, in order:
Four-five 'em / Kill a nigga
Oddly enough, lines about "throwing babies in the garbage" and getting abortions are left intact. Planned Parenthood is one powerful fucking lobby, after all.