50 Cent vs. Gene Simmons: Who’s the Original G?

Now that Em’s quitting, it’s time for 50 “Fiddy” Cent to become rap’s most valuable playahhh. At this point in his career, Mr. Cent (in New York Times lingo) can break the old tradition of getting murdered (see Tupac, Biggie) before fate forces you to star in a UPN sitcom. Further, he can break the new tradition of retiring (see Jay Z, Dre, Em’ and Puff Daddy) before fate forces you to star in a UPN sitcom. Then again, he could innovate by getting killed while starring in a UPN sitcom. (“Tonight, on a very special Fiddy ...”).

Not to be morbid, but we’re talking rap, that genre where it’s a lost year if no toes are tagged. Rap careers have never been for the long haul unless it’s in a hearse. And despite 50 Cent’s recurring death wish — which extends to using an autopsy report as cover art — his latest LP, The Massacre, seems less like the rantings of a dude with a stink bug’s life expectancy and more like marketing product from a onetime drug dealer who was shot nine times and now wants to hang around long enough to see his clothing line succeed. Even his all-new “feuds” on “Piggy Bank” ain’t life threatening — they feature lightweights Fat Joe, the imprisoned Shyne and milk-shaker Kelis. It’s like Muhammad Ali at the end of his career fighting lessers like Chuck Wepner, Ron Lyle and veteran actress Helen Hayes.

For Fiddy to stay gangsta, he’s got no role model unless he rents the Speaking in Tongues DVD and memorizes Gene Simmons’ video for “Firestarter.”

He’ll see the unmasked KISS Demon Beast sporting fur-lined coats, flashing Benjamins and splashing bikini-ripe rent-a-babes in every eyeful, exhibiting a creepy enjoyment like Louie De Palma haranguing Alex Reiger on Taxi. Even Gene’s pimp ride sports a custom plate: “ORIGINAL G — Cruising into the Future.”

Gene Simmons smells like the longest-surviving Original G. He predates any key gangsta by 30 years (witness KISS’ Dressed to Kill or Love Gun covers with dolled-up stables of hoes) and he’s had more haters than the East and West coasts combined. Gatman can learn lots from the Bat Lizard — only a guy who spits blood daily and lives can advise Fiddy how to cruise into the future. Nine bullets? Shit. As Gene-Unit might say, “Try surviving the ’80s and Music from the Elder, my bullet-riddled friend!” Simmons can’t rap but he can talk your ear off about branding KISS. Here’s G-G-G-G-Gene Unit!

50 Cent on firearms:

He doesn’t go anywhere unless he’s got “enough ammo shots to blow a hole in every mothafucka out this bitch.”

What Gene-Unit might say to 50 about firearms:

“The only pistol I pack is a love gun. No, not the cardboard one with the rubber band that came with the Love Gun album. That thing never worked; I blame Ace for that. You’ve taken nine bullets; you should make bullet-catching part of the show.”

50 Cent on women:

Fiddy softened his P.I.M.P. stance on The Massacre. There are only 37 uses of the word “bitch” (a 38 percent decrease from the previous LP), a mere nine “hoes” but eight uses of the more endearing “shorty.” Plus, he stages duets with G-Unit signee Olivia and Jamie Foxx (!?).

What Gene-Unit might say to 50 about women:

“I didn’t get to schtupp 4,060 women who let me take dirty Polaroids by calling them ‘skank,’ ‘bitch’ or ‘wifey.’ No, I treat even the most uninviting groupies with the same respect I’d show a Penthouse pet.

50 Cent on making movies:

Fiddy is working on a semiautobiographical flick about his drug dealing days named after his debut, Get Rich or Die Trying.

What Gene-Unit might say to 50 about movies:

“Whatever you do, do not let Hanna-Barbera go near your action film. I mean those guys can do Scooby Doo but they haven’t a clue when it comes to rock stars who get antsy if they’re not banging the production assistants. KISS Meets the Phantom in the Park was a success largely because we used Shakespearean actors to dub our voices. If we’d allowed our New York accents, we would’ve looked like cabbies in Kabuki makeup. Don’t blow your mystique by being yourself, especially in a semiautobiographical film! Instead of saying, ‘I’ll kill ya nigga if you fuck with my grip,’ why not try a line we used: ‘A forcefield protects our talisman.’ Pretty mystical, huh?”

50 Cent on haters:

If you believe his recent lyrics, niggas and haters are still trying to get the lead in ... in Fiddy, that is. He knows from street dealing that “Niggas’ll come to your place/Put a gun in your face.”

What Gene-Unit might say to 50 about haters:

“I’ve got two haters — Ace and Peter, ha-ha-ha. No, seriously, haters are paying customers, just like everybody else. Jadakiss must buy your record to decide how he’ll respond to your dis. When people say, ‘I hate Gene Simmons,’ what they’re really saying is, ‘I want to be Gene Simmons.’ That’s why I do motivational speaking, to help people become more like me so they can hate me more. You know why they can never be me? Because I’m the one who already thought of KISS. My success is based on clinging to millions of 13-year-old fans in the ’70s who now have more cash. It’s these same merch-to-memorabilia people who put KISS disposable diapers on their babies, who’ll insist on KISS colostomy bags when they’re poopin’ their own britches and who’ll leave this world in the KISS Koffin. Your haters are fans, Fiddy. I mean, what was Mark David Chapman, a lover?”

50 Cent on changing things up:

The new album features a more giddy Fiddy. His playful “Candy Shop” hit No. 1.

What Gene-Unit might say to 50 about changing things up:

“Congratulations on the hit but don’t lose perspective. The 1910 Fruitgum Company circulated that ‘lick the lollipop’ metaphor when LBJ was in office. Don’t confuse fans by changing directions. We put our genitals aside for the Music from the Elder concept album, and compounded the mistake by putting a huge knocker on the cover that was attached to a door instead of a lady. We dropped the makeup to get noticed again.”

50 Cent on being a businessman:

“Clickity clank, the money goes into my piggy bank.”

What Gene-Unit might say to 50 about being a businessman:

“I’m always looking for ways to earn KISS bucks without cutting Paul Stanley in. There’s Simmons Records, my cartoon series called My Dad the Rock Star, and my Tongue magazine, which hasn’t been published lately because people tired of reading about beautiful women whose turn-ons are always ‘KISS and Jewish men.’ Go figure.”

50 Cent on the Almighty:

On “God Gave Me Style,” Fiddy humbles himself before the Man Upstairs. “Call me what you want, black and ugly/But you can’t convince me the Lord don’t love me.”

What Gene-Unit might tell 50 about the Almighty:

“As I say, ‘If God wants to speak to me, I’ll see if I’m busy.’ So my guess is that if there is a God, He hates Gene Simmons. Why? Because He wants to be Gene Simmons. I mean, He created the world in seven days. Well, I’ve extended the KISS farewell tour to eight years. Who has better time management skills?”


50 Cent appears Friday, Aug. 12, at Comerica Park (2100 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-471-6611) on the Anger Management Tour 3 with Eminem, D12 and others.

Serene Dominic is a freelance writer. Send comments to him at [email protected]