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Stream: 50 Cent, "I'm On It"

Though very few listeners noticed, it's been a pretty great year for 50 Cent. Musically speaking, not brand building or Twitter presence or whatever the hell else people gauge celebrity success as in 2011. But when the phrase "Prod. by The Cataracs" turned up at the end of the file name on his latest radio rip it seemed inevitable that his streak had come to an end. With the "Like A G6" architects involved this was almost certainly going to be "Ayo Technology" all over again—50 making shameless and uncomfortable pop just to coax Jimmy Iovine into giving him a release date.

Fortunately the radio rip reveals something stranger. Rather than slip 50 another of their insufferable Los Angeles cocaine techno anthems, The Cataracs made a welcome return to their sparser Berkeley roots. "I'm On It" is basically 50 rapping over a 2006 song by frequent Cataracs collaborators The Pack. Or a 2004 slap by Pack influencers the Neptunes, or a 2008 track by frequent Pack borrowers The Cool Kids or a 2009 jerkin record. The cycles are cycling faster than ever. But it works for Curtis, kind of. It's far from a masterpiece but it knocks well enough. It could easily slip into West Coast radio playlists much like "I Get Money" did in New York so many years ago.

Stream: 50 Cent, "I'm On It"

Stream: 50 Cent, "I'm On It"