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50 Cent and the interview of the Crystal Skull

Ben Gilbert, @RealBenGilbert
February 24, 2009

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So you've read about our man Fiddy's new game and how horribly good it is. You've also read about his newfound love for the 'Stiq. Hell, you even already know he's talking to the folks at THQ about making a Saint's Row film. But he has so much more to talk to you about!

For starters, did you know that he's got a Nintendo Wii in his office and a racquetball room with a "bigass projector" (24 feet!) just for gaming? How about the fact that he wants to make games that don't star him?

We'd love to tell you more, but you'll just have to check out the entire Q&A transcript after the jump.

What contributions -- specifically -- did you make to the development of
50 Cent: Blood on the Sand?

Well, you know, what I did was I came in and I was conscious of what I was saying because I didn't want to over-inject myself before I had the opportunity to hear what was the best possible technology and the best ideas -- the route to go to create a successful game at this point ... I had influences from the movie Blood Diamond, I had an opportunity to perform for the soldiers in Iraq. This is a while ago -- this is what inspired me to be part of the film Home of the Brave where I actually played a soldier in the actual movie.

But the intensity, as far as the war setting, it's probably the most dramatic situation you can actually be in. And people consciously go into it, which is a trip for me. After the fact, when I left, I was like, "I'm glad I can just leave." So I'm sure some of them wish they could leave now, y'know what I mean?

But when I went into the actual video game meeting, I listened and I injected the things that I thought were cool. Like, one of my favorite video games coming up was OutRun. So there's a portion of the actual video game, there's a stage when you've actually acquired more than you can actually carry so the objective is to run at that point to a different stage of the actual game. And the options of the vehicles you use -- whether it's the helicopter, Humvee or the other things that are around -- the choice is up to the player at that point.

"So, ya know, I want to be able to create ... not a different controller and all that but be able to create something different."

Where do you see the future of the 50 Cent franchise going?

The guys that actually make the video games here -- they're really the best at the games. They sit there and play all of them and got the best possible ideas. And when I collaborate with them I'll come up with what my next move is. Personally, I have an interest in being a part of creating/marketing/promoting a product that doesn't have me in it. I'm a big fan of Tetris and some of the older games -- Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, Dig Dug, Centipede -- when we had one joystick and one button, y'know what I'm saying? A lot of old games ... I'm a big fan of that. So, ya know, I want to be able to create ... not a different controller and all that but be able to create something different.

So are you saying you're looking into your own development studio?

Well not developing a full studio myself but into developing a new project where I'm not actually starring in the game.

On a more serious note, how do you feel specifically about the effect of things like the taunts and the vulgarity in the game on hip-hop culture and African-American culture in America?

The harsh realities are, these words exist. I didn't make them up. To create a description of a person's lifestyle or their behaviors, we utilize these things. Now, I mean, for you to be there and to be representing a company that they have you asking questions, I know that you understand the information that I'm relaying to you at this point.

So, when you say "bitch" at certain points, it's to describe a person's behaviors at that point. If you say "ho", it's because she might be wanting to suck a dick right now, she might be wanting to go on a date, she might be in pornography, she might be... There's a class of people who would classify those things. So now, if the game is too aggressive for certain people, then, you know, it's rated "mature." That right there ... are the standards they've created to say "this is acceptable for adult entertainment." For me to change those requirements or to have more responsibility than anyone else has is a bit unfair, from my perspective I feel like. If you're saying I've become so influential that I need to make specific adjustments and changes, I'm flattered by that but I don't believe that.

I guess I'm more specifically wondering how you felt about the influence on the youth of hip-hop and African-American culture in America.

Well it's rated mature, so the youth really shouldn't come in contact with it unless they have someone around who can explain it. If you have someone around you, an adult -- if it's rated mature, then someone mature should actually have it. And if a kid does interact with it or has it, someone should be around to explain it. When you go into a film that's rated R, do they have an adult outside to tell you it's okay to go in or not? 'Cause they'll use all the terminologies you're talking about. But keep the standard across the board -- don't make it just for the video game because it's 50 Cent's video game. You know what I'm saying to you? And everything that's mentioned in the game will be in your films. And everyone on the other end of this phone knows this. Since cable television.

See the freedom with the web ... it provided a new freedom. When we used to have to rely on BET and MTV and the other networks to actually reach the consumers for different products. That's not so true anymore. Like, the number one music video on BET is playing six times a week. You see what I'm sayin'? So all that video does on that network is to tell them to go to YouTube and other sites that would actually have that content. Whatever time. If you just got home from work or you just got out of school or whatever you did when you have free time the web will be on-demand television. But all of these terminologies are being used even further. So even if your kid is sheltered to the point where they don't interact with anyone who says these things, I'm sure they're hearing these terminologies.

"A lot of times the terminologies that are being used are coming from the culture or the environment that you're in. So, it might not sound as aggressive if you heard someone say, "He's a redneck up the block," if he's a white guy saying the other guy's a redneck."

So, just to be clear, you don't feel any responsibility towards your fans with regards to the derogatory terms -- the language used in the game.

I don't feel like it'll effect 'em. I don't feel like they're hearing anything for the first time in this game. Ben, let me ask you a question, what is your nationality?


Well, I'm American too. I'm saying your ethnicity.

My ethnicity -- like what color am I? Is that what you're asking?

Yeah, well, what would be a derogatory term to your culture or how you was raised?

I guess "whitey" or something like that. I'm a white guy if that's what you're asking.

Oh, you're a white guy. I could kinda figure that out through your tone of voice. Check this out, Ben. A lot of times the terminologies that are being used are coming from the culture or the environment that you're in. So, it might not sound as aggressive if you heard someone say, "He's a redneck up the block," if he's a white guy saying the other guy's a redneck.


But you'll feel like I'm saying something negatory if I'm like, "This fucking redneck just cut me off, down the street," 'cause, you know what I'm saying, where I'm from. I think it's being responsible by making this a fictional plot and not having it be so real to the kids who walk out from seeing this kid feeling like they should go do this.

You're from, right?

Yeah, I'm from

Ben, I'm gonna watch what you write. I swear I'm gonna find yo ass!

I'm only going to write what you say, 50. Don't worry.

[Later on, while answering a question from another person] This guy is actually asking me whether I feel uncomfortable with saying curses at some points. Do you not live in the same society I live in?

It's not necessarily the curse words, it's the effect that you might be having. I'm not saying whether it's right or wrong, I'm just wondering how you feel about it, you know?

What I'd like to do, I'd like to remix "We Are the World" with you. [laughs] I'd like to a lot of things that I don't actually have the power to actually change. So when you say, from a creative standpoint, are there things I'm wiling to do? Yes. But, check this out. For me, in a song, there's only three minutes. three minutes and fifty seconds max, right? I can only give you descriptions of actions. I can't give you cause-and-effect, I can't give develop reasoning for dysfunctional behavior. I can't do any of that. I just gotta give you what happened specifically.

So, a lot of times you revisit things that you've experienced or things that went on around you until you capture it perfectly And after you've done that, you gotta move forward, you gotta move forward. You gotta do things differently. Now you got a lot of guys out there who've achieved zero success and guess what they write about? The lifestyle I have right now. Because they aspire to live life on the highest level, they write luxury. And I understand it. I actually was one of those people. Now after I've achieved the success that I've achieved in the last six years that I've been consider what we would call "successful," I totally focus on the struggle. I focus on how far I came. So I have more interest in writing the portion of my life when I didn't have than where I'm at right now. And that's a little weird, it's a little backwards but it's honestly where I'm at right now.

And finally, I was just wondering what your system is. Do you mainly play Xbox 360 or PS3 or Nintendo Wii or what?

So I got Nintendo Wii in my office -- I got the Wii Fit and all of that. And then I got, inside the truck, I got the Xbox -- the 360 joint. Then, at the house, I got all three of 'em. I got this big projector thing. Like, I got a racquetball room in the actual house so it puts a bigass projection. You turn the lights out and you got a 24-foot projection system.

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