The following sample essay on “50 Cent Cd Cover” is about an American rapper whose work became incredibly popular in the early 2000s. Selling over twenty million records worldwide, 50 Cent (Curtis Jackson) is no small identity when it comes to the music industry.
50 Cent is definitely aimed at the urban audience with his rap/hip hop genre. 50 Cent lived through a life of crime in the harsh neighbourhoods of America, he states that his life revolved around sacrifice, redemption and determination. The most striking area of the cover is 50 Cent’s athletic build.
This is a reflection of the “rap” stereotypes in society today; he seems to be a modern day replica of previous rappers such as 2 Pac. This appeals to both sides of his target audience, girls and boys ages 14-19 years old. The artistic scribbles signify him being not whole or perfect. This “roughness” is an image adopted by the majority of rappers as none of them want to be associated with conformity.
Rappers try to signify they have had a troubled background, the scribbles and his physique contrast the old and new 50 Cent.
The Parental Advisory label reinforces the “hard” image along with his physicality. It makes the younger purchaser feel rebellious at the prospect of buying a product which will rebel against normal parental constraints. As an industry/business, the label is in keeping with the majority of rap CDs who also endorse this label. The 50 Cent lettering shows use of graphology, the letters signify wealth as they are in gold.
The gold colour stands out well against the white, blue and black, therefore very eye catching for the consumer.
“The Massacre” is presented in graffiti lettering, this is a trait of lower class activity; an image 50 Cent is trying to convey. He is representing that he is “from the streets” and not alienating himself from his past life but incorporating it into his new life. The phrase is shocking signifying death and murder; this morbid title provides 50 Cent with the image he wants. This is his preferred reading for the youth audience however the oppositional reading could be that he is passing on ideas for troubled youths to commit crime; a life he has left behind.
The elaborate design and 50 Cent’s ethnic background contrasts with the harsh culture associated with rap. The white design makes the cover effeminate; appealing to the female audience. In Advertising white is symbolic for innocence and so this idea is in keeping with the feminine use of the colour in addition to the design. The guns behind the pattern enforce a large male fan base, making the cover more aesthetically pleasing and reinforce the violence of rap which cements 50 Cent’s ‘hard’ image. The ethnic pattern is reinforcing his African American culture. The pattern is a wealthy design and so enforces the financial richness of modern rap.
His jewellery, in this case the most obvious being his crucifix, signifies not only wealth buy innocence and purity; contrasting well with his criminal background. Christianity is a part of black culture and so the cross being central on both his body and cover suggests Christianity is central to his life. In addition he is showing his wealth as it is a piece of diamond jewellery. His clothing cross promotes his own clothing line and other artists in his music organisation, this branding and its association with the music entices the consumer to both identify the brand and simultaneously want to buy it; this method could be surmised as product placement.
The cap and jeans are general items which are targeted at his audience show he is ‘cool’, they aren’t expensive items but as they are a part of his own clothing line therefore showing his wealth. The fact he wears and supports his own brand suggests he believes in it. If his audience buy his clothing they will feel like they have something in common with 50 Cent. This is important as it establishes a vital link between artist and fan. 50 Cent’s image, from “Rags to riches” inspires young people in society today to purchase his music.
I believe he has both a positive and negative representation for African American people. (He is both a popular and negative ambassador for African American music) On the positive side he is stating that it is possible for people of an African American origin to become successful in all areas of life. The negative affect however is he is stating that black people tend to be into violence and general crime which in reality is not the case, this is a stereotype he is trying to enforce. The representation of 50 Cent is phenomenal on this album cover, with sharp and concise imagery supporting this.