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The glory days: 2003's "In da Club" is still stuck in our heads, a dance hit that introduced the world to the drug-dealer-turned-rapper-turned-gunshot-wound-survivor.
Troubled times: Sure, critics didn't love the movie "Get Rich or Die Tryin'," but you don't retaliate by doing a coming-of-age drama that goes straight to DVD. You don't delay your album. You don't do a combo-pack of said album with said DVD. And you certainly do not fake retirement. (I won't even get into stooping to do bland MTV reality shows like "50 Cent: The Money and the Power," and hawking vitamin water.)
Bailout plan: Retire for real, or follow Jay-Z's example. And give up all of your extracurricular activities that have nothing to do with music. Or just give us "In da Club" Part 2 and all is forgiven.